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Weber Powered By Docstoc
					By: Marissa Madrigal, Beau Hindman, Amy Wrenn
   Born in Thuringia, Germany (1864)
   Was the eldest of eight children
   Weber was a sickly child
        - suffer from physical and mental torment
   His father was a prominent liberal politician and
    civil servant,
   His Mother was a moderate Calvinist and very
   Parents were refugees from catholic persecution
   Parents had marriage problems because of different
   Both Weber and his brother Alfred became a
    sociologists and economists.
Passionate reader
   •At age of fourteen he was writing essays about references
   to Homer, Virgil, Cicero, and Livy.
   •Age eighteen he entered University of Heidelberg
       •He was shy and thin, his shyness quickly
       disappeared when he enter a dueling fraternity.
       •With this he started to drink large quantities of beer
He was engage for 6 yrs with his cousin Emmy , ended it
because of mentally and physical problems
   Age eighteen he entered University of Heidelberg
        •He was shy and thin, his shyness quickly
        disappeared when he enter a dueling fraternity.
        •With this he started to drink large quantities of beer
From  time to time he would served with the German army in
In 1884, he returned and study at the university of Berlin.

He also attended University of Goettingen but was once again
interrupted for military training.
   In 1893 he married his distant cousin Marianne
    ◦ She was later a feminist
    ◦ She collected and published Weber's journal articles as
      books after his death
   After his fathers death, Weber became prone to
    nervousness and insomnia. He developed psychological
    problems and was institutionalized in a sanitarium.
    ◦ Took over 5years to recover
   He was encourage to write
    ◦ In 1903 he became co-editor of the “archiv fuer
    ◦ This became the leading social science journal in
   He resumed his teaching duties during WWI
   In 1904, he visited the U.S, which helped him with his
    recovery and was fascinated by America.
    ◦ He delivered an essay bout the social structure in Germany
      in St. Louis for the congress of arts and sciences.
   Between 1892 and 1905 he wrote a series of essay and
    speeches, which it address to the failure of German idealism.
         - this articles dealt with the social and economic
      conditions in eastern Germany.
         - his works were rarely published during his lifetime.
         - his works slowly got translated in English.
   In 1905, “The protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism,”
    was published
   War broke out
    ◦ Weber was the first German to opposed to it
    ◦ Criticized the ineffectiveness of German leadership
   The last few years of his life, he became very political.
    ◦ Wrote many political newspaper articles.
    ◦ He was founding member of and active campaigner
      for the newly organized “deutsche demokratische
    ◦ There was proposals to make him a candidate for
      presidency of the republic failed.
   Max Weber died of Pneumonia in June 14, 1920
   Weber’s work
    ◦ The religion of china: Confucianism and Taoism
    ◦ The religion of India: the sociology of Hinduism and
      Buddhism (1916-17)
    ◦ The sociology of religion (1921)
   Adolescent: Greek and Latin classics
    ◦ Homer, Virgil, Cicero & Livy
   Influences on his work:
    ◦   Comte
    ◦   Marx
    ◦   Nietzsche
    ◦   Kant
    ◦   Neo-Kantians
   August Comte (1798-1857)
    ◦ Believed in “Hierarchy of Science”:
       Each science is dependent upon the other
       This hierarchy ranges from the simplest to more complex forms
        of science
       The sciences above rely on the sciences below, therefore he
        believed that the sciences on top, such as sociology were more
        abstract and difficult then those on the bottom.
• Weber disagreed with this theory: He believed there could be as
  many sciences as needed. “A method must advance knowledge
    rather than be faithful to an imaginary ideal of cognition”.
   Weber’s Methodological approach was influenced by the ideas from
   Nietzsche & Marx
    ◦ Influence evident in Weber’s sociology of ideas and
         Weber:
          material & ideal interests dictate and individual’s conduct
          World Images are a product of created ideas that an individual has
          Social action is governed by the dynamic of individual interests
    ◦ Weber believed ideas had a greater significance than
      Nietzsche & Marx thought
    ◦ Marx’s belief that ideas were expressions of public
      interest and that they served as weapons in the struggle
      between classes and political parties also heavily
      influenced Weber.
   Marx
    ◦ Weber and Marx agreed that modern methods of the
      organization increased efficiency and effectiveness of
      production, but it “threatens to dehumanize its
    ◦ Economic Order: Weber did not agree with Marx
      Marx: Economic order was determined by class struggle and
       owners of production
      Weber: believed the character of political power and the
       effect of the military also played important roles in
       determining power relationships.
         The protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism:- was a reaction
          to Marx’s metaphysical view, “that all events of civilization are
          reducible to a single cause, namely the economic order.
   Marx
    ◦ Weber’s theories: Stratification and economic
      behavior are rooted from the Marxian economics of
    ◦ Weber saw democratic ideals come from the
      Marxian revolutionary ideology.
    ◦ A lot of Weber’s work was influenced by Marx.
   Nietzsche:
    ◦ Analysis of Psychological Mechanisms: Ideas
      become rationalizations to use as private
      aspirations or power and mastery.
      Both Nietzsche and Weber worried about the future
       and the 20th Century. They thought it would be full of
       tyranny and horror.

     A lot of Weber’s work was influenced by Nietzsche.
   Kant & the Neo-Kantians
    ◦ Neo-Kantianism: “was a broad cultural movement
      focused on an intellectual critique of the currents of
      positivism, naturalism & materialism which followed
      the aftermath of the decline of German idealism”.
      Autonomy of the Individual
      Became critical of social domination (Gov)
    ◦ Weber: strongly identified with neo-kantian
      movement because of his Germany
      Proposed a unified Germany where all people worked
       toward the German national mission.
      He demonstrated the advantages of the rational,
       methodical ethic of work (rational capitalism)
   considered as one of the "founding fathers"
    of modern sociology
    ◦ his work is considered to be complex, varied, and
      open to subjective interpretation
     "method" employed by Weber
    ◦ recognized advantage sociologists had over natural
      scientists, due to the fact that they cannot gain
      insight to the behavioral patterns of the phenomena
      they study (example: cannot empathize with the
      function of an electron or chemical compound)
    ◦ method derives from studying the context of the
      phenomenon but also empathizing with the
      individuals involved
    ◦ critiqued as being little more than intuition - an
      overly soft and subjective method
      Weber insisted that it's a rational procedure involving
       systematic research
   Weber defined sociology as the study of
    social action between individuals (action
    defined as meaningful, purposive behavior)
    ◦ This is in contrast to Durkheim's impression of
      society as "structures that function apart from
      human purpose and will"
    ◦ Individual action treated as the basic unit of
   Zweckrational - means to attain a particular goal are
    rationally chosen
    ◦ example: person pursues college degree to hopefully
      obtain a job that grants financial security
   Wertrational - striving for a goal which may not be
    rational, but is pursued by rational means
    ◦ example: person follows teachings of a prophet, or lives
      a certain way in hopes of receiving "eternal salvation"
   Affective action - action via emotional means
    ◦ example: person attends a particular college because
      their significant other is enrolled there
   Traditional action - actions are guided by customary
    ◦ example: person doesn't really consider college- they
      have always known it will happen, because their family
      always has gone/will go
   Weber maintained that human social action in
    general has become more formally rational,
    or careful, planned, and by deliberately
    matching means to ends
   Claimed that only in modern societies does
    formal rationality exist in all spheres of social
   A sort of measuring rod, devised of the most
    "logically consistent" features of a
    ◦ example: ideal capitalism has four components-
      private ownership, pursuit of profit, competition,
      and laissez-faire economics
   Weber never explicitly elaborated on
    rationalization, but it's a theme that's been
    noted from multiple specific studies
    ◦ The world is becoming increasingly rational.
      shed light on rationalization via cross-cultural analysis
    ◦ Weber considered modern capitalism to be the root
      motivation of rationalization
      the motivation for maximum profits required rational
       reasoning to develop efficiency
   Practical rationality - characterized by acceptance of given
    realities or constraints in society, and simply calculating the
    best way to deal with them (opposed to threatening to alter
    the daily routine)
   Theoretical rationality - attempt to master reality,
    characterized by transcending daily realities in pursuit of
    enlightenment such as the "meaning of life"
   Substantive rationality - courses of action are determined by
    a value system in which behaviors are limited
   Formal rationality - courses of action are determined by
    "universally applied rules, laws, and regulation"
    ◦ Weber saw formal rationality as leading to the "Iron Cage"-
      rational and established rules prevent individuals from deviating
   Weber defined bureaucracies as "goal-oriented organizations
    designed according to rational principles in order to
    efficiently attain the stated goals"
    ◦ Weber saw the formation and execution of bureaucracies as
      necessary to complex societies
        the ideal bureaucracy has these characteristics:
         official business is conducted on a continuous basis
         business is conducted in accordance with stipulated rules
         every official's responsibility and authority are part of a hierarchy of
         officials do not own the resources necessary for them to perform their
          assigned functions, but they are accountable for the use of those
         offices cannot be appropriated by their incumbents in the sense of
          property that can be inherited or sold
         official business is conducted on the basis of written documents
   Weber thought it was important to go beyond
    simply recording events like historians, by
    also explaining the reasons behind them
   Weber decided that causal certainty was
    impossible, and that the best way to measure
    causality was by probability
   Human actions cannot be explained in terms
    of absolute "laws" such as cause and effect.
   To grasp the meaning of human actions
    would require a different method from any
    known to, or required by, practitioners of
    social science
   The social scientist's own moral, political, or
    aesthetic values will enter into their
    conclusions in a way that those of the natural
    scientist's do not
   According to Weber, values play a crucial role before,
    during, and after social research
   He strongly thought teachers must keep their
    personal values out of the classroom
   However, he thought that scholars have a perfect
    right to include their values
    ◦ "Students should be presented with the facts; attendees
      at a conference, or some other public gathering, expect
      to hear opinionated comments supported by facts"
   Weber believed that quantitative, empirical studies
    cannot tell people what they "ought" to do.
   Definitions:
    ◦ Power: the ability to impose one's will onto another,
      even when the other objects.
    ◦ Authority: legitimate power, power that is exercised
      with the consent of the ruled
   Rational-legal authority - established via impersonal, rational
    rules that have been legally enacted (possibly by contract)
    ◦ Example: U.S.
   Traditional authority - power is traditionally transmitted from
    generation to generation, by inheritance or appointment
    ◦ Example: Monarchies
   Charismatic authority - based on the appeal of figures who
    claim to possess extraordinary virtuosity
    ◦ Naturally unstable because power is with the individual

   Importance
    ◦ Weber was one of the first who treated authority as characteristic
      of the relation between leaders and followers
   Weber's view of inequality was heavily derived
    from Marx
    ◦ Believed that social stratification will always be
      reduced to the "haves" and "have nots“
      Certain individuals can bridge the gap (like priests)
   Weber's best-known work
   Traced the impact of Protestantism (primarily
    ◦ Believed to be one of the most powerful forces
      behind capitalism, though not exclusively
      Profit as a moral crusade - legitimated inequality
      Found nations with comparable technology and
       infrastructure lacked the cultural (religious)
   Had a nationalistic attitude, supported the
    assimilation of all minority groups rather than
    ◦ Not a racist, though- believed minorities could
      reach their potential if fully assimilated
      Long-time friend and supporter of Georg Simmel, a
       Jew who was discriminated against while trying for a
       full-time position as a teacher
      Weber was "the most tolerant liberal thinker Germany
       could offer at the time"
      Made a trip to America and sensed racial tension,
       foreshadowing an outbreak of riots
“Max Weber has had a more powerful positive impact
 on a wide range of sociological theories than any
 other sociological theorist…Weber’s work
 represents a remarkable fusion of historical
 research and sociological theorizing” (Ritzer)

  Created the German Association for Sociology (1909)
  Starting Point for Careers:
    Karl Mannheim, Han Speier, Hans Gerth, Talcott Parsons,
     Robert Merton and C. Wright Mills.
  His work had theoretical and methodological concepts
   that when combined with his scholarship brought
   historical data into “ a new and sharper focus”
   Many significant trends of work were started
    by Weber:
    ◦ Stratification theory, study of bureaucracy and large
      scale organization, the study of legitimate
      authority, the role of power, the sociology of law,
      the sociology of politics, the sociology of religion
      and the sociology of music.
   George Ritzer- The McDonaldization of
    ◦ Shows the relevancy of Weber’s terms
      Ex: bureaucracy and rationalization
        “For Weber, the model of rationalization was the
         bureaucracy, whereas for Ritzer, the fast-food restaurant
         serves as the paradigm of McDonaldization”
      Ex: irrationality of rationality
        Weber: “Iron Cage” syndrome
          In today’s society sociologist have identified many
           dysfunctions of the bureaucracies

        In Ritzer’s book “he believes that a bureaucracy is like a
         fast-food restaurant because they both create a
         dehumanizing work environment.”
   Robert Reich: The Work of Nations
    ◦ Builds onto Weber’s work:
      Believes we are moving from bureaucracies toward new
       kinds of organizations. He provides the “global web” as
       an example.
      Bureaucracies may be a thing of the past, and they are
       a source of frustration for many.
   Weber:
    ◦ Contributed a lot to sociological theory and
       His concept verstehen is still used today: it helps in
       understanding why some certain behaviors occur.
        Social Action: subjective meanings that humans attach to
          their interactions with one another
         Values: people hold play important role in relationships.
    ◦ Multicausality of Social Phenomenon:
      There are multiple social forces that affect everyone all
       the time
      The more variables research can control the better
   Complete Objectivity is Impossible
    ◦ Values & Value relevance
   The Protestant Ethic & The Spirit of
    ◦ Certain cultural barriers can prevent an economy
      from growing or expanding to its full potential
      Ex: religion
    ◦ Globalization: without change in cultural attitudes
      poor societies won’t reach their economic potential
   Social Class and Inequality
    ◦ His beliefs in social stratification variables are
      Ex: have-have nots; labels of We-They
   Realism vs. Idealism
    ◦ Idealist-> believed no particular reality existed
   Realism vs. Nominalism
    ◦ Realist-> Social action, though an abstract concept,
      has real consequences
   Idealism vs. Materialsm
    ◦ Both… sought material consequences during a
      period of German Idealism BUT Weber’s concept of
      Protestantism shaping capitalism started with the
      abstract ideas of Protestantism, and ended with the
      material consequences of capitalism