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Sociology of Power 334 09-16

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University of Alberta
Ariane Hanemaayer

SOCIOLOGY 334 STATUS POWER looking at Max Weber and the Clark et al. paper. marx's different levels of power class (individual) level - individuals can work together to transform the current state of society structural level - necessities of capitlist mode of prod. social action (meaningful action that is oriented to the expected actions and reactions of others) every different sociological theory has an OBJECT. for WEBER, it is SOCIAL ACTION SOCIAL ACTION is the very object of Weber's sociology. This means that when the subject is thinking about what they are going to do, they think about the reactions they can expect from other subjects. We orient/modify our actions to our expected response/actions of others. Weber gives the example of people pursuing economic wealth in order to gain status (honour) power. how is it that Weber knows what people's social actions will be? this is the task of science. he knows using WERSTEHEN: UNDERSTANDING - attempt to get inside the head of people we study and 'sympathetically' understand the meaning they attach to an action. why, in their minds, did they do x-y-z? - sympathetic understanding he does this sympathetic understanding by looking for people's: MOTIVE -the reason or "grounds' a person gives themselves for their action; what they see as an adequate reason to act. - a rationalization of one's own actions - "a complex of objective meanign that seems to the observer an adequate ground for the conduct in question." we evaluate people's motives all the time.. so, implicitly, Weber counts on people to have FREE WILL Marx is looking at empirical causes of social events, but Weber thinks this macro thing is too obscure and we need to look at what individual people are motivated to do. for marx its all about social structure for weber its all about social action SO, FOR WEBER, HOW DOES POWER EFFECT SOCIAL ACTION? he gives two defnitions 1. POWER (macht) - any ability to get your way, including violence or economic coercion, even if others oppose you. doesn't require any form of "consent" 2. DOMINATION (herrschaft) - the probability that others accept commands as valid: they go along with the command, rather than trying to resist it. marx looks only at objective factors taht place people in hierarchies. (proletariat work for bourgeoisie because they HAVE TO) this doesn't adequately explain existence of social concensus, by which those lower in hierarchy may accept the position of others over them: weber asks WHY people obey so frequently... why hasn't the revolution happened? so this is DOMINATION, when you obey a command from a 'superior' this is found in specific relationships for weber. even when you feel like your boss is an idiot you have to do what they say, a sense of normalcy to it. POWER can be excercised on individual levels individually DOMINATION is an assent, an acceptance of people above you and their commands. domination is a part of every day life. every genuine form of domination implies a minimum of voluntary compliance. THREE DIVISIONS OF INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIAL RANK in Weber 1. ECONOMIC CLASS DETEMINED BY "MARKET SITUATION" of the individual person (compare to marx where it is a role in the structure, individuals can move in and out of it by filling the role's criteria, different than just 'market situation') 2. SOCIAL STATUS GROUP DEFINED BY "STYLE OF LIFE... EXPECTED OF ALL THOSE WHO WISH TO BELONG." (so if you wanna get a promotion, you gotta go golfing, ho
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