The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

Front Cover
Courier Dover Publications, 2003 - Business & Economics - 292 pages
36 Reviews
The Protestant ethic a moral code stressing hard work, rigorous self-discipline, and the organization of one's life in the service of God was made famous by sociologist and political economist Max Weber. In this brilliant study (his best-known and most controversial), he opposes the Marxist concept of dialectical materialism and its view that change takes place through "the struggle of opposites." Instead, he relates the rise of a capitalist economy to the Puritan determination to work out anxiety over salvation or damnation by performing good deeds an effort that ultimately discouraged belief in predestination and encouraged capitalism. Weber's classic study has long been required reading in college and advanced high school social studies classrooms.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
15
4 stars
15
3 stars
6
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - HadriantheBlind - LibraryThing

Even now, this is a profoundly interesting and detailed book, being the foundation of economic sociology, and is of considerable use today. The main thesis is that several Christian denominations ... Read full review

Review: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

User Review  - Charlie - Goodreads

This review concerns the Norton Critical Edition of Weber's work. The Protestant Ethic is a dramatic, seductive, original work that, despite its controversial premise, deserves an edition such as this ... Read full review

Contents

PREFACE TO NEW EDITION
xiii
FOREWORD
xix
AUTHORS INTRODUCTION
13
THE PROBLEM
33
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION AND SOCIAL STRATIFICATION
35
THE SPIRIT OF CAPITALISM
47
LUTHERS CONCEPTION OF THE CALLING TASK OF THE INVESTIGATION
79
THE PRACTICAL ETHICS OF THE ASCETIC BRANCHES OF PROTESTANTISM
93
THE RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF WORLDLY ASCETICISM
95
Calvinism
98
Pietism
128
Methodism
139
The Baptist Sects
144
ASCETICISM AND THE SPIRIT OF CAPITALISM
155
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2003)

Max Weber, a German political economist, legal historian, and sociologist, had an impact on the social sciences that is difficult to overestimate. According to a widely held view, he was the founder of the modern way of conceptualizing society and thus the modern social sciences. His major interest was the process of rationalization, which characterizes Western civilization---what he called the "demystification of the world." This interest led him to examine the three types of domination or authority that characterize hierarchical relationships: charismatic, traditional, and legal. It also led him to the study of bureaucracy; all of the world's major religions; and capitalism, which he viewed as a productof the Protestant ethic. With his contemporary, the French sociologist Emile Durkheim---they seem not to have known each other's work---he created modern sociology.

Talcott Parsons, an American sociologist, introduced Max Weber to American sociology and became himself the leading theorist of American sociology after World War II. His Structure of Social Action (1937) is a detailed comparison of Alfred Marshall, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Vilfredo Pareto. Parsons concluded that these four scholars, coming from contrasting backgrounds and from four different countries, converged, without their knowing of the others, on a common theoretical and methodological position that he called "the voluntaristic theory of action." Subsequently, Parsons worked closely with the anthropologists Clyde Kluckhohn, Elton Mayo, and W. Lloyd Warner, and the psychologists Gordon W. Allport and Henry A. Murray, to define social, cultural, and personality systems as the three main interpenetrative types of action organization. He is widely known for his use of four pattern variables for characterizing social relationships:affectivity versus neutrality, diffuseness versus specificity, particularism versus universalism, and ascription versus achievement.

Bibliographic information