Max Weber was born in 1864, in Erfurt, Thuringia. He was the eldest of the seven children of Max Weber Sr., a wealthy and prominent civil servant and member of the National Liberal Party,and his wife Helene Fallenstein, who descended from French Huguenot immigrants and held strong moral absolutist ideas. Weber made many contributions to sociology. One of the most significant washis understanding about how our social world differs from societies of earlier times. His work reflects the philosophical approach of idealism, which emphasizes the importance of ideas in shapingsociety. A conceptual tool used by Weber in his research was the concept of ideal type, defined as an abstract statement of the essential characteristics of any social phenomenon.
TWO WORLDVIEWS:TRADITION AND RATIONALITY
Weber differentiated between two types of societies in terms of how people viewed the world. The first is characterized by tradition, or sentiments and beliefs passed fromgeneration to generation. The other is characterized by rationality, or deliberate, matter-of-fact calculation of the most efficient means to accomplish a particular goal. This process of change fromtradition to rationality he termed the rationalization of society, denoting the historical change from tradition to rationality as the dominant mode of human thought.
WEBER’S GREAT THESIS:PROTENTATISM AND CAPITALISM
Weber pointed out that industrial capitalism developed where Calvinism was widespread. This is discussed as an example of how the power of ideas shapes human socialdevelopment. A central doctrine of this religion is predestination. Anxious to know their fate people looked for signs of God's favor. Some reassurance was to be found in personal success and achievement.RATIONAL SOCIAL ORGANIZATION
Weber believed rationality shaped modern society in various ways. Rational organization involves the following seven traits: distinctive social institutions, large-scale...