Bakker, J.I. 2019. “Piketty and Patrimonialism: A Frankfurt School Critique of Piketty’s Use of Marx, Weber, Political Economy, and Comparative Historical Sociology.” Chapter in Lauren Langman and David A Smith, eds. Twenty-First Century Inequality and Capitalism: Piketty, Marx, and Beyond (Studies in Critical Social Sciences). Brill. Bakker develops a detailed historical argument (that also reflects on contributions of various Frankfurt School luminaries) and sees in Piketty, for all the empirical riches, a relative theoretical poverty, with the lack of attention to imperialism/colonialism, plus his failure to link the “baronial” influence of the modern day patrimonial elites to any form of class analysis.
Bakker, J.I. 2023. “Blumer, Weber, Peirce, and the Big Tent of Semiotic Sociology: Notes on Interactionism, Interpretivism, and Semiotics.” Chapter in Fontdevila, Jorge and Andrea Cossu eds, Interpretive Sociology and the Semiotic Imagination. Bristol University Press, 2023. Project MUSE muse.jhu.edu/book/112239. This chapter proposes to refine the symbolic interactionist project by incorporating Peircean semiotics and neo- Weberian interpretation. Symbolic interactionism appears to have forgotten key sources of its American pragmatist roots. Peirce’s indirect influence on Mead and Blumer, for instance, is often undertheorized but should be made central to the foundational narratives of symbolic interactionism. This calls for more sophisticated understandings of meaning- making that incorporate Peirce’s semiotic triadic model and classifications of signs where symbols are just one kind of signs among others. Here, I take on these matters and expand on my pragmatic sociology (Bakker, 2011a) to introduce the emergent project of a semiotic sociology. In stepwise fashion, I lay foundations of a metaparadigmatic synthesis— a “big tent”— based on five key arguments that build upon each other, including Blumer as its anchor point, American symbolic interactionism, global interactionism, neo- Weberian interpretive analysis for cross- historical comparison, and Peircean semiotics as the culminating paradigm that pulls it all together. The Cold War is over (Menand, 2021).