Towards a Review of
Max Weber and Sociology;
Modernism, Modernization, Postmodernism
On the basis of the material covered related to Max Weber and his contributions to
sociology, as well as modernism, modernization and postmodernism, you should now be
able to do the following:
• You should be able to identify the four areas into which Max Weber’s work can be
• In a sentence or two, you should be able to identify the man aspects of the
methodological position of the so-called Historical School and in an additional
sentence or two, indicate how Weber would have disagreed with the premises of the
• You should be able to indicate what is meant by an ideographic approach to
sociological or historical analysis as well as a nomothetic approach. You should then
be able to indicate how Weber’s approach to social analysis differed from both.
1. Ideographic means:
2. Nomothetic means:
• In a sentence or two, you should be able to indicate why Weber did not accept the
“Orthodox Marxists’” conception of Historical Materialism (that is, their position
on social analysis) and indicate how Weber’s position contrasted to it.
• You should be able to indicate what is meant Weber’s contention that sociology
should be “a comprehensive science of social action” – begin with “comprehensive
science” and then “social action.”
• You should be able to indicate in a sentence why Weber argued sociologists must use
“type concepts.” In an additional two or three sentences you should be able to indicate
what Weber meant by a “pure type” (or “ideal type”) and how this is important for his
approach to sociological analysis. • Weber identified four “pure types” of social action – you should be able to name each
one and provide a sentence for each that captures each type’s main features.
• In two or three sentences, you should be able to identify the main elements of
“scientific action” as Weber saw them.
• On the basis of what is entailed in scientific action, Weber was conce