Max Weber's Comparative-Historical Sociology

Max Weber's Comparative-Historical Sociology : An Interpretation and Critique

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The revival of comparative and historical sociology in recent decades has largely neglected the contributions of Max Weber. Yet his work offers a useful resource for this field. Kalberg rejects the view that Weber's historical writings consist only of an ambiguous mixture of fragmented ideal types on the one hand and the charting of vast processes of rationalization and bureaucratization on the other. On the contrary, Weber's substantive work provides coherent and distinctive guidelines for comparative-historical analysis. A systematization and reconstruction of his comparative-historical sociology, Kalberg argues, uncovers a sophisticated approach which addresses agency and structure, multiple causation and model-building. Kalberg shows how Weber's work casts a direct light upon issues of importance for comparative historical research today; it addresses the whole range of problems and dilemmas confronted by the comparative-historical enterprise. Kalberg claims that once the full analytic and empirical power of Weber's substantive writings is made clear, they can be seen to generate procedures and strategies appropriate to the study of present day, as well as past, social processes. This book should appeal to students and professionals in the areas of sociology, anthropology and comparative history.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 152 x 229mm
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • references
  • 0745611559
  • 9780745611556

Table of contents

Part I: Foundational Strategies and Procedures 1. The Agency-Structure Linkage: The Pluralism of Motives and Weber's Structuralism 2. Weber's Multicausality Part II: The Causal Sociology: Procedures and Strategies 3. The Level of Analysis: The Ideal Type 4. Ideal Types as Hypothesis-Forming Models: Economy and Society 5. The Mode of Causal Analysis Reconstructed: Causal Methodology and Theoretical Framework.show more

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