Influenced by karl marx, nietzche, hegel and simmel. Economy and society, the protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism, the sociology of religion. Great respect for marx (never met), similarities is lives. Father was authoritarian who was an abusive husband (made him question authority) Found problems with social revolution and never believed there would be one (opposite of marx) Emotional break down after father"s death (guilt from evicting abusive father) Historical method: looking back to see what capitalism replaced, how/ why it emerges (feudalism) Class was important to view social/ economic issues and changes socially. Focus on the lived experience of the people (qualities: also respected by quantitative theorists. Interpretive thought- your interpretation is your reality (different versions of the truth/ reality) all are valid: he uses this as a lens to understand your world. Looks for general connections (women, etc) but are shaped by experiences. Need to understand things change as the world changes.