Step 1: Interpretation.
Using your own words, explain what Weber is trying to convey at specific points in the text.Use references to the text to back up your statements.
Step 2: Reflection.
How does this point fit into Weber’s larger argument contained in the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism?
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
- At the beginning of Chapter II of PESC, pp. 8-11, Weber describes the spirit of capitalism. How does he illustrate this state of mind? What are the main characteristics of this spirit of modern capitalism? Summarize the main points he makes as clearly as you can. Give examples.
- Weber then goes on to discuss the mental state that this capitalist spirit had to struggle against historically (esp. on pp. 14-18). How does Weber characterize economic traditionalism or the traditionalist economic ethic? Give examples.
- Following this to the end of the chapter, he discusses the spirit of capitalism as an rationalistic economic ethic. How has economic rationalism transformed Western societies? What are some examples of economic rationalism or rationalization?
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