January 15, 2013
Theory 1 Continued…
- Max Weber: built a career around criticizing Karl Marx
- Wasn’t against everything Marx said, but he said Marx got a few
- Marx: key movers in society are bourgeoisie and proletariat and you
have to look at conflict between two classes in order to find society’s
- Weber wrote approx. a century later than Marx.
- Weber: Middle class provide stability in society, they mediate conflict
between upper and lower.
- The stronger the middle class, the less conflict in society
The first to promote middle class was Aristotle
- Marx thought the system of capitalism and distinction between
proletarians and bourgeoisie would disappear.
- Weber said it probably wouldn’t happen, especially in the West
- Weber is often pointed out as one key movers of symbolic
- Weber emphasized social microstructures between people
- Sociologists should focus on meaning that is produced through our
interactions with one another.
- Other sociologists: Start with big picture and work down to small
- Weber: start with small picture and work our way up
- Weber gave a critique of a theory called Structural Determinism
- Structural Determinism: Individuals are mere by-products of the
socialization processes we have gone through, no autonomy as
individual and our interactionism between each other is already
- One’s feeling and interactions, the way we behave, how well we do in
school is determined by class background
- There is some evidence that this is partially correct January 15, 2013
- Structural Determinism: we have already been put in a role and
therefore, our role in society, the way we act, our success, the things
we like, etc. are already set for us.
- Weber: If we focus on too much social structures, then individual
autonomy starts to become a race.
Goffman’s Dramaturgical Model
- Ervin Goffman (1922-1982)
- Canadian sociologist
- Famous for coming up with ‘Dramaturgical Approach’ Model
- Enormous impact on sociology, especially Social Interactionism
- Our social interactions with each other take place through a series of
- As if we live our lives on stage, similar