Max Weber

(1864—1920) German economist and sociologist

'Max Weber' can also refer to...

Andrea Germer. Wissenschaft und Leben: Max Webers Antwort auf eine Frage Friedrich Nietzsches. (Kritische Studien zur Geschichtswissenschaft, number 105.) Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht. 1994. Pp. 232. DM 38

Book Review: Max Weber: An intellectual biography

Book Review: Max Weber und die preuβischen Junker

Book Review: Max Weber's Religionssoziologie in interkultureller Perspective

The Covenant People Max Weber and the Historical Understanding of Ancient Israel

Das Rätsel der Persönlichkeit—Max Weber’s Kulturkritik

Duncan Kelly. The State of the Political: Conception of Politics and the State in the Thought of Max Weber, Carl Schmitt and Franz Neumann. (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Monograph.) New York: Oxford University Press, for the British Academy. 2003. Pp. viii, 368

Fritz Ringer. Max Weber's Methodology: The Unification of the Cultural and Social Sciences. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 1997. Pp. viii, 188. $35.00

Geneva’s Crystalline Clarity: Harriet Beecher Stowe and Max Weber on Calvinism and the American Character

John Patrick Diggins. Max Weber: Politics and the Spirit of Tragedy. New York: BasicBooks. 1996. Pp. xvi, 334. $35.00

Joshua Derman. Max Weber in Politics and Social Thought: From Charisma to Canonization.

Lawrence A. Scaff. Max Weber in America.

Legality and Legitimacy: The Sociology of Max Weber

Max Weber (1881—1961)

Max Weber

Max Weber

Max Weber (1864–1920)

Max Weber (1864–1920)

Max Weber (1864–1920)

Max Weber (1864–1920)

Max Weber and Comparative Legal History1

Max Weber and Islam

Max Weber and Music History

Max Weber and Musicology: Dancing on Shaky Foundations

Max Weber and the Decline of the Historical School

Max Weber and the End of the Historicist Tradition

Max Weber and the Ethics of Office

Max Weber and World-Denying Love: A Look at the Historical Sociology of Religion1

Max Weber in America


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German social scientist and political economist who became a founding father of modern sociology.

Weber studied legal and economic history at several German universities. After a brief period as a legal assistant and on completion of his doctoral dissertation, he was appointed professor first (1894) at the University of Freiburg and then (1897) at Heidelberg. Despite a severe nervous breakdown several years later, Weber produced a body of work that established him as the foremost figure in social thought of the twentieth century.

Weber's study was in three main areas. His study of the sociology of religion led to his celebrated book, Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus (1904; translated as The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, 1930), in which he linked the psychological effects of Calvinism and Lutheranism with the development of European capitalism. Secondly, his interest in political sociology, presented in such works as the unfinished Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (1922; translated as Economy and Society, 1968), led him to major discussions on types of economic activity and the relationship between social and economic organization. Finally, he laid down various systems of inquiry in authoritative essays published posthumously in translation as Methodology of the Social Sciences (1949).

In all his work Weber tried to trace links between different types of social activity and stressed that the bureaucratization of political and economic society was the most significant development in the modernization of western civilization. He also produced major analyses of society in Israel, China, and India, in each of which he showed the mutual dependence of culture and society. Towards the end of his life, Weber became politically active and served on the committee that drafted the constitution of the Weimar Republic in 1918.

Subjects: social sciences — arts and humanities.

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