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Final

Sociology 2270A/B Study Guide - Final Guide: Charismatic Authority, Historical Sociology, Verstehen

9 pages182 viewsFall 2016

Department
Sociology
Course Code
Sociology 2270A/B
Professor
Ana Ning
Study Guide
Final

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For each answer, list the associated philosopher, define, give example/pros and cons/apply
to contemporary understand.
MAX WEBER
Wee’s Methodology: 3- fold Methodology
Comparative historical method:
Refers to conceptualizing specific institutions or social actions and comparing them to
the same features in other societies
This method allows a research to identify patterns without generalizing as laws of
human behaviour
A fusion of historical sociology and empirical data
In order to compare two societies or social phenomena, it is necessary to develop
concepts designed to assist in research on reality
Weber did this to find the associated between Protestantism and the spirit of
Capitalisim
Verstehen:
German word for understanding
Sociologists ability to understand social phenomena through simply intuition,
sympathetic participation, or empathy
To understand how people give meaning to their actions
o i.e. qualitative research techniques such as participant observation, interviewing,
focus groups
To combine face to face research with empirical scholarly texts
o i.e. Understand the thinking of the author as well as the basic structure of the
text
derived from a technique known as hermeneutics to understand actors and interaction
between them
Ideal Types:
conceptual tools that help build theoretical models and to guide understand of key
features of society
a concept developed by a social scientist to capture the essential features of some social
phenomenon
the most important thing is that they are heuristic devices
they are useful and helpful in empirical research and in understanding specific aspects
of the social world
ideal type can be compared to a measuring rod
function is to compare empirical reality with unambiguous concepts
concepts are to not include any generalizations, logically constructed
ideal types to be compared to real data and look at the differences
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o I.e. researcher may create an ideal bureaucracy that is comprised of empirical
data that the researcher has obtained, then that ideal type or concept will be
compared an existing bureaucracy
Power vs Authority:
Authority is a legitimate form of domination
Power, or domination, is is the probability that some or all commands by a given
person/group will be obeyed
o Power can be legitimate or illegitimate
Has 3 bases; legal-rational, traditional, and charismatic
Legal-Rational Authority:
Rests on a belief in the legality of enacted rules and the right of those elevated to
authority under such rules to issue commands
o Example: Justin Trudeau, office holders, managers
Bureaucracy as main force
Purely technical, based on rules
Capable of attaining highest degree of efficiency
Most stable and reliable
Based on impersonal rules and not rulers
Dominant in modern industrial society with formal rationality as guide to action
Pessimistic view iron cage
o Bureaucratization provides social cohesion but undermines individual freedom
o Charismatic individuals drive social change
Traditional Authority:
Based on an established belief in the sanctity of traditions and the legitimacy of those
exercising authority under them
Virtue in the sanctity of age-old rules and powers
Leader obtains authority in a traditional manner
Leader is obeyed because they carry the weight of the tradition
Dominant personality (a monarch)
Leadership based on custom, tradition, and personal loyalty
2 types of traditional authority:
o Gerontocracy: rule by elders
o Primary patriarchalisim: leaders who inherit their positions
Example: The Queen, feudal systems, household
Saw structures of traditional authority as a barrier to the development of rationality
Charismatic Authority:
Rests on the devotion of followers to the exceptional sanctity, exemplary character,
heroism, special powers
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Also dependent on the leaders group of disciplines and the way they define the
charismatic leader
Charisma is a revolutionary force that changes the minds of actor
Also becomes routinized en route from charismatic authority to traditional or legal-
rational
Based on a great figure of personality
Must be proven through successful achievements and prosperity to a community
o Example: Hitler
Bureaucracy:
red tape refers to the diffiulties ofte eoutered when dealing with bureaucracies
o red tape creates iron cage because individual is trapped by rules created by a
hierarchy that govern them
rationalization drives bureaucracy = a threat individual liberty
Weber was appalled by the effects of bureaucratization but said there was no way out
once they are established
Major characteristics are:
o Consists of continuous organization of offices bound by rules
o Each office has a specified set of obligations
o Organized in a hierarchical system
o Offices may carry technical qualifications
o The staff that fills these offices does not own the means of productions
o Rules are formulated and recorded in writing
Weber says there is no alternative
Defines bureaucracies (and capitalism) as two great rationalizing forces, which traps
individuals in an iron cage
Wee’s 3 Diesios of “oial Ieuality: Social Stratification
Class:
Refers to any group of people found in the same class situation
Class is not a community but merely a group of people in the same economic/market
situation
Shared situation
Relates to economic production
Common casual component, which is represented by economic interests such as
possession of goods and opportunities for income
o i.e. lower-class vs. upper-class
Status:
Status normally refers to communities
Status groups are ordinarily communities
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