Weber’s critique of modernity centred on how it shaped the habitus – life-conduct and motivations – of the modern individual. I explicate six habitus-types that appear in Weber’s work: the early-modern Puritan Berufsmensch, the modern specialist, the modern industrial worker, the politician, the civil servant and the citizen voter. In doing so, I identify the main characteristics of each type and the causal mechanisms through which Western modernity’s core features – capitalism and bureaucracy – brought them into being. Further, I discuss two habitus-related problems that concerned Weber: the general failure of the modern habitus to achieve ‘personality’; and the mismatch between habitus and occupational role in the Wilhelmine political sphere. I then explain the practical reforms through which Weber hoped to address these problems. Finally, I show how this analysis helps resolve two apparent contradictions which have long perplexed Weber scholars.
- labour unions
- Max Weber
- voluntary associations
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science