Max Weber by Amanda Shen

Early Life of Weber

  • Born April 21st, 1864, in Erfurt, Prussia
  • Enrolled at the University of Heidelberg in 1882, but the study was soon interrupted by military service at Strassburg
  • Finished his studies at University of Berlin afterwards
  • Married his second cousin, Marianne, and became a professor in political economy
  • In 1898, he resigned his professorship due to his suffering in nervousness and illness
The "Ambitious Scholar"

Max Weber developed studies on sociology, religion, capitalism, rationalism, bureaucracy, industrialization, agriculture, and the forms of political leadership through out his life. He brought social science to Germany, and he helped creating a methodology and a body of literature of sociology. His works were direct critical confrontations to Marx and Nietzsche's ideas, they continue to stimulate the emergence of new ideas, and inspire scholars from all over the world.

Bureaucratic Model (Legal-Rational Model)

Weber proposed a bureaucratic structure evolved from traditional structure of administration and developed through rational-legal authority. Weber believed that jurisdiction of leaders should be clearly specified, activities should be distributed as official duties. He thought that all the organizations should follow hierarchical principle: subordinates should follow orders or superiors, but they should also hold their own rights. He also proposed adding intentional, abstract rules of govern decisions and actions. Weber believes that rules in administration should be stable, exhaustive, and decisions should be recorded in permanent files. Also, Weber said that means of production or administration should belong to office, and personal property should be separated from office property. Officials should be selected based on their skills, abilities, appointed not elected, and compensated by salary. In addition, employment by organizations is considered a career, so, the officials are full-time employees and should be looking forward to a work in this career life-long. They should experience a trial period before getting the position, and they should be protected from arbitrary dismissal.

Weber viewed his model of bureaucracy as a system of power under the control of leaders based on discipline. Weber wanted this rational-legal model to be considered the most stable of systems of bureaucracy for both superiors and subordinates, and he desired this bureaucratic system to handle more complex operations than traditional systems.

The Protestant Ethic and the “Spirit” of Capitalism

Weber argued that the rise of capitalism in Europe was directly influenced by Protestantism in northern regions. Weber concluded that Protestantism ideas gave religious ethics to hard work, saving, and investing, which is exactly the foundations for capitalist development. This famous argument seriously challenged the basic ideas of Marxism. According to Weber, religious ideas plays a role just as important as economics or class struggles did in the rise of capitalism for Europe.

McKay, John P. A History of Western Society since 1300 for AP. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2014. Print.

Many of Weber's works were inspired by tttttttttttttttttttttt the German idealism movement emerging jjjhjhjkjhjhjhjhd in Germany in the late 18th and early 19th ihhjhjhjh centuries. His ideas were influenced by the jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj Kantian ethics of Immanuel Kant.

Max Weber had a considerable significance during his lifetime among many German social scientist. However, it is said that his major impact on Europe was not felt until after his death. This is because Weber published very little of his work in book from during his lifetime, and most of the journals he published had restricted audiences of scholarly specialist.

Last Years of Max Weber
  • During World War One, Weber's thesis on Protestantism and capitalism and his extensive attack on German policies during war stimulated liberal sentiment against the German government’s war aims at that time. He was thus viewed as a traitor.
  • Weber resumed teaching at the end of WWI at University of Vienna, and after that, at University of Munich in 1919.
  • He died in Munich on 14 June, 1920, due to Pneumonia.

The fate of our times is characterized by rgtg rationalization and intellectualisation and, hfjhgdfgdsgs above all, by the "disenchantment of the whjgdgshs world. — Max Weber

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