Portal:Social sciences

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Social Sciences Portal

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The social sciences are a group of academic disciplines that study human aspects of the world. They differ from the arts and humanities in that the social sciences tend to apply use of the scientific method in the study of humanity, including quantitative and qualitative methods.

The social sciences approach subjective, inter-subjective, interactive, systemic, and constructed aspects of society as empirically existent systems which can be objectively proven. However, are traditionally referred to as soft sciences. This is in contrast to hard sciences, such as the natural sciences, which may focus exclusively on systemic aspects of nature.

The word "science" is older than its modern use, which is as a short-form for "natural science". Uses of the word "science", in contexts other than those of the natural sciences, are historically valid, so long as they are describing an art or organized body of knowledge which can be taught objectively. The use of the word "science" is not therefore always an attempt to claim that the subject in question ought to stand on the same footing of inquiry as a natural science.

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Selected biography

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Maximilian Carl Emil Weber (German pronunciation: [maks ˈveːbɐ]) (21 April 1864 – 14 June 1920) was a German political economist and sociologist who was considered one of the founders of the modern study of sociology and public administration. He began his career at the University of Berlin, and later worked at Freiburg University, University of Heidelberg, University of Vienna and University of Munich. He was influential in contemporary German politics, being an advisor to Germany's negotiators at the Treaty of Versailles and to the commission charged with drafting the Weimar Constitution.

Weber's major works deal with rationalization in sociology of religion and government.[1] His most famous work is his essay The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, which began his work in the sociology of religion. In this work, Weber argued that religion was one of the non-exclusive reasons for the different ways the cultures of the Occident and the Orient have developed, and stressed importance of particular characteristics of ascetic Protestantism which led to the development of capitalism, bureaucracy and the rational-legal state in the West. In another major work, Politics as a Vocation, Weber defined the state as an entity which claims a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force, a definition that became pivotal to the study of modern Western political science. His most known contributions are often referred to as the 'Weber Thesis'.

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  1. ^ Weber wrote his books in German. Original titles printed after his death (1920) are most likely compilations of his unfinished works (note the 'Collected Essays...' form in titles). Many translations are made of parts or selections of various German originals, and the names of the translations often do not reveal what part of German work they contain. Weber's work is generally Iquoted according to the critical Gesamtausgabe (collected works edition), which is published by Mohr Siebeck in Tübingen, Germany. For an extensive list of Max Weber's works see list of Max Weber works.
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