Max Weber's Theory of Personality: Individuation, Politics and Orientalism in the Sociology of Religion

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    Sara R. Farris

    Publisher: Haymarket Books

    Year: 2014

    Format: Paperback

    Size: 229 pages

    ISBN: 9781608464166

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Max Weber's writings in The Sociology of Religion are today acknowledged as a classic of the social sciences. They are key texts for understanding Weber’s central sociological concepts concerning Western and Eastern ‘civilizations,' and, according to this book rely on a deeply flawed and essentially orientalist concept of personality.

Max Weber's Theory Of Personality argues that the concept and problematic of personality plays a pivotal role within these works. Providing a detailed reconstruction of this concept within Weber's systematic studies of world religions as well as throughout his methodological and political writings, this book shows its complex development within three strictly related problematics associated with Weber's influential comparative historical sociology and theory of social action, individuation, politics and orientalism.

What People Are Saying

"Sara R. Farris’s analysis of the different areas of Weber’s research is very informative and substantial; her differentiated ideology-critique is convincing and inspiring. By focusing on Weber’s concept of the Occidental ‘personality’ and its counter-image of an Asiatic 'non-personality', she has found an excellent theoretical key to lay bare the Orientalist pattern underlying his comparative analysis of world religions. Whoever tries to work with Weber’s sociological tools needs to be aware of the ideological baggage contained in his methodological approach.” Jan Rehmann, author of Max Weber, Modernisierung als passive Revolution (Argument, 1998) and Theories of Ideology: The Powers of Alienation and Subjection (Haymarket, 2014).

“Sara R. Farris’s path-breaking book is the first systematic attempt to understand Max Weber’s central concept of personality. By means of powerful critical scrutiny, Farris reveals the class-based, Eurocentric and Orientalist presuppositions of Weber’s concept. Readers interested in Weber’s sociology should not miss this outstanding piece of research.” Michael Löwy, author of La cage d’acier: Max Weber et le marxisme wébérien (Stock, 2013).

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