Max Weber 2.docx
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Rationalization frees us from tradition
Part of a broader problem – linked to the notion of rationalization (the
ability to calculate)
Disenchantment of the world – we don’t have to have recourse to have
spirits or magic or something we cant explain. Everything is part of some
kind of system and we can use science to understand that system and this
progress in science will always continue through generations.
As rationalization grows and takes over more of our thought, the enchanted
part of our world goes away – enchantment – linked to the growth of
rationalization which is linked to the growth of bureaucracy (all about rules
that you determine, and rules that you run things by, so it is like the
disenchantment of the world as well)
These concepts are all linked together in his work
Iron law of oligarchy: Michaels theory (oligarchy – ruled by the few) – in any
large organization no matter how democratic it will always end up being
controlled by a small elite. There is no way to escape this and have lots of
people who don’t and cant know each other personally and work directly
with each other to run this large organization. There has to be leadership to
operate this machine.
Weber thinks this is a problem
Did not think there was any way to get out of this iron cage as he called it.
Bureaucracy: characteristics: 1. Fixed and official jurisdictional areas
(everyone knows what their supposed to be working on – someone does
accounting, someone does marketing etc.), there is authority to command in
a fixed way. Only people who have predetermined qualifications are
employed. The operations you can and cant do will be stated by rules 2.
There is a hierarchy. There are levels of authority – lower levels supervised
and run by the higher levels 3. The management of the modern office is
based upon the written documents called the files.
In a non bureaucratic way of doing things there is not a lot of distinction
between private and public, business and personal
Office management requires training and work, office demand the full
working capacity of the official
Rules: the management of the office follows general rules which are more or
less stable and which can be learned
Dynamic societies (societies with a lot of opportunities)
Characteristic of bureaucrat: he or she is appointed, they have job security,
they have a ‘career’, they don’t have capital,
Weber’s issues with bureaucracy: it is superior to other types of
organizations, cant resist it, it has this superiority because it is faster than
other systems, thinks capitalism and bureaucracy are tied together and need
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