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Lecture 2

SOCI 350A Lecture 2: May 22nd.docx

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SOCI 350
Bonar Buffam

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May, 22nd 05/22/2013 Max Weber (1864­1920) • Social Action: • “that which, by virtue of the subjective meaning attached to it by the acting individual, takes  account of the behavior of others and is thereby oriented in its course” • rationalization as a primary instrument of modernity (Marx focuses on capitalism) • disenchantment of everyday life • primary interest in examining, interpretive understanding of social action • to arrive at a causal explanation of its course and effects • understand social political rationales of the way people behaved • search for laws of human action would actually lose sight of what’s human • the production of meaningful behavior as it is grounded in a specific historical context • Ideal type • Analytical model of a phenomenon that specifies only its essential elements • ‘Real’ cases are to be compared against it Modernity • Rationalization: ongoing process through which social interactions are governed by methodical  procedures and calculable rules • Primary agents of modernization • Capitalism • Bureaucracy • Loosening hold of custom and tradition, such that we see practices, modes of organization chosen  because they are efficient and facilitate predictability rather than because they are customary • This creates the disenchantment of social life • Loosening hold from religion Marx sees capitalism as the source of all human exploitation • • Weber sees bureaucracy as a historical force unto itself, which we can distinguish from capitalism.
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