This chapter examines the status of the fledgling but burgeoning field of sociology from the waning days of the Kaiserreich through the last moments of the Republic. Two intellectual giants who did not live very long into the Republic's founding, Max Weber and Georg Simmel, set the agenda for the study of society in Weimar. The chapter suggests that it was the early demise of Weber and Simmel that permitted their heirs, most prominently Karl Mannheim, to render their writings canonical and to pursue the questions of modernity, rationalization, capitalism and the relationship of ideas and ideology to those phenomena with something like a common language—if not a language that facilitated intellectual consensus on any of these themes.
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