The texts that form the set of “sociological Concepts and fundamentals” were written by Max Weber between 1918 and 1920 and published posthumously in 1922, as the first chapter of his famous “Economy and society”. The sociological Concepts and fundamental contain the conception of weberian sociology and its methodological guidelines. In its pages Weber defines sociology as a science that seeks to understand social action through the interpretation and explain that the causes of the development and the consequences of it. In addition, it formulates the basic concepts of its method -the concept of the understanding (interpretation) and the procedure with ideal types, as well as those concepts derived from the “action”, understood as a behavior to which the individual ascribes a sense or meaning.
This edition, directed by Joaquín Abellán, complete with a very useful glossary that sets out and explains the terms weberianos fundamental, shedding light on the maze concept that the various translations of the text made up to now have led to.
In this book Abellán done in the first chapter a study on the thought of Max Weber (1864-1920), focusing on the intellectual context of the work of the German sociologist, the concept weberian understanding of human actions and of social action, to conclude with the methodology weberian: ideal type, correspondence in the meaning, science, social values and the influence of Weber. “A thought of Weber, which was very marked of idealism and historicism, but at the same time by its efforts to overcome its limitations and its biases”. A construction of their social science influenced by three sources –the tradition of idealist, Marx and Nietzsche-but, in an attempt to overcome the idealism taking into account other factors such as the economic and the power in the explanation of modern society. A core of research focused on the investigation of the effects of culture on action and social development.
The book continues with the concept of sociology and of meaning, typology of social action and relationships, we follow the concepts of order legitimate, struggle, community, society, organization, among others. I would highlight the interesting section of Power/Domination (Macht, Herrschaft). This is followed by a glossary with explanations of the author of some statements of key theories weberianas, to better understand the dimension of the same, as a human Action, empathy, hermeneutics, order legitimate social order, ideal type, Verband –organization – and Zweckrational, among others. Abellán also clarifies the different translations, for him some equivocal that have been given in some concepts weberianos.
A book to bring us closer to the work of one of the founders of sociology. Reading required in certain sections of a detail in particular, but in general it offers a simple understanding.
Javier Prieto (2010) in a review on the 2006 edition of
Brief review about the editor and translator
Joaquín Abellán García is Professor of Political Science at the Complutense University of Madrid (Faculty of Political Science and Sociology, Department of Political Science (III). He has edited and translated a number of texts of the great classics of sociology and political science, particularly those of Max Weber, whose work is a great connoisseur. Among his publications on Weber: political Writings (1991/2008), science as a profession. Politics as a profession (1992/2001), Sociología of industrial work (1994), Power and politics in Max Weber (2004), science as a profession (2007/2009), The policy as a profession (2007), The “objectivity” of knowledge in social science and social policy (2009), sociological Concepts and fundamental (2006/2014), The protestant ethic and the “spirit” of capitalism (2001, 2012), Sociology of power. The types of domination (2007/2010).