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POL3102Notes Weber.docx

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Political Science
Sascha Maicher

Protestant Ethic and Spirit of Capitalism/On Bureaucracy – Max Weber Weber talks about rationality, our means of achieving objectivity (which is unitary); if we access this we will improve our society. - Characterizes rationality as having a dark side (the opposite of enlightenment) - Argues that the modern world is disenchanted and that science has destroyed our values - We are losing our ability to judge and evaluate things - to act is to decide that one way of doing something is better (rationality); people follow what others are doing. Instrumental rationality: the expectations about the behaviour of other human being or objects Intrinsic rationality: action is taken for intrinsic reasons (i.e.: ethical or religious motives) We are lost in instrumental rationality because we do not know why we do things and we cannot be autonomous without reasons for acting. The reading asks, what is capitalism and why did it succeed where it did? - flourished in the US because of the beliefs people held there, mainly their religion - explores what drives cultural change, meaning drives social action - groups are the driving forces behind social change, groups develop when people who share the same beliefs act in similar ways Religion causes capitalism ... How? - In order for capitalism to thrive it needs constant growth and reinvestment - There is a religious rea
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