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Sociology 2270A/B Final: Final Exam 2270 Review

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Sociology 2270A/B
Ana Ning

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For each answer, list the associated philosopher, define, give example/pros and cons/apply to contemporary understand. MAX WEBER Weber’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 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  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 difficulties often encountered 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 Weber’s 3 Dimensions of Social Inequality: 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  Status situation is every typical component of the life of men that is determined by a specific, positive or negative, social estimation of honor  Status is associated with style of life  Social honor and prestige associated with a community  Relates to consumption of goods produced o I.e. socioeconomic status Parties:  Always structures struggling for domination  Parties are the most organized elements of Weber’s stratification system  Very broad  Parties usually, but not always, represent class or status groups  Interest group or organization to either change or maintain social order  Whatever they represent, parties are oriented to the attainment of power o I.e. the Liberal party Rationalization:  A key aspect of modern Western culture based on the use of methodical practices o i.e. record keeping, filing, coding, etc.  lies at the heart of Weber’s substantive sociology  operating in a manner that seeks the most efficient structure and processes possible Practical Rationality:  calculating the most expedient ways of dealing with the difficulties that they present  this type of rationality arose with the severing of the bonds of primitive magic and it exists trans-civilizationally and trans-historically  stands in opposition to anything that threatens to transience everyday routine  leads people to distrust all impractical values o including religious views o example: intense materialistic view, trusting things that are certain, reliable, and efficient Theoretical Rationality:  involves a cognitive effort to master reality through increasingly abstract concepts rather than through social action  involves abstract processes such as logical deduction, induction, etc.  this type of rationality was accomplished by sorcerers and ritualistic priests, and later by philosophers, judges, and scientists  leads the actor to transcend daily realities in a quest to understand the world as a meaningful cosmos o example: a philosopher trying to figure out if the world is round or flat using abstract thoughts and concepts Substantive Rationality:  directly orders action into patterns through clusters of values  involves a choice of means to ends within the context of a system of values  one value system is no more substantively rational than another  also exists trans-civilizationally and trans-historically Formal Rationalization:  to identify and use means that will likely bring a desired end  a dominant feature of modern societies  arguably most important  involves means-ends calculation, which occurs in reference to universally applied rules, laws, and regulations  arose in the West with the oncoming of industrialization  the universally applied rules, laws, and regulations that characterize formal rationality in the West are found in the economic, legal, and scientific institutions, as well as in bureaucracies Iron Cage:  coined by Weber  refers to the increased rationalization inherent in modern society, which ultimately creates an iron cage  the iron cage traps
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