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Max Weber

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Max Weber

1864 – 1920 Political Economist and Sociologist



 Strengths: is considered one of founders of modern sociology; pioneered rationalism in the sociology of religion; contributed to the development of rational-legal state concept of the West; created a methodology for understanding social action; argued for scientific and value-free approach to research



Weaknesses: exaggerated the disparity of wealth between religions when really disparity owes more to historical hangover from colonialism than from a particular creed; biased toward the bureaucratization of society



Special Skills: has a political eye as an economist and a scientific, rational eye toward society and religion



Max Weber was a German economist and sociologist who theorized that capitalism and economic processes evolved through religion, particularly Protestantism. He was influential in contemporary German politics and became an advisor to Germany's negotiators at the Treaty of Versailles. He claims that Protestantism led to the rise of capitalism and bureaucracy, and he is most famous for his works on the sociology of religion and the sociology of government. Weber saw religion, government, and society as intertwined. Weber was also interested in discovering the reasons for different developmental patterns of cultures in the East and the West without judging or placing value on them.



Selected Works: “The Objectivity of the Sociological and Social-Political Knowledge", 1904,


The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, 1905,


 Economy and Society, 1914,


"Politics as a Vocation", 1918,


General Economic History, 1923,

The Methodology of the Social Sciences, 1949.

card by  Sara Coburn


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