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Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 2112
Linda Hunter

SOAN2111/2 LECTURE - March 4 , 2013 th Max Weber (1864-1920) Ideal Type Craib: the tool we use to understand social events and processes using interpretive understanding. Does not exist in reality. (called a hypothetical construct … the most rational form of bureaucracy that we can imagine is the ideal type …) - the most rational form of a bureaucracy that we can imagine - analytic construct – a measuring rod – to ascertain similarities - method for a comparative study Levels of Abstraction 1) ideal types rooted in historical particularities such as “western City” – specific historical periods (ideal type – they are heuristic devices … they are capable of measuring… they help do empirical research) 2) abstract elements of social reality – bureaucracy (might be found in a variety of historical contexts…) a. help in doing empirical research b. yard stick – also known as an ideal type – device to be used in the study of slices of historical reality c. historical reality – inductive (specific to general) and deductive (general to specific) d. nomothetic (more general approach) and idiographic (too specific laws)… ideal types should be neither too general nor too specific Hickman says Weber offers these types: (SHE WENT THROUGH THIS QUICKLY.) 1) Historical ideal types a. It’s like the modern capitalist market 2) General sociological ideal types a. Alienation – concept we can use over and over again throughout societies 3) Action ideal types a. Pure actions based on motivations of actor 4) Structural ideal types a. Forms of ideal types that are taken by the causes and the consequences of action Methodology of Social Science - Marx and Weber – the importance of history o Both recognized that an adequate explanation of social facts really requires a historical account – you have to understand history of society – comparisons that need to be made - Comparative historical analysis – stability and change o Common sense that we use comparative methodologies to look at cultures o We have to understand the culture to understand the individual o They stand out as the architects of a historical sociology – historically oriented theory and method SOAN2111/2 LECTURE - March 4 , 2013 th - 20 century – blossoming of psychologically oriented sociology o very relevant to Freud’s time – art about fantasy and dream like states, everything is larger than life – emphasis of nature and nature over individuals – emphasis on dehumanized society being reflected by art and music – art and music and how it all clarifies the concepts of Weber – relevant to Freud’s time at all - Weber’s methodology shaped his research o His methodology broke him apart from other theorists o Carefully looked at workers themselves and the workers conditions – looked at 8000 industrial workers in 8 different locations – attitudes and factual material around work and workers role – examined family life too – concerned about the life of worker - Empiricism, general laws, causal explanation, unity of natural and social sciences, ethical neutrality o Weber did not think you could have ethical issues and subjective approaches (??) Weber is more pessimistic of how society is going to turn out. Marx is more optimistic. - Causal analysis of historical phenomena - Positivist/subjectivists o Positivistic- nomothetic o Subjectivists – idiosyncratic point of view, micro - Nomothetic thinkers generalizes, idiographic focuses on specific events o Generalize about social revolutions o Weber rejected both extremes o Weber – history is composed of both o He is interested more in the micro perspective then other theorists o Sought to combine the specific with the general to develop a science that di
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