Social Theory of Max Weber Spring 2006 NONRATIONAL Alienation commodity fetishism COLLECTIVE INDIVIDUAL Marx surplus value class conflict class interest exploitation alienation forces of production RATIONAL NONRATIONAL Durkheim Anomie collective consciousness collective representations / sacred & profane solidarity: mechanical and organic COLLECTIVE INDIVIDUAL division of labor RATIONAL NONRATIONAL affective action traditional action value rational action "calling" charisma charismatic authority traditional authority Protestant ethic status groups Weber COLLECTIVE INDIVIDUAL rational legal authority party bureaucracy capitalism instrumental rational action RATIONAL NONRATIONAL Durkheim Weber COLLECTIVE INDIVIDUAL Marx RATIONAL Weber Readings • From Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism • “Class, Status, and Party” • “Types of Legitimate Domination” • “Bureaucracy” Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism Calvinist world-view creates mentality that facilitates development of capitalism and the world-view takes on life of its own and dominates everything… “Class, Status, and Party” There’s more to stratification than material wealth. Social honor matters. Stratification is multidimensional. Types of Legitimate Domination There’s more than one way to exercise power. Power vs. authority. Legitimate domination. Traditional, charismatic, legal rational. Identify ideal types and ideal types of transitions between them. Bureaucracy Modern rational organization as key to understanding modern world. Components include job descriptions, positions not people, one boss, don’t own tools, written records, advancement based on credentials, etc. What We Will Not Read (But Should) • • • • Ethical Neutrality in the Social Sciences Politics as a Vocation Science as a Vocation “Basic Sociological Terms” (on the study of “meaningful action”) • Ideal Types • Meaning of Discipline • Etc. Books for Your Library • • • • Gerth & Mills From Max Weber Weber: Protestant Ethic Weber: Economy and Society Marianne Weber: Max Weber: A Biography Background Concepts • Verstehen • Ideal Types • Rationalization/disenchantment Verstehen • “to understand” • “interpretive understanding” • Why/how does behavior make sense to the people who do it? Ideal Types • Historians vs. Sociologists • Abstraction vs. Concreteness • NOT – Morally ideal – Average – Universal • Never corresponds to concrete reality… …always moves at least a step away Ideal Types • A first definition: “An ideal type is formed by the one-sided accentuation of one or more points of view and by the synthesis of a great many diffuse, discrete, more or less present and occasionally absent concrete individual phenomena, which are arranged according to those one-sidedly emphasized viewpoints into a unified analytical construct.” Ideal Type as Tool • Analytical construct • Compare to “social fact” • Allows analyst to hypothesize about general relationships based on specific cases – E.g., Protestant Ethic AND Spirit of Capitalism and “elective affinity” Three Types of Ideal Types Distinguished by levels of abstraction • Ideal types rooted in historical particularities , phenomena that appear in particular times and places – the "western city," "the Protestant Ethic," or "modern capitalism," • abstract elements of social reality that may be found in a variety of historical and cultural contexts – "bureaucracy" or "feudalism“ • "rationalizing reconstructions of a particular kind of behavior" (Raymond Aron) – all propositions in economic theory, for example. They all refer to the ways in which men would behave were they actuated by purely economic motives, were they purely economic men. Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism 1. Rationalism as far-reaching characteristic of Western culture 2. Observation: religious affiliation and social stratification (business leaders overwhelmingly Protestant) 3. Where did Spirit of Capitalism come from? 4. Protestantism. Calling. Duty. Obligation. Worldly asceticism. 5. Iron Cage. At first chosen, now required. Quotes • “In general, we understand by ‘power’ the chance of a man or of a number of men to realize their own will in a communal action even against the resistance of others who are participating in the reaction” (from “Class, Status, and Party,” p. 180 in G&M). • “Law exists when there is a probability that an order will be upheld by a specific staff of men who will use physical or psychical compulsion with the intention of obtaining conformity with the order, or of inflicting sanctions for infringement of it” (from “Class, Status, and Party,” p. 180 in G&M, originally from Economy and Society).