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Extra info for Alfred Weber and the Crisis of Culture, 1890–1933

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One theme dominated all others in his writings during this early period, the role of domestic, or putting out, industry (Hausindustrie) in the German economy, especially as evidenced in the production of ready-made clothing (Konfektion). The relationship between factory labor and other forms of labor such as craft artisanry (Handwerk) and domestic labor, had become a very important issue in the mid-1890s. In 1894, Gerhard Hauptmann’s drama The Weavers, viewed as a protest against the conditions of domestic laborers, was produced for the first time.

Weber’s generation of the Historical School viewed the state as a cultural institution, but not as the cultural institution that defined the 28 Alfred Weber and the Crisis of Culture nation. 49 The two most important statements of that position, both of which can be seen as ideational studies, were Werner Sombart’s Modern Capitalism (1902) and Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904). These two built on Ferdinand Tönnies’s seminal 1887 work, Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft (Community and Society).

54 Or they could seek a new type of meaning in the terms of the modern rationalized world, as did Max Weber. Or they could hope to restore an organic unity to the world without trying to turn back the clock in a reactionary manner. 55 As indicated above, Weber’s generation of the Historical School did not simply begin their careers by writing ideational studies. Those came only in the first decades of the twentieth century. 56 In conducting these empirical studies, they became aware of the fissures in the discursive coalition.

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