Max Weber

Weber, Max (German sociologist)

Max Weber (mäks vā´bər), 1864–1920, German sociologist, economist, and political scientist. At various times he taught at Berlin, Freiburg, Munich, and Heidelberg. One of Weber's chief interests was in developing a methodology for social science, and his works had a considerable influence on 20th-century social scientists. As a technique of sociological analysis, he devised the concept of "ideal types," generalized models of historical situations that could be used as a basis for comparing societies. He opposed the orthodox Marxian view of the time that economics was the preeminent determining factor in social causation and instead stressed the plurality and interdependence of causes. Weber emphasized the role of religious values, ideologies, and charismatic leaders in shaping societies. In his Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1920, tr. 1930) he developed a thesis concerning the intimate connection between the ascetic ideal fostered by Calvinism and the rise of capitalist institutions. A keen observer of politics in his own time, he first admired, then repudiated Otto von Bismarck, and he later advocated for Germany a democratic form of government somewhat on the American model. He has also been influential in using statistical sociology in the study of economic policy. Among his other books are Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft [economy and society] (4th ed. 1956) and General Economic History (1924, tr. 1927).

See From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology (with a biography and appraisal by H. H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills, 1946); studies by J. Freund (1968), A. Mitzman (1969), W. G. Runciman (1972), D. Beetham (1974), W. J. Mommsen (1974), G. Roth (1979), and J. Alexander (1983).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Max Weber: Selected full-text books and articles

Max Weber
S. M. Miller.
Thomas Y. Crowell, 1963
Max Weber: From History to Modernity
Bryan S. Turner.
Routledge, 1993
The Protestant Ethic Debate: Max Weber's Replies to His Critics, 1907-1910
Max Weber; David J. Chalcraft; Austin Harrington; Mary Shields.
Liverpool University Press, 2001
Max Weber's Sociology of Intellectuals
Ahmad Sadri.
Oxford University Press, 1992
Max Weber's Methodology: The Unification of the Cultural and Social Sciences
Fritz Ringer.
Harvard University Press, 1997
Max Weber's Political Sociology: A Pessimistic Vision of a Rationalized World
Ronald M. Glassman; Vatro Murvar.
Greenwood Press, 1984
Modernity and Politics in the Work of Max Weber
Charles Turner.
Routledge, 1992
Max Weber and Karl Marx
Karl Löwith; Bryan S. Turner.
Routledge, 1993
Max Weber & Democratic Politics
Peter Breiner.
Cornell University Press, 1996
Max Weber and the Destiny of Reason
Franco Ferrarotti; John Fraser.
M. E. Sharpe, 1982
Religion and Economic Action: A Critique of Max Weber
Kurt Samuelsson; E. Geoffrey French.
Harper Torchbook, 1964
Aspects of the Rise of Economic Individualism: A Criticism of Max Weber and His School
H. M. Robertson.
Cambridge University Press, 1933
Basic Concepts in Sociology
Max Weber; H. P. Secher.
Citadel Press, 1962
The Theory of Social and Economic Organization
Max Weber; A. M. Henderson; Talcott Parsons; Talcott Parsons.
Oxford University Press, 1947
Max Weber's Complete Writings on Academic and Political Vocations
Max Weber; John Dreijmanis; Gordon C. Wells.
Algora, 2008
The Vocation Lectures
Max Weber; David Owen; Tracy B. Strong; Rodney Livingstone.
Hackett, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Includes "Science as a Vocation" and "Politics as a Vocation"
The Rational and Social Foundations of Music
Max Weber; Don Martindale; Johannes Riedel; Gertrude Neuwirth; Johannes Riedel; Gertrude Neuwirth; Don Martindale.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1958
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