WeberJuly14ProtestantOutline - Development of Sociological...

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Development of Sociological Theory Manjusha Nair Key points Max Weber 1864-1920 Difference in German philosophy and Britain Influence of political economy and utilitarianism in England Idealism in Germany Max Weber 1864-1920 Difference in natural world and human conduct: While we can explain natural occurrences in terms of the application of causal laws, human conduct is intrinsically meaningful and has to be understood in a way which has no counterpart in nature. Centrality of history in the study of human conduct Cultural values are created by specific processes of social development Weber: A combination of history + cultural sensitivity + predominance of material forces in determining the course of development Max Weber 1864-1920 Weber separates capitalist enterprise from the pursuit of gain Desire for wealth has existed in most times and in most places Capitalism in the form of mercantilism has existed in China, India, Egypt, medieval Europe Even credit cards existed But only in Western countries has capitalism come to be associated with rational organization of formally free labor: Routinized, calculated administration within continuously functioning enterprises. Max Weber 1864-1920 A rationalized capitalistic enterprise implies two things: a disciplined labor force the regularized investment of capital How does this work? For e.g. if a worker is paid at piece rate, he will work only enough to satisfy his traditional needs. Why should he work more? Is it greed? Why should the capitalist invest? The more he gets the more he should consume. This happened in feudal cases. What made the capitalist keep on invest? Max Weber 1864-1920 There is something in capitalism that is making man work, produce more and acquire wealth, not for the purpose of enjoyment but for the sake of acquisition.
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This is what Weber calls the spirit of capitalism There is an impulse to accumulate with a positively frugal life. Weber says that this self discipline is very moral. Weber is tracing that to this worldly asceticism brought about by Puritanism/reformation Max Weber 1864-1920 The Question Why did capitalism develop in the west? All regions had some experience with trade.
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This note was uploaded on 11/11/2011 for the course COMMUNICAT 300 DoST taught by Professor Nair during the Summer '10 term at Rutgers.

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WeberJuly14ProtestantOutline - Development of Sociological...

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