Max Weber the City

Max Weber: The City
Classical Sociological Theory
Kristina M. Hendriks
Northern Illinois University

Max Weber: The City
      This paper will examine Max Weber and his ideas as depicted through his text, The City, 1958. The City, published after his death, is just another account amongst many of his concepts of ideal types and rationalization of the west. In his texts he refers to the west as the occident. “Max Weber (1864-1920), combined a methodical, scientific approach with a concern about both the material conditions and idea systems of modern societies,” (Edles & Applerouth, 2005). This is something that will be seen through this discussion of The City. The ideal type of a city will be examined and evidence from the text will be given to support the development of cities into modern and rational cities.
      Weber is strongly tied to historical explanations and social evolution. This is seen not only in The City but also in his works like The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904), where he goes into great detail. Also, it is important to mention that Max Weber was highly influenced by German Idealism not just materialism. He focused on material facts but also used his ideal types to account for the validity of ideas. He is, in all his works, trying to show how modernity and rationalization happened in the west first. This is extremely evident in The City.
      To begin setting up Weber’s ideal type of a city, he does not see size as a determinant of whether or not some conglomerate of people constitutes a city. “The many definitions of the city have only one element in common: namely that the city consists simply of a collection of one or more separate dwellings but is a relatively closed settlement,” (Weber, pg. 65). This lays out his first point; the city is a closed settlement of individual dwellings. This means that the city could be made up of simply two separate homes or could be made up of a large amount of...