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Sombart, Werner (1863–1941)

  • By: Roberta Sassatelli
  • In: Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture
  • Edited by: Dale Southerton
  • Subject:Sociology of Consumption, Consumer Psychology, Consumer Culture

Werner Sombart is a German sociologist and historian whose body of work focuses largely on the development of capitalism as specific economic and cultural Western historical formation. His main works are the two volumes of Der Moderne Kapitalismus (1928), Luxury and Capitalism (1913/1967), and Why Is There No Socialism in the United States? (1906/1976), as well as a number of essays on the interfacing of culture and the economy, including works on Jewish culture and economic life and the bourgeois spirit—the influence of which is limited today by the absence of complete translations in the English language. Anticipating the current historical debate, Sombart explained the genesis of capitalism through combining the factors of economic growth relative to production with those relative to consumption. In his ...

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