Author's best-known and most controversial study relates the rise of a capitalist economy to the Puritan belief that hard work and good deeds were outward signs of faith and salvation.
The Protestant ethic — a moral code stressing hard work, rigorous self-discipline, and the organization of one's life in the service of God — was made famous by sociologist and political economist Max Weber. In this brilliant study (his best-known and most controversial), he opposes the Marxist concept of dialectical materialism and its view that change takes place through "the struggle of opposites." Instead, he relates the rise of a capitalist economy to the Puritan determination to work out anxiety over salvation or damnation by performing good deeds — an effort that ultimately discouraged belief in predestination and encouraged capitalism. Weber's classic study has long been required reading in college and advanced high school social studies classrooms.
Book News In what is arguably one of the most famous and influential works of sociology and is certainly Weber's most famous, he argued that Calvinist asceticism helped sow the seeds of capitalism by promoting selfless labor and restricting material consumption. This edition is an unabridged republication of the 1958 English translation published by Charles Scribner's Sons. Cited in Books for College Libraries, 3rd ed . Annotation (c) Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)