Weber Said that Religion can create a capitalist work ethic. Weber’s book ‘The Protestant Work Ethic and Spirit of Capitalism’ looked at how religious ideas of Calvanism brought about social change. He spotted two things;
Predestination: This is the idea that your life and whether you’re going to heaven are predetermined by God. Calvanism believed only a few were chosen for heaven. This created anxiety – no one knew if they were one of the chosen.
Ascetic Ideal: Working hard in your job was a solution to this anxiety. Success might be a sign that you were chosen for heaven. Earl Calvinists lived a strict and disciplined life to hard work and simple pleasures.
Protestant Ethic emphasized norms and values such as hard work, profit, avoiding ill health and self-indulgence. This allowed industrialisation to take place.
Weber claimed that the ascetic ideal helped create an ethic of disciplined hard work. This is the spirit of capitalism. Not only was there a build-up of capital, there was the right work ethic for capitalism. Religion indirectly bought about social change.
However, Eisenstadt (1967) contradicts Weber’s theory by claiming capitalism occurred in Catholic countries like Italy before the Protestant Reformation happened, and before the ideas of Calvin ever came out.
Phenomenological sociology was first developed by Alfred Schutz and is based on the idea of a social construction of reality through interaction among people who use symbols to interpret one