Max Weber

Max Weber

Maximilian Karl Emil "Max" Weber ( ; 21 April 1864 – 14 June 1920) was a German sociologist, philosopher, and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself. Weber is often cited, with Émile Durkheim and Karl Marx, as one of the three founding architects of sociology.

Weber was a key proponent of methodological antipositivism, arguing for the study of social action through interpretive (rather than purely empiricist) means, based on understanding the purpose and meaning that individuals attach to their own actions. Weber's main intellectual concern was understanding the processes of rationalisation, secularization, and "disenchantment" that he associated with the rise of capitalism and modernity and which he saw as the result of a new way of thinking about the world. Weber is perhaps best known for his thesis combining economic sociology and the sociology of religion, elaborated in his book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, in which he proposed that ascetic Protestantism was one of the major "elective affinities" associated with the rise in the Western world of market-driven capitalism and the rational-legal nation-state. Against Marx's "historical materialism," Weber emphasised the importance of cultural influences embedded in religion as a means for understanding the genesis of capitalism. The Protestant Ethic formed the earliest part in Weber's broader investigations into world religion: he would go on to examine the religions of China, the religions of India and ancient Judaism, with particular regard to the apparent non-development of capitalism in the corresponding societies, as well as to their differing forms of social stratification.

In another major work, Politics as a Vocation, Weber defined the state as an entity which successfully claims a "monopoly on the legitimate use of violence". He was also the first to categorize social authority into distinct forms, which he labelled as charismatic, traditional, and rational-legal. His analysis of bureaucracy emphasised that modern state institutions are increasingly based on rational-legal authority. Weber also made a variety of other contributions in economic history, as well as economic theory and methodology. Weber's analysis of modernity and rationalisation significantly influenced the critical theory associated with the Frankfurt School.

After the First World War, Max Weber was among the founders of the liberal German Democratic Party. He also ran unsuccessfully for a seat in parliament and served as advisor to the committee that drafted the ill-fated democratic Weimar Constitution of 1919. After contracting the Spanish flu, he died of pneumonia in 1920, aged 56.

Read more about Max WeberLegacy, Critical Responses To Weber

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Max Weber - Critical Responses To Weber
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... After hearing of the near collapse of Austria-Hungary, Weber advocated peace during a mass meeting in Munich ... the group of the Herrenvoelker of the earth.' Max Weber Books Ancient Judaism (1921) Basic Concepts in Sociology (1952) The City (1921) Condition of Farm Labour in Eastern Germany (1892) Economy and ... (father) Alfred Weber (brother) Marianne Weber (wife) ...
Theories Of Religion - Max Weber
... Max Weber (1864–1920) thought that the truth claims of religious movement were irrelevant for the scientific study of the movements ... Weber acknowledged that religion had a strong social component, but diverged from Durkheim by arguing, for example in his book The Protestant Ethic ... In the book Weber wrote that modern capitalism spread quickly partially due to the Protestant worldly ascetic morale ...
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... Weber innovated the idea of a status group as a certain type of subculture ... Weber also had the idea that people were motivated by their material and ideal interests, which include things such as preventing one from going to hell ... Weber also explains that people use symbols to express their spirituality, and that symbols are used to express the spiritual side of real events, and that ideal interests are derived ...
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... Weber's major works in economic sociology and the sociology of religion dealt with the rationalization, secularisation, and so called "disenchantment" which he associated ... Weber's thought regarding the rationalizing and secularizing tendencies of modern Western society (sometimes described as the "Weber Thesis") would blend with Marxism ...

Famous quotes containing the words weber and/or max:

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