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Theories of Max Weber.docx

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David Young

Max Weber A) Early Years  Born in Germany in 1864  Middle class upbringing  Father trained in law but decided to pursue a career in gov’t and politics  Strict, authoritarian father and brutish – he mistreated his wife  Mother was extremely religious (Calvinist)  Mother’s religious beliefs didn’t initially have an impact on Weber  Weber’s aunts also religious, eventually stimulated his interest in religion  Weber’s uncle a professor and historian  Uncle had liberal political views - seemed to have some impact on Weber’s political orientation  Weber’s political orientation involved rejecting socialism and preferred a liberal political system that would be in the context of capitalist society B) University Education  Enrolled in law school  At the University of Heidelburg in 1882  Spent the 1 year of law school partying and drinking st  Weber transferred to the University of Berlin after 1 year  Requested by his parents because of his behaviour  Weber completed law school there and started working as a junior barrister  Started working on a law PhD  Received the Ph.D in 1889 C) University Employment  Tried to decide whether he wanted to be a lawyer or academic  Started an academic career as a lecturer in law at the University of Berlin in 1891  Found his interests shifting from law to economics, history and sociology  1894 became a professor of economics at the University of Frieburg  1896 at 32, became the chair of economics at the University of Heidelburg D) Marriage nd  Weber married his 2 cousin Marianne  Had an affair about 20 years into their marriage  A close but highly intellectual relationship  Wife one of the leaders of the German feminist movement Class A) Class 1) Weber’s Understanding of Class  Class: an aggregate of people who happen to occupy a common situation in a market and therefore, have similar economic circumstances & life chances  Market: the buying of buying & selling of what Weber called utilities  Utilities: material goods (property, material goods, human services)  Human Services: personal skills & labour power  Weber sees classes as economic categories based on property or services 2) Comparison to Marx  Distinction similar to one made by Marx  Marx distinguished between those who have property, and those who have services  Weber sees 2 classes with property, and 2 classes with services Weber’s 4 Classes:  The Bourgeoisie (own property) – ex: factory owners  The Petty Bourgeiosie (own small amounts of property) – ex: farmers, small business owners  The Intelligentsia & Specialists (own services) – salaried, non-manual employees  Ex: scientists, managers, technicians, civil servants  The Proletariat (own services) – wage earners, manual workers  Proletariat sells their labour power on the market B) Middle Classes 1) Weber’s analysis of middle classes  Thought there would be fewer opportunities to be self-employed  Saw the intelligentsia & specialists would continue to grow with the development of capitalism  They would be needed in the bourgeoisie’s companies as capitalism develops  Marx thought that the petty bourgeoisie would decline with ownership concentration  White collar workers seen as an extension of the bourgeoisie  Marx argued that a lot of these people would be deskilled C) Social Class 1) Weber’s Concept of Social Class  Members have no sense of their class, or their common interests as a class  Sense of common position, and consciousness of common interest could develop  Class becomes a social class when this happens  Social class is an economic class that has acquired some subjective sense of unity, and class-conscious organization 2) Comparison to Marx  Marx distinguished between a class in itself, and a class for itself  Class in itself – an economic category  Class in itself can transform into a class for itself, once it develops consciousness of it’s common position and interests  Marx only saw one class as being able to make that transformation  Weber thought that other classes would be able to make the transformation also Status and Party A) Multiple Dimensions of Social Inequality  Status and party have to be looked at, as well as inequality  Class is the economic dimension of inequality  Status is the cultural dimension of inequality  Party is the political dimension of inequality B) Status group  Subjective sense of common membership and group awareness  Distinctive style of life or mode of conduct  Power that stems from social honour or prestige 2) Some Bases for a Status Group  Ethnic origin  Religious affiliation 3) Exclusion for a Status Group  One group will take an identifiable characteristic of the 2 group, and use that as the basis for exclusion  Apartheid – whites were a status group that separated blacks C) Party  Voluntary association that is organized for the collective pursuit of interests  Bases for party: a formal political party  Could represent certain class interests – ex: trade union = working class interests  Non-ec
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