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Chapter 10

notes for chapter 10 textbook reading associated with lecture 2

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Lina Samuel

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SOC341 Chapter 10 Notes
Rationalization – set of interrelated social processes by which nature,
individuals, culture and institutions have been systematically transformed by
rational human action
oTransformed Western European societies by long run tendency to bring
order and perfection to less ordered and imperfect natural state
oCan be seen as striving for perfection/increasing mastery over external
world by organization of life on basis of mens organization w/ each other,
their tools & environment for purpose of greater efficiency & productivity
3 facets:
Secularization - decline of magical interpretations & explanations of world /
authority of church / social status of clergy / secularization of world
oDisenchantment – enchantment b/cm erased from life thru loss of faith
provided by folk beliefs & religion = changing forms of thought & social
Rational action – calculating social action by weighing means & ends prior to
action producing continuous drive towards change
oPractical rationalityno external mythical causes affecting outcome of
human actions & sees reality
oTheoretical/technical rationality – cognitive effort to master world thru
causality & logical deduction & induction
oFormal rationality – practical orientation of social action to ensure
(means) calculating ensures goals or outcome
oSubstantive rationality – degree human action is guided/shaped by a
value system regardless of outcome of action- orientation towards values
Protestant Ethic
Religion adds impediment to rationalism
Found cultural different b/w European Protestants & Catholics - Protestants study
commerce = bcm skilled/management EE and not craft workers = choice of
occupation bc mental characteristics within them but opposite descriptions were
true – Protestants didnt lead hedonistic lifestyle despite earning more
Protestants had inner affinity toward ascetic lifestyle = receptive to capitalism
Wealth = being Gods elect = acquire wealth is godly – encouraging formation of
Provides religious legitimacy for exploitation of human labour – onescalling to
make & save money to save soul from being damned
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