Week 3 Grabb and Guppy Chapter 3
Marx : struggle is not essential to social life
Weber : it is part of society only as long as class systems exist and act to pervert the essentially social and cooperative nature of
Bureaucracy “A personnel system where a body of public servants are organized in a hierarchical system which stands outside
the sphere of public control.”
Democracy “A personnel system where no one man has any more intrinsic right to official station than other.”
Capitalism Production and distribution are in the hands of the individual
Socialism Production in the hands of individuals, distribution in the hands of gov’t
Communism Production and distribution are in the hands of gov’t
Max Weber (German Sociologist)
• Thought bureaucracy was at the same time both
1) essential to democratic action in largescale complex societies.
2) a threat to the democratic principles of equality and participation for all.
• Thought bureaucratization is a key process in the general trend of modern societies toward “rationalization”.
• Bureaucracy the only form capable of keeping modern, complex societies in operation, inevitable
Subjective nature of human interaction: another one of the complexities that mark social life (people are difficult to predict)
Weber suggests that certain kinds of human behavior can be readily understood by analyzing subjective
phenomena “Rational action”
It is predictable with a high level of certainty because one can successfully assume what subjective motives
are at work in most cases
Marx : defines class by distinguishing between 2 key groupings.
1) Owners of the means of economic production (bourgeoisie)
2) Nonowners who must work as wage laborers (proletariat)
• Class is simply an aggregate of people sharing common situations in the market and therefore having similar
economic interests and life chances.
2 groups 1) those who have ‘property’, 2) those who have only services to exchange in the market place
• (Market: a system of competitive exchange whereby individuals buy and sell things of value in the pursuit of
• The highest degree of group consciousness and the most potential for political action and control lie not with
the working class but with those at the top of the class hierarchy or social s