• 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.

Applying Weber: The Birth and Growth of the American Civic Sphere
Applying Weber: The Birth and Growth of the American Civic Sphere

Max Weber’s several discussions of the American political culture identify particular elements as pivotal: a distinct, broad-ranging civic sphere and innumerable civic associations. This chapter takes as its task a reconstruction of his analysis of their origin and expansion. These features anchored and located the singular American mode of community building and establishment of social trust.1 The reconstruction presented here illustrates the usefulness today of Weber’s concepts and procedures as powerful explanatory aids for causal analysis.

Weber’s analysis of the American civic sphere’s sources and the origins of its civic associations focuses first on early strains of Protestantism. They formed crucial causal precedents, he ...

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