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Max Weber in America$
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Lawrence A. Scaff

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691147796

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691147796.001.0001

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(p.39) Three Capitalism
Max Weber in America

Lawrence A. Scaff

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how Max Weber's time in Chicago shaped his views on capitalism. Chicago in 1904 was the world's fifth largest urban center (behind London, New York, Paris, and Berlin). The city was a new industrial and commercial magnet and transportation hub, with a rapidly increasing working class and major labor, public health, and social issues. The chapter first considers Weber's impressions of Chicago before discussing his thoughts on political reform and the consequences of it in the face of corruption, rule by bosses, and the big city political machines. It then describes the Webers' visit to Hull House and their interest in the Women's Trade Union League, a chapter of the association founded by Jane Addams. It also analyzes Weber's opinion regarding the conditions of the working class in the stockyards, along with his notion of character as social capital.

Keywords:   capitalism, Max Weber, Chicago, political reform, Hull House, Jane Addams, working class, stockyards, character, social capital

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