The Essential Weber
Edited by Sam Whimster
Routledge – 2003 – 432 pages
Weber is increasingly being recognised as the theorist of modernity. Avoiding the mistakes of other classical thinkers, his sociological analysis has an increasing validity and relevance. Selected by one of the world's leading Weber scholars, this book introduces the work of this key thinker to a new generation of readers. Central themes highlighted in the collection are:
* the developmental logic of world religions
* the rise of modern capitalism
* the multi-dimensionality of power in societies
* the dilemmas of modernity
* the theory of social action
* ideal types and the objectivity of knowledge.
The majority of the readings have been specially translated for this collection both to improve accuracy and to make Weber speak anew in the idiom of the twenty-first century. Each part opens with a short introduction explaining the sequence of readings, the flow of ideas and their intellectual context, and concludes with a guide to further reading.
Introduction to Max Weber Part 1: Comparing Civilizations and the Origins of Modernity Introduction to Part 1 1. Puritanism and the Spirit of Capitalism 2. Confucianism and Puritanism Compared 3. Introduction to the Economic Ethics of World Religions 4. Religions of Civilization and their Attitude to the World 5. Prefatory Remarks to the Collected Essays in the Sociology of Religion Further reading Part 2: Structures of Power and Stratification Introduction to Part 2 6. Politics and the State 7. The Three Pure Types of Legitimate Rule 8. The Nation 9. The Belief in Common Ethnicity 10. The Household Community 11. Capitalism in Antiquity 12. The Conditions of Maximum Formal Rationality of Capital Accounting 13. Status Groups and Classes 14. The Distribution of Power in Society: Classes, status groups and parties 15. Parties Further Reading Part 3: The Dilemmas of Modernity Introduction to Part 3 16. Intermediate Reflection on the Economic Ethics of World Religions 17. Bureaucracy: Characteristics of modern bureaucracy; the technical superiority of bureaucratic organization over administration by notables 18. Formal and Substantive Rationalization: The general conditions of legal formalism 19. The Vocation of Politics 20. The Vocation of Science Further reading Part 4: Methodology of the Social Sciences Introduction to Part 4 21. Basic Sociological Concepts 22. The 'Objectivity' of Knowledge in the Social and Policy Sciences Further Reading