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Social Work Theorists: Max Weber


(April 21, 1864- June 14, 1920). Max Weber was a German sociologist, mysticism philosopher, and political economist. He was best known for his thesis combining economic sociology and sociology of religion. His ideas influenced social theory, social research, and the entire discipline of sociology. Weber is often cited, with Émile Durkheim and Karl Marx, as among the three founding architects of sociology. Courtesy of New Mexico State University


Weber was a key proponent of methodological antipositivism, arguing for the study of social action through interpretive (rather than purely empiricist) means, based on understanding the purpose and meaning that individuals attach to their own actions. Weber's main intellectual concern was understanding the processes of rationalization, secularization, and "disenchantment" that he associated with the rise of capitalism and modernity, and which he saw as the result of a new way of thinking about the world. Courtesy of New Mexico State University


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