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What great sociologist advocated employing Verstehen?

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Max Weber was a German sociologist who was known for advocating Verstehen.

Known as one of the founding fathers of sociology, Weber sought to explain how and why societies change over time. One of the central questions that becomes crucial to this conversation is why an individual acts differently when the context of his social group changes. The idea that sociologists should try to formulate an understanding of individuals within a group in order to better understand the actions of the group as a whole reflects Verstehen. Individuals interact with their world because they organize it into their own perceptions and understandings, which allows for unique interpretations of various stimuli. There is an adage that you can't understand someone until you walk a mile in his shoes. This is the basic foundation of Verstehen.

Verstehen therefore asks that sociologists approach individuals by first gaining an understanding of the individual's perspective and experiences. This requires sociologists to strip away their own cultural expectations and world views in order to appreciate the way the individual has been shaped by his own unique background.

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