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The Protestant Ethic Thesis As American Sociology Of Religion

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism that Talcott Parsons's translation brought to Anglo-America in 1930. Parsons described his contribution to the discipline as that of acting "as an importer" - a few hundred pages yielding tens of thousands, perhaps even more, as it is virtually impossible to catalogue the entire range of "Protestant ethic" scholarship. A dominant chord in sociology today would interpret Weber in the context of European sociology and social movements. The PESC is a preeminently American sociological text, a book that was largely ignored in Germany except by a few critics, "American" in the sense that underlying it was a fascination by Weber with an alternative way of doing and seeing social life from that of fin-de-siècle Europe, an American way by which Weber enthralled and repelled, but which ultimately won the day in light of subsequent developments in Europe.

Keywords: American capitalism; European sociology; PESC ; Protestant ethic; Talcott Parsons; Weber



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