The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

Front Cover
Courier Corporation, 2003 - Business & Economics - 292 pages
27 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.
 

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Review: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

User Review  - Andrew - Goodreads

Protestantism is ballin'. Amazing how much this book is about the hustler spirit: dude who'd buy in bulk, talk to his customers and push volume, figure out how to innovate to make a better product ... Read full review

Review: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

User Review  - Katariina Ub - Goodreads

I think I'm not ready to read this book. His thoughts are way too far from me. I should read it again after I got my bachelors in Theology. 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

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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.

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