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Lecture 8

Lecture 8.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC231H5
Professor
Zaheer Baber
Semester
Winter

Description
Lecture 8 Max Weber, the Protestant Ethic and the spirit of capitalism Value rational action >> instrumental rational action Ethical beliefs effect social change, but not by themselves – under specific material conditions Unintended, unanticipated consequence of social action: modern industrial capitalism At a certain point in history, when you have a certain amount of class conflict, when society cannot further feudalism, accidently certain ethical beliefs, people latch on these new beliefs become catalyst for a certain kind of work ethic becomes capitalism The rise of modern industrial capitalism “Structure” – “Agency” – “Structure2” – “Agency” The concept of rationalization The general idea is that it is not restricted to religion, capitalism, but it dominates all forms of life Ends/means calculations dominant It begins with value rationally and then develops to instrumental rationality (perfectly organized) I. bureaucracy: the ultimate instrumentally rational organization Instrumental rationality is embedded in its most strong forms in these new institutions that emerge after the industrial revolution, there are different kinds of bureaucracies, there are traditional based bureaucracies, and there is a difference to modern bureaucracy All bureaucracy • Hierarchical pyramid • Written rules (modern bureaucracy: that people can refer to, if it is not written it does not exists) • Files (modern bureaucracy: the information can be refer any time) • Salary not wages • Bureau or office not personal belongs to the organization, you have structure that can survive without any individual “Technical” superiority over other organizations Bureaucracies simultaneously inevitable and deeply problematic: they serve as instruments of power and domination once they develop it is hard to change, they develop a life of their own Social contexts changes, bureaucracies tend to carry on as if nothing as change, their interests is to how to function in the organization and move up, if they are too inflexible and change, ironically they become irrational Social environment is static and bureaucracies are not Goal displacement: following riles becomes the goal – existing riles become paramount, even if the social context changes The doctor and the patient: technically perfect surgery > dead patient (the environmental issue) • the procedure itself went perfectly, even though the patient died, it is seen as a success Marx: the workers and capitalists are alienated, lose control over their creations Weber: everyone loses control; they are dominated by bureaucracies and bureaucratic personalities or “specialists without spirit” i.e. robotic life He critiques Marx, Marx anticipated “communism” will get rid of “alienation” and humans begin to control their destiny their
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