What Was the main theme of max weber's sociology? Analysis of the 'Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism'and weber's rationality theory.

1738 Words Nov 10th, 2003 7 Pages
Max Weber's observations and conclusions regarding modernity and its causes have named him one of the most influential sociologists of our era. Weber believed that in the West rationality had come to become the predominant impetus for action. Weber said that Rationality was one of four motivations towards actions--the remaining three, Traditional, Affective, and Value-Oriented, had been based on more humanistic qualities and had all faded into almost insignificance in the modern age. He thought that this change in stimulus had led to men becoming dehumanised, trapped in the 'iron cage' of production and bureaucracy. Weber's writings sought to understand why Capitalism had come to predominate in the West, rather than other parts of the …show more content…
In either case, Weber certainly qualifies his thesis that Protestantism had an effect, be it passive or aggressive, on the growth of Capitalism. The spread of Lutheranism in 1517 was a very important period in European history. The changes that Martin Luther made completely changed people's outlook of religion. By making changes such as translating the bible into German so that all could read it and introducing hymn singing to the churches he made religion more accessible to the masses. People began to have a more personal relation to God and in many ways faith became much more ardent. The teachings of Luther were adopted and amended by John Calvin, who added one very significant modification, that of Predestination. Predestination said that God had decided each person fate before they were even born and that this decision was irreversible. According to Weber, this created a sense of anxiety in the people, which was countered or obscured by hard work. Furthermore Weber said that people believed success in work would prove they were of the select few chosen by God to go to heaven; this belief led people to work hard and accumulate wealth. Most importantly perhaps, Weber argues that Puritans were not interested in high risk ventures like previous merchants but wanted regular, methodical work and weren't interested in spending but in saving and investing--these characteristics