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From Creative Action to the Social Rationalization of the Economy: Joseph A. Schumpeter's Social Theory

Harry F. Dahms
Sociological Theory
Vol. 13, No. 1 (Mar., 1995), pp. 1-13
DOI: 10.2307/202001
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/202001
Page Count: 13
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From Creative Action to the Social Rationalization of the Economy: Joseph A. Schumpeter's Social Theory
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Abstract

Schumpeter's writings on the transition from capitalism to socialism, on innovative entrepreneurship, on business cycles, and on the modern corporation have attracted much attention among social scientists. Although Schumpeter's theoretical and sociological writings resemble the works of Marx, Durkheim, and Weber in that they further our understanding of the rise and nature of modern society, his contribution to social theory has yet to be assessed systematically. Arguing that Schumpeter's perspective, if understood in social theoretical terms, provides a promising starting point for the sociological analysis of the changing relationship between economy and society, I concentrate on two elements of his work that are of value to theoretical sociology today: the distinction between creative action and rational action that is fundamental to his theory of the entrepreneur, and his thesis that the success of the capitalist system leads to its demise.

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