4. Max Weber - MaxWeber (18641920)...

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Click to edit Master subtitle style  7/15/11 “The fate of our times is characterized by  rationalization and intellectualization and,  above all, by the disenchantment of the  world.” Max Weber (1864-1920)
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 7/15/11 Biographical Sketch Born in Erfurt, Germany in 1864. Father was a political bureaucrat and very pragmatic;  Mother was a devout Calvinist and ascetic Weber adopted many of his mother’s traits. For  example, his life as a student was described thus:  “He  continues the rigid work discipline, regulates his life by the clock, divides the daily  routine into exact sections for the various subjects, saves in his ways, by feeding  himself evenings in his room with a pound of raw chopped beef and four fried eggs.” Father dies in 1897. Shortly thereafter Weber begins  to display behavior which culminated in a nervous  breakdown, and was absent from academic work for 
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 7/15/11 Intellectual Context He was a contemporary of Freud, Dewey, Robert  Park, Charles Cooley, and Durkheim. Interestingly, Weber never mentions or cites Durkheim in any  writing. Very likely, Weber wanted nothing to do with  Durkheim’s  positivism . Despite Weber’s mental issues, he also never met Freud. Weber had an encyclopedic mind, to put it mildly,  including exposure to: classic philosophy, theology,  economic theory, ancient/modern history, Freud, etc.
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 7/15/11 Weber’s Sociology: Fundamental Concepts Levels of analysis: Drawing on Marx, Weber sees  sociology as a science of social action; the major  focus of which is the substantive  meaning  that people  attach to their actions. These actions all take place within a specific sociohistorical and  temporal context. Weberian analysis focuses on linking micro/subjective  meanings of actors to macro/structural context in which they  act. Verstehen: “Understanding.” Weber argues that this  “taking the role of the other” is necessary to 
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 7/15/11 Causality Because social scientists have use of  verstehen , causal  understanding in the social sciences is different from  that in the natural sciences. “ ‘Meaningfully’ interpretable human conduct  (‘action’) is  identifiable by reference to ‘valuations’ and meanings. For this  reasons, our criteria for  causal  explanation have a unique kind  of satisfaction in the ‘historical’ explanation of such an ‘entity.’” This is an attempt to express the conflict between  nomothetic   and  idiographic  knowledge. (Roughly the difference between  abstract generalizations – as in the natural sciences – and  contextualized ‘thick’ knowledge, as in the humanities and  social sciences.)
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This note was uploaded on 07/13/2011 for the course SOC 320 taught by Professor Staff during the Summer '08 term at University of Louisville.

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4. Max Weber - MaxWeber (18641920)...

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