Classic Sociological Theory Part 2
24th January 2012
The Protestant and Spirit of Capitalism- The number one classic ever written. It has a real power, that
connects things that seemed to be disconnected. The ideal type of protestant transform into the ideal
type of capitalism. Why did he use Spirit of Capitalism and not just Capitalism? Weber studied it from
not only an economical level but the meaning that they get from capitalism. People wouldn’t do it
unless it had a meaning. Contrast to Catholism where the religion was highly depended on the Priest. If
you wanted to talk to god you had to talk to the Priest so he can talk to god for you. However
Protestanism says that everyone has a close relationship to god.
An Ethic is a way of life, a practice. Weber is interested in how all the theories of god determines a way
of live, how to live in your day to day life?
Spirit of Capitalism
What is it? -
Why do we care?
Where did it come from?
Pg.75 Remember time is money…
Industriousness is a moral duty, you have a moral obligation to get rich. Don’t be idle and
don’t waste your time and not be productive. Must always make people think you are good
and hard working all the time. This attitude Weber described to be a new thing in the word
Modern vs. adventure capitalism- people always wanted to get rich (adventure capitalism).
Taking a big risk and being daring to make money. For example an adventure capitalism would
be making a big bet to make money, instant money. Modern capitalism, is someone having a
rational business plan, making a little each day and trying to build up capital. This is unlike
winning the lottery (adventure capital). People get meaning out of hard work. Rich people like
Capitalism because they get to make a lot of money, while poor people get exploited and
barely make anything.
Ideal vs. Material- Weber says that Capitalism didn’t appear around the richest people first,(
those with materials). It showed up in small towns in America, the people were general poor.
Those who had material, the rich people weren’t aware of this idea of modern capitalism.
Capitalism is not a reflection of who controlled property and who had money, because the
people created modern capitalism were actually the poor people , the “ideals” who had no
Where did the Spirit of Capitalism come from? Rationalism – Weber says that it is the idea
that is linked to rationalizing economic activity. By applying SCIENTIFIC METHODS to the work.