General

Report
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).

similar documents