Professor Jack Barbalet

ACU Researcher

Areas of expertise: economic sociology; political sociology; sociology of emotions; sociological theory; sociology of China

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-4212-7929


Location: ACU Melbourne Campus

My research is focussed on a number of key themes, including social solidarity, social interaction, and institutionalization. These themes are explored across a number of sub-fields of sociology, especially in political sociology, economic sociology, the sociology of emotions and the sociology of modern China.

The approach taken in my research is conceptual refinement and theory development directed to understanding social change and societal transition.

My undergraduate degree is from Flinders University and my PhD from Adelaide University. My first academic appointment was at the University of Papua New Guinea and the longest held at the Australian National University. Since then, I have had appointments at the University of Leicester as well as Hong Kong Baptist University, before coming to the ACU.

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Select publications

  • Barbalet, J. (2020). Violence and Politics: Reconsidering Weber’s ‘Politics as a Vocation’. Sociology. OnlineFirst, 10 January. DOI: 10.1177/0038038519895748
  • Barbalet, J. (2020). The Analysis of Chinese Rural Society: Fei Xiaotong Revisited. Modern China. OnlineFirst, 16 January. DOI: 10.1177/0097700419894921
  • Barbalet, J. (2019). Primitive Accumulation and Chinese Mirrors. Journal of Classical Sociology. 19(1), 27-42.
  • Barbalet, J. (2019). Trust: Condition of Action or Condition of Appraisal. International Sociology. 34(1), 83-98.
  • Barbalet, J. (2018). Magic and Reformation Calvinism in Max Weber’s Sociology. European Journal of Social Theory. 21(4), 470-87.
  • Barbalet, J. (2018). Guanxi as Social Exchange: Emotions, Power and Corruption. Sociology. 52(5), 934-49.
  • Barbalet, J. (2017). Confucianism and the Chinese Self: Re-examining Max Weber’s China. Palgrave/Macmillan.
  • Barbalet, J. (2016). Chinese Individualization, Revisited. Journal of Sociology. 52(1), 9-23.
  • Barbalet, J. (2015). Guanxi, Tie Strength and Network Attributes. American Behavioral Scientist. 59(8), 1038-50.
  • Barbalet, J. (2014). The Structure of Guanxi: Resolving Problems of Network Assurance. Theory and Society. 43(1), 51-69.
  • Barbalet, J. (2013). Self-Interest in Chinese Discourse and Practice: Temporal Distinctions of Self. Sociological Review. 61(4), 2013: 649-66.
  • Barbalet, J. (2012). Self Interest and the Theory of Action. British Journal of Sociology. 63(3), 412-29.
  • Barbalet, J. (2011). Weber, Passion and Profits: ‘The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism’ in Context. Cambridge University Press.
  • Barbalet, J. (2011). Market Relations as Wuwei: Daoist Concepts in Analysis of China’s Post-1978 Market Economy. Asian Studies Review. 35(3), 335-354.
  • Barbalet, J. (2011). Emotions beyond Regulation: Backgrounded Emotions in Science and Trust. Emotion Review. 3(1), 36-43.
  • Barbalet, J. (2001). Emotion, Social Theory, and Social Structure: A Macro-sociological Approach. Cambridge University Press.

Appointments and affiliations

  • Chair Professor in Sociology & Head of the Sociology Department, Hong Kong Baptist University (2011-17).
  • Professorial Fellow, Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy, University of Western Sydney (2009-11).


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