MAX WEBER (1864-1920)


Max Weber is one of the best known figures in sociological theory. Weber was committed to the study of causality, the probability that an event will be followed or accompanied by another event. He also believed that social scientists should not let their personal values influence their scientific research. Sociology should be "value free."

One of Weber’s best known contributions to contemporary sociology is the ideal type. An ideal type is a concept constructed by a social scientist, based on his or her interests and theoretical orientation, to capture the essential features of some social phenomenon. Weber also analyzed the how rationality has become institutionally embedded in modern industrialized societies. He defines rationality in two ways: means-ends and value rationality, both of which refer to types of actions. There are four specific types: practical rationality, theoretical rationality, substantive rationality, and formal rationality. Additionally, Weber’s work with religion and capitalism involved cross-cultural historical research.

Max Weber

This comprehensive site offers multiple links to Weber's perspectives on class status and party, legitimacy, bureaucracy, and both politics and science as vocations. Complete with the music of Pink Floyd. A definite must-see! - weber

Dead Sociologists Society - Weber

This comprehensive site includes biographical information about Weber, links to his main ideas, and provides examples of some of his original work.

Weberian Sociology of Religion

Edited by Moriyuki Abukyma, this link presents Weber as the founder of sociology and the sociology of religion. This link provides many opportunities to seek information regarding Weber’s perspectives on religion in general; and specifically on Japanese religions and Christianity.


Weber discusses how the rationalization process legitimizes such processes as depersonalization and oppressive routine. It also discusses how the elite is capable of using rationalization to achieve a desired end. This web sites provides insights on how rationalization may be the fundamental root of many of society’s problems.

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

This link combines Weber’s study of religion with that of capitalism, offering a thorough explanation of the interconnectedness of the two subjects. Weber’s views on the affects of religious affiliation and social stratification on the Spirit of Capitalism are discussed. Specific factors, such as occupation, religious regulation, and work ethic are detailed. Additionally, capitalism is explored within the realm of asceticism.