Confucianism and the Chinese Self

Re-examining Max Weber’s China

  • Jack Barbalet

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Jack Barbalet
    Pages 1-9
  3. Jack Barbalet
    Pages 11-49
  4. Jack Barbalet
    Pages 51-78
  5. Jack Barbalet
    Pages 79-103
  6. Jack Barbalet
    Pages 105-142
  7. Jack Barbalet
    Pages 143-182
  8. Jack Barbalet
    Pages 183-207
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 209-213

About this book


Setting the context for the upheavals and transformations of contemporary China, this text provides a re-assessment of Max Weber’s celebrated sociology of China. Returning to the sources drawn on by Weber in The Religion of China: Confucianism and Taoism, it offers an informed account of the Chinese institutions discussed and a concise discussion of Weber’s writings on ‘the rise of modern capitalism’. Notably it subjects Weber’s argument to critical scrutiny, arguing that he drew upon sources which infused the central European imagination of the time, constructing a sense of China in Europe, whilst European writers were constructing a particular image of imperial China and

its Confucian framework. Re-examining Weber’s discussion of the role of the individual in Confucian thought and the subordination, in China, of the interests of the individual to those of the political community and the ancestral clan, this book offers a cutting edge contribution to the continuing debate on Weber’s RoC in East Asia today, against the background of the rise of modern capitalism in the “little dragons” of Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea, and the “big dragons” of Japan and the People’s Republic of China.


Sociology of China Capitalism in China Confucian Thought Rise of Modern Capitalism in Asia Weber's Sociology of China

Authors and affiliations

  • Jack Barbalet
    • 1
  1. 1.Australian Catholic UniversityMelbourneAustralia

Bibliographic information