The work of Max Weber continues to exert a powerful influence over social and cultural theory today. This book explores the contemporary nature of Weber's ideas by looking in detail at his key concepts of rationalization and disenchantment. Thematic parallels are drawn between Weber's rationalization thesis and the critiques of contem-porary culture developed by Jean-Francois Lyotard, Michel Foucault and Jean Baudrillard. It is suggested that these three thinkers, associated with poststructuralism and postmodernism, develop and respond to Weber's account of the rise, nature and trajectory of modern culture by pursuing radical strategies of affirmation and re-enchantment. Examining the work of these three key thinkers in this way casts new light both on postmodern theory and on Weber's sociology of rationalization and modernity. It specifies the strengths and weaknesses of postmodernism, while at the same time pointing to new directions in which Weber's thought can be developed.

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