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Lecture 9

SOC231H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Charismatic Authority

Course Code
Zaheer Baber

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Soc231 Lecture 9
Video: Neil Young Ohio
There was a time when campuses were coming a part because students were protesting
against the Vietnam war
Wants to connect this with Weber
Power, Authority, Domination
Power: The ability to realize one’s will despite and against the resistance of others
They both make people do certain things
Power ensures compliance
Domination: the capacity to make people comply to commands, despite resistance
Authority: the legitimate demand for compliance, despite resistance just people one is
legitimate doesn’t mean people will agree with you
Power and authority are forms of domination
Authority = Power + legitimacy
Weber’s main point on power is that it can get spun out of control
Almost all types of power for Weber has a degree of resistance (people may appear to comply,
but they may not want to)
a. People publicly speaking their opinions, power is being exercised not authority
b. In a university classroom the professor teaching has both power and authority
c. Legitimacy and authority can be government, you may question and complain why taxes
are so high but unlikely to protest because good things come out of it (free health care,
Legitimacy can disappear if one makes too many mistakes and when you say one thing
and do another
Weber: “democracyyou vote and the shut up
Ideal-typical forms of authority: Never pure or absolute, always a hybrid of life
Social science can never be like a science, never pure
There are different ways of justifying each type of authority you justify it because you
have been following it for so long and so has everyone else, so it’s the idea of who are
you to question it?
Traditional: keeping to how things were always kept
Charismatic: most powerful kind of authority, cannot imagine them in the other two systems.
This authority flows from personal features of the individual that is exercising that authority,
based on personal qualities and the magical appeal of the individual most strong because
one people buy into the leader are unable to think negatively of the person and thinks they’re
going to do wonders. Charisma is so connected to the personality of the individual alone, not
passed down to their children or grandchildren
Example: Hitler, Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X
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