My colleague Nick Gane has just had his new book Max Weber and Contemporary Capitalism published by Palgrave McMillan. I read the first two chapters yesterday and the were brilliant. I’m going to work through the rest. It really takes a fresh look at Weber and critically uses his work to think about how to conceptualise capitalism. It’s also quite provocative in terms of its discussion of sociology. Here’s the description from the publishers website:
This book turns back to a famous classical source – the work of Max Weber – in order to think in new ways about capitalism today. By reading between Weber and a range of contemporary theorists, including Gilles Deleuze, Ulrich Beck and Zygmunt Bauman, it is argued that the on-going value of Weber’s work lies in the concepts that underpin his economic and cultural sociology. Weber’s method of concept formation is addressed before five main concepts are assessed and developed: capitalism, market, neoliberalism, class and modernity. These concepts are assembled into a network of thinking devices that are used to frame a sociological understanding of the present. It is argued that through such conceptual work it is possible to think creatively about the underlying dynamics of contemporary capitalism, and in so doing move beyond the limits of so-called postmodern and second modern theory.