• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Stephen Kalberg’s The Social Thought of Max Weber, the newest volume of the SAGE Social Thinkers series, provides a concise introduction to the work, life, and influence of Max Weber, considered to be one of three most important founders (along with Marx and Durkheim) of sociology. The book serves as an excellent introduction to the full range of Weber’s major themes, and explores in detail the extent to which they are relevant today. It is ideal for use as a self-contained volume or in conjunction with other sociological theory textbooks.

Weber’s Methodology
Weber’s Methodology

Some interpreters view Weber as a “theorist of ideas,” yet others see him as a “theorist of interests.” While the former focus on The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and emphasize the strong role in his sociology of values, religion, and culture, the latter take his analytic opus Economy and Society (E&S) as their main source. They assert that Weber offers a non-Marxist conflict theory rooted in domination, power, inequality, struggle, and individual interests. Still others understand him, as noted in the Introduction, mainly as a gifted taxonomist engaged in the creation of a vast armament of finely tuned concepts—“ideal types” (see below and Chapter 4)—intended to establish sociology on a secure conceptual foundation.

In fact, each of these interpretations ...

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