S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Development and Society Vol.31 No.1/2 (2002)
How the East and the West Shall Meet
- Lin, Man
- Issue Date
- Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
- Development and Society, Vol.31 No.2, pp. 211-244
- In this essay I focus on the problems and promises of how the East can make contributions to sociological theories. In the currently pervasive dominance of “received theories” derived mostly from Western experiences, discrepant evidences from other societies are often questioned for their generalizability or treated as contingencies. For paradigmatic theoretical contributions by the East to be possible, several conditions have to be met. There must be consistent and persistent evidence, a critical mass of scholars who support the claim, and demonstration that the alternative theory may supplement or supersede the received theory. I find such conditions existent in the case of relational rationality. If attempts like this continue to flourish, I remain optimistic that the East and the West can make meaningful theoretical contributions to each other.
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