Elective Affinities of the Protestant Ethic: Weber and the Chemistry of Capitalism*

  title={Elective Affinities of the Protestant Ethic: Weber and the Chemistry of Capitalism*},
  author={Andrew McKinnon},
  journal={Sociological Theory},
  pages={108 - 126}
Although scholars have long recognized the importance of “elective affinity” as a key word in Weber's sociology, surprisingly little systematic research has gone into understanding this metaphor in Weber's writing, or the source from which he drew the term. For Weber, this was an implicit reference to Goethe's novel, well known to Weber's educated German audience, entitled Elective Affinities (1807). In this article, I provide a systematic account of Goethe's conception of elective affinity as… 
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  • 1978
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