The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism HTML version

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
Max Weber
Fonte: (American
Studies at The University of Virginia)
About the electronic version:
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
Weber, Max
Scanned, tagged, copy-edited and published by the University of Virginia American
Studies Program 2001.
This version available from American Studies at the University of Virginia.
Charlottesville, Va.
Freely available for non-commercial use provided that this header is included in its
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About the print version:
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
Max Weber
Trans. Talcott Parsons, Anthony Giddens.
London ; Boston : Unwin Hyman, 1930.
A glance at the occupational statistics of any country of mixed religious
composition brings to light with remarkable frequency a situation which has several times
provoked discussion in the Catholic press and literature, and in Catholic congresses in
Germany, nam ely, the fact that business leaders and owners of capital, as well as the
higher grades of skilled labor, and even more the higher technically and commercially
trained personnel of modern enterprises, are overwhelmingly Protestant. This is true not
only in cases where the difference in religion coincides with one of nationality, and thus of
cultural development, as in Eastern Germany between Germans and Poles. The same
thing is shown in the figures of religious affiliation almost wherever capitalism, at t he
time of its great expansion, has had a free hand to alter the social distribution of the
population in accordance with its needs, and to determine its occupational structure. The
more freedom it has had, the more clearly is the effect shown. It is true that the greater
relative participation of Protestants in the ownership of capital, in management, and the
upper ranks of labor in great modern industrial and commercial enterprises, may in part
be explained in terms of historical circumstances, which extend far back into the past,
and in which religious affiliation is not a cause of the economic conditions, but to a certain
extent appears to be a result of them. Participation in the above economic functions