Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Weber, Max (1864–1920)
Max Weber was a German legal scholar, economist, and sociologist whose contributions to theory still reverberate in modern social thought. His name is associated with a wide range of concepts and pieces of theory. The former include, for instance, ideal type, status, social closure, legitimate domination, charisma, bureaucracy, rationalization, and the famous typology distinguishing instrumentally rational, value rational, traditional and affectual types of social action. Equally famous are his analyses of the Protestant ethic and its relation to the spirit of capitalism, his discussion of nations, ethnicity, and nationalism, his notion of “monopoly on the legitimate use of violence” as a defining characteristic of the state, his definition of power as “the probability that one actor in a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his own will despite resistance,” and his insistence on value-free social science. Although these traces of Max Weber's thought in contemporary social ...