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Max Weber was one of the leading scholars of his time in Germany and helped found modern sociology. He thought of sociology as a comprehensive science of social action, and his focus was on the subjective meaning that humans attach to their action and interactions within specific social contexts. His system of thought is one in which material interests and ideas are in constant interaction with each other. Thus, he wrote The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism in part to counter the prevailing Marxist view of dialectical materialism and wanted to show how the ideals and values of a particular religious system also entered into the shaping of history.

Weber sought to explain why the Industrial Revolution took place primarily in countries that were ...

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