Max Weber Essay

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Pages: 8

Max Weber, a German economist and sociologist is considered to be one of the most significant classical theorists because his methods that are still being implemented into modern sociological research. Weber is best known for his essay, The Protestant Ethic and Spirit of Capitalism, as well as being highly regarded for his ideas on bureaucracy, his study on class, status and party, and for his theory of social action., Almost all of Weber's writing's have had some kind, if not, a major impact on modern sociology. Weber believed that sociologists can learn to understand the actions of individuals and groups. This type of understanding is known as verstehen or "interpretive understanding" (E & A p. 138). Verstehen was Weber's main method …show more content…
Weber believed that his belief of a protestant ethic in the West contributes to the emergence of capitalism Weber attributes his notion to the Protestant search for a worldly calling, which gives worldly activities religious meaning (E & A p.146.) Weber saw that the protestant religion, Calvinism provides an explanation for how a religious calling leads to the pursuit of wealth. Calvinists believe in predestination, which is the belief that a one's fate is determined before they are born; whether one will be saved or damned. Calvinists believe that very few people will be saved, and that the only way to know one's fate is from signs, from God. Calvinists see individual success and the accumulation of wealth as an indication of good favor with God. Other protestant religions, such as Baptists and Methodists, believed similar things as Calvinists. These protestant religions worked as productively as possible for wealth because they were looking for favor with God.
Weber believed that the spread of the protestant ethic created a shift in social actions, where Western behavior changed from traditional to value-rational action. Value-rational action is described by the pursuit of a goal, where the end defines itself. The protestant ethic created the idea that wealth is a justifiable end because the pursuit