Understanding Weber provides an accessible and comprehensive explanation of the central issues of Weber's work. Using the most recent scholarship and editions of Weber's writings, Sam Whimster establishes the full range, depth and development of Max Weber's approach to the social and cultural sciences. This ground-breaking book:
- locates the central issues in Weber's writings and relates them to the golden era of social and cultural sciences
- argues that Weber remains the major exponent of the classical tradition still relevant today
- offers a new interpretation of the dynamic of Weber’s career as historian, social-economist, methodologist and sociologist.
Weber's sociology still stands as a successful and valid underwriting of the substantive fields of power, law, rulership, culture, religion, civilizational configurations, and economic sociology. At a time of the turning away from grand theory to empirical policy studies, this book asserts the authority of Weber's conception and calls for a critical engagement with his legacy in order to understand the dynamics of a globalizing modernity.
This is an indispensable guide to Weber's writings and will be an invaluable companion to The Essential Weber (2004). The book closely tracks the development of Weber’s thinking, an exploration that will make it an obligatory choice for undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as researchers in the fields of sociological theory, economic sociology and cultural studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Weber before Weberianism Sociology, Revisited 2. Capitalism in Contemporary Debates: Sombart, Weber and Simmel 3. The Protestant Ethic and the ‘Spirit’ of Capitalism 4. Wissenschaftslehre 5. The Reluctant Sociologist: From the Protestant Ethic to the Grundriss der Sozialökonomik 6. Going Beyond Weber 7. The Sociology of Religion 8. Power, legitimacy and democracy 9. Sociological Categories and the Types of Economic Activity: A Final Account
"In creating, single-handedly, a new genre for the appreciation of Weber - simultaneously didactic, contextual and (mostly) comprehensive - Sam Whimster's achievement is considerable...Whimster's book is indispensable."
-- Peter Baehr, Lingnan University, Canadian Journal of Sociology, Vol. 33, No.3, 2008
"Understanding Weber by Sam Whimster brings together more than a decade of cutting-edge work in Weber scholarship since the late 1990s...All of the most important developments in Weber research over the last ten to fifteen years are surveyed, collated, and interpreted in this extremely informative and fluently written volume."
-- Austin Harrington, University of Leeds/University of Efurt, Canadian Journal of Sociology, Vol. 33, No.3, 2008