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Lecture 10

SOCI 230 Lecture 10: SOCI 230 Weber- Ideal Types Authority & Bureaucracy

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SOCI 230
Prechel Harland

SOCI 230-902 March 23, 2017 Weber: Ideal Types, Authority and Bureaucracy * Key components I. Ideal Types  Ideal type= mental construct, abstraction and doesn’t exist at the empirical level. One sided accentuation of phenomena (empirical) designed to reflect phenomena’s most salient features o Way of gaining knowledge, provides short cuts  Utility can be assessed only in relation to capacity to explain/describe concrete problems or range of problems  Only purpose is to facilitate analysis and explain the empirical  Cannot apply, but can develop an ideal type o Based on specific characteristics differing from country to country  Weber was sometimes referred to as Neo-Kantian= fact that he understood that categories created by people are theoretical mechanisms designed to explain the empirical o Focus was on creating ideal types that are generalizable II. Rationalization  Rationalization= regularity of social action that becomes established in sociocultural processes whether at level of groups, organization, societies or entire civilizations o Not just something that goes on in one’s head, but at the event of a social change  As a comparative and historical sociologist, Weber was interested in historical conditions and processes that were affecting the rationalization process  Weber has provided the framework to look beyond the empirical of a society III. Ideal Types of Rationality  4 types that are manifested in the rationalization process: Regularities and patterns of social action o Capture the complexity of social action  1. Practical Rationality o Way of life that views and judges worldly activities in relation to individuals’ purely pragmatic egoistic self-interests • Entails calculation of most expedient way to do it • Calculate based on experience of what works for that person  2. Theoretical Rationality o Involves conscious mastery of reality through construction of abstract concepts rather than through action (practical rationality) o Varies from religious to scientific o People who engaged in this include: • A. systematic thinkers, sorcerers, ritualistic priests: all who sought to tame nature and the supernatural • B. scientists who are dedicated to theoretical rationality of scientific world views  3. Substantive Rationality o Relations with past, present or potential value postulate: cluster of values/goals o Valid canon: unique standard against which empirical events are selected. Measures and judged o Conflicting substantive rationalities may exist at any given point in history  4. Formal Rationality o Formal structure of authority that acquired specific and delineated boundaries within modernity set by formal rational laws o Particular outcome is bureaucracy o Getting license, right to vote, drinking age  all within specific boundaries, vary across state o Laws/rules derived from rational calculation of means to achieve end without regard to persons IV. Authority Structures and Legitimacy  Weber’s central question: “How is it possible to ensure social organization?” o That we have consistency with behavior of all these people in society  Most stable forms of social organization are those which subjective attitudes (values) of individuals are directed towards belief in legitimate order  Authority= ability of one individual to command another effectively o Social structure position  Power= probability that individual will realize own objectives even against opposition from others whom he is in relations with o We can be in formal relationships without part of formal structure o Physically bigger, manipulative: powers over individual  3 types of legitimate autho
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