About this Site

I originally authored this web site back in 1996 for my students in social theory. There is no claim made here of originality for the bulk of the material--you can dig out most of the information from standard texts or through other secondary and primary sources. My intention in doing the site was simply to present Weber in a fairly coherent and comprehensive manner, using language and structure for the generalists amongst us.  I do, however, claim some originality in regard to explaining the rationalization process as well as the difference between formal and substantive rationality (what I have called "the irrationality factor").  In fact, I expand on these Weberian themes considerably in my book, Industrializing America: Understanding Contemporary Society through Classical Sociological Analysis.  I have found Weber's ideas on rationalization, the irrationality factor, and sociocultural evolution, to be particularly difficult to get across to students. Yet these ideas are at the heart of Weber's sociology and, I believe, central in understanding contemporary society.

I hope you find this site useful and will take the time to fill out the site evaluation form off of the main page. I intend to post these comments [after removing any obscenities]in the near future.  You may also want to visit my sites on T. Robert Malthus and C. Wright Mills.

--Frank W. Elwell (September 22, 2000)

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