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Max Weber (1864–1920)

Max Weber (1864–1920), a German philosopher, historian, and political economist. Weber’s ideas, along with those of Karl Marx (1818–1883) and Émile Durkheim (1858–1917) played a significant role in the development and growth of the social sciences. Weber advocated research that was value free or unencumbered by the researcher’s own views. However, Weber understood that social behavior did not fit precise measures like time and temperature, thus he advocated using Verstehen (German for “understanding” or “insight”) to develop the ability to see the world as other do. Using Verstehen, Weber studied the meanings and purposes that individuals attach to their own actions in a non-empirical manner called antipositivism. Weber wrote on a range of topics, two of his best known works are The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905), which is a study of the relationship between religion and economics in Western Europe, and its eventual dominance as a global system and The Three Types of Legitimate Rule (1922), which developed a tripartite classification of authority.

Max Weber Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: max web·er

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /mæks ˈwɛbər/
  • British English – /mæks ˈwɛbə/

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Cite the Definition of Max Weber

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “Max Weber.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved May 28, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/max-weber/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

Max Weber. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/max-weber/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “Max Weber.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed May 28, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/max-weber/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“Max Weber.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 28 May. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/max-weber/>.