Weber, Max

[ (vay-buhr) ]

A German sociologist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Weber maintained that modern capitalist society is created when technical advances require administration by a bureaucracy. Disagreeing with Karl Marx (see also Marx), Weber argued against the inevitability of revolution by the proletariat (see also proletariat) and the triumph of socialism, maintaining that social and political ideology can act independently of economic and material conditions. He also wrote extensively on the Protestant work ethic. Weber's research methods established the foundations of social science research, as distinct from the natural sciences.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.