Weber Essay

1635 WordsMar 6, 20127 Pages
Introduction This paper will discuss the life and contributions of Karl Emil Maximilian Weber (1864 – 1920), with specific references to his major independent contributions, including his theory on the Protestant ethic and bureaucracy. Brief Biography Max Weber was born in Erfurt, Germany to a middle class family. He was strongly influenced by his mother, Helene Weber, who was a Protestant with strong religious views. Weber studied religion extensively, and wrote the book ‘The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism’, his most famous work. (Wren & Bedeian, 2009) He studied law in the University of Heidelberg and became a lawyer. Later on, he went on to study history, economics, sociology, religion and languages. In 1893, Weber married his distant cousin, Marianne Schnitger. She was an important pillar of support to him and even wrote a biography for her husband. Following his father’s death in 1897, Weber health took a bad turn and suffered nervous breakdowns. It took him 5 years to recover and he finally returned to teaching during the period of the Second World War. He taught economics at Freiburg University as a professor. One of the turning points in Weber’s life was when he traveled to the United States with his wife in 1904. His observations in America played a pivotal role in shaping his ideas and greatly influenced his thoughts on capitalism and Protestantism. Upon his return to Germany, Weber promoted liberalism and wrote a series of essays criticizing German’s idealism. At the later part of his life, Weber resumed teaching and taught in the University of Vienna, followed by the University of Munich. In 1920, he suffered from pneumonia, and died at the age of 56. Key Publication and Theories One of Weber’s most well known ideas was his theory on bureaucracy. He coined the term as the capability of attaining the highest degree of

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