Friday, February 6, 2009

Weber & The Protestant Ethic

In the Protestant Ethic, Weber suggests that central ideas in Protestant/Calvinistic religion laid the foundation for what he deems the "spirit of capitalism." Every time I read Weber I am fascinated to see how he not only engaged Marxian theory, but also improved upon it.

For me, Weber draws attention to the power of ideas that undergird the economic, political, and social structures that shape our lives as humans. At the same time, Weber does not forget that material interests/conditions circulate around and through the production and reproduction of ideas. Weber helps us see how the world is shaped by ideas as well as material conditions; how does he do this? What are some specific examples that Weber offers in terms of linking the Protestant Ethic to the Capitalist Spirit? Can you apply Weber's argument in any way today?

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