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Soc 233 Sept 30

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SOC 233
Kara Somerville

SOC 233 Sept 30, 2011 Weber Con’t… Bureaucracy Con’t…  General, or “formal” bureaucracy is the one Weber prioritizes – Focus on formal bureaucracy.  Once bureaucracies are established, they are almost indestructible and inescapable.  The reason they are indestructible is because they are the most efficient; it is difficult to replace them with a different system.  In its effort to be so efficient, we get ourselves “trapped” within the bureaucracy. Rationalization and the Iron Cage – Roles, regulations and restrictions. Rationalization: Process whereby an increasing number of social actions and interactions become based on considerations of efficiency or calculation rather than on motivations derived from custom, tradition or emotion.  The increasing rationalization of human life, traps individuals in an “iron cage” of rule-based, rational control.  Bureaucracies driven through a process of rationalization.  Manifested within modern society.  Rationalization is part of modernization and this is especially prominent in a capitalist market. Note – Weber believes rationalization defines modern society.  Void of mystery, emotion, tradition, etc. that are important in human contact and interaction (i.e., relationships).  Crush the human spirit.  The process of rationalization would eventually take over institutions; more control, less charisma. Note – Society is very alienating for individuals (for Marx – capitalism; for Weber – bureaucracy). Class Exercise on Bureaucracy Q - Using the example of a university, how does it fit Weber’s description of bureaucracy? 1. Formal hierarchical structure – Positions within university (e.g., Preside
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