Many sociologists have helped shape the discipline. To learn more about prominent sociologists and how they changed sociology, read openstaxcollege.org/l/ferdinand-toennies. There is a separation of different theologies from class: “The theoditics of unhappiness tend to believe that wealth and other manifestations of privilege are signs or signs of evil. In contrast, happiness theatia emphasizes the idea that privilege is a blessing and deserved.  Weber is best known for his dissertation, which combines economic sociology and the sociology of religion, emphasizing the importance of cultural influences rooted in religion as a means of understanding the emergence of capitalism (as opposed to Marx`s historical materialism). [i] Weber first elaborated his theory in his seminal work The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905), in which he attributed ascetic Protestantism as one of the main “electoral affinities” involved in the rise of market capitalism and the rational-legal nation-state in the Western world. Weber argued that the promotion of capitalism is the basic principle of Protestantism, suggesting that the spirit of capitalism is inherent in Protestant religious values.  Protestant ethics formed the first part of Weber`s broader research on world religion, as he then examined the religions of China and India, as well as ancient Judaism, with particular attention to their different economic consequences and conditions of social stratification. In the years between the end of his thesis and his habilitation, Weber became interested in contemporary social policy.
In 1888, he joined the Verein für Socialpolitik, a new professional association of German economists affiliated with the Historical School, which saw the role of economics primarily in finding solutions to the social problems of the time, and which pioneered large-scale statistical studies on economic issues. He was also involved in politics and joined the Left Evangelical Social Congress.  In 1890, the association set up a research program to investigate the “Polish question” or Ostflucht: the influx of Polish agricultural workers into East Germany, as local workers migrated to rapidly industrializing German cities.  Weber was commissioned to conduct the study and wrote much of the final report, which attracted considerable attention and controversy and marked the beginning of Weber`s reputation as a social scientist.  Weber, along with Marx and Durkheim, is considered one of the three main fathers of the modern social sciences. That being said, Weber has developed a unique methodological position that distinguishes him from these other sociologists. Unlike positivists like Comte and Durkheim, Weber was an important proponent of methodical antipositivism. He presented sociology as a non-empiricist field whose purpose was not to collect data and predict outcomes, but to understand the meanings and goals that individuals attach to their own actions. In The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, his most famous text, Weber suggested that ascetic Protestantism was one of the most important “electoral affinities” associated with the rise of capitalism, bureaucracy, and the rational-legal nation-state in the Western world. Although some consider Weber`s argument to be a study of religion, it can also be interpreted as an introduction to his later work, particularly his studies on the interaction between different religious ideas and economic behavior.
In contrast to Marx`s “historical materialism,” Weber emphasized how cultural influences rooted in religion could be a means of understanding the emergence of capitalism. Weber saw religion as one of the fundamental forces of society. Weber departed from positivist sociology and instead emphasized understanding as the goal of sociology. To explain these observations, Weber argued that Protestantism, and in particular the ascetic Protestant or Calvinist denominations, had redefined the link between work and piety. Historically, Christian religious devotion has been accompanied by a rejection of secular affairs, including economic aspirations. In contrast, Weber showed that certain types of Protestantism, especially Calvinism, supported secular activities and the rational pursuit of economic gain. Because of the particularly Calvinist worldview, these activities were endowed with moral and spiritual significance. In these religions, believers expressed their piety to god through hard work and fulfillment in a worldly vocation or calling. Because of this religious orientation, human effort has shifted from contemplation of the divine to rational efforts to achieve economic gain. Moreover, the Protestant ethic, while promoting the pursuit of economic gain, avoided hedonistic pleasure. Thus, believers were encouraged to earn money, but not to spend it. This motivated believers to work hard, succeed in business, and reinvest their profits instead of spending them on frivolous pleasures.
The Calvinist concept of predestination also meant that material wealth could be seen as a sign of salvation in the hereafter. Predestination is the belief that God has chosen who is saved and who is not. The origin of a rational and inner ethic is associated in the West with the appearance of thinkers and prophets. which developed in a social context alien to Asian cultures. This context consisted of the political problems caused by the bourgeois status group of the city, without which neither Judaism, nor Christianity, nor the development of Hellenistic thought are conceivable. Jane Addams founded Hull House, a centre that served immigrants in need through social and educational programs while providing many opportunities for sociological research. Addams was founded in Chicago and worked closely with the Chicago School of Sociology at the University of Chicago. This school of thought places great importance on the environment in which relationships and behaviors develop. Research conducted at Hull House provided information on child labour, immigration, health care and other areas of public policy. Weber saw religion as one of the fundamental forces of society.  Its purpose was to find reasons for the different paths of development of the cultures of the West and the East, but without judging or appreciating them, like some of the contemporary thinkers who followed the social Darwinist paradigm; Weber wanted above all to explain the characteristic elements of Western civilization.  He asserted that Calvinist (and more broadly Protestant) religious ideas had a great influence on social innovation and the development of the Economic System of the West, but noted that they were not the only factors in this development.
Other notable factors mentioned by Weber were the rationalism of scientific pursuit, the fusion of observation with mathematics, science and jurisprudence, rational systematization, and the bureaucratization of government administration and commercial enterprise.  Ultimately, Weber`s study of the sociology of religion focused on a characteristic part of Western culture, the decline of belief in magic, or what he called the “disenchantment of the world.”  The Religion of China: Confucianism and Taoism is Weber`s second major work on the sociology of religion. .