In this article the author discusses qualitative economic sociology and its connections to social-constructionist sociology of knowledge, cultural institutions and economic culture, and he applies this theoretical background to his survey on Czech Western re-emigrants in the 1990s and their perceptions of contemporary Czech society, economic-cultural institutions, and business/entrepreneurial behaviour. He concludes that fundamental differences between Czech and Western societies remain owing to the strong historical and socio-cultural embeddedness of the patterns of economic culture, especially value-based attitudes to the categories of time, supra-individual entities, different forms of capital, and managerial and other business activities. While the (ideal type of) Western socio-economic behaviour can be understood in terms of 'fundamental individualism', the Czech 'individualism of (material) consumption' seems essentially different. The latter originated in the disintegration of the socialist way of living, though it also incorporates some older cognitive and behavioural patterns, and thus it understands capitalism in a somewhat Marxian way, implying '(economic) liberalism without liberals'.
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