Protestant work ethic  

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This page Protestant work ethic is a part of the protestantism series.  Illustration: The image breakers, c.1566 –1568 by Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder
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This page Protestant work ethic is a part of the protestantism series.
Illustration: The image breakers, c.15661568 by Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Protestant work ethic, sometimes called the Puritan work ethic, is a Calvinist value emphasizing the necessity of constant labor in a person's calling as a sign of personal salvation. Protestants beginning with Martin Luther had reconceptualised work as a duty in the world for the benefit of the individual and society as a whole. The Catholic idea of good works was transformed into an obligation to work diligently as a sign of grace.

History

The term was first coined by Max Weber in his The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. The Protestant work ethic is often credited with helping to define the societies of Northern Europe and other countries where Protestantism was strong (for example, the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States of America). In such societies, it is regarded by some observers as one of the cornerstones of national prosperity. Such observers would say that people in countries with Protestant roots tend to be more materialistic, perfectionist, and more focused on work as compared to people in many Catholic countries (for example, Spain, Italy, and France) where the people have a more relaxed attitude towards work and are less materialistic.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Protestant work ethic" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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