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Max Weber 1864-1920 PowerPoint Presentation
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Max Weber 1864-1920

Max Weber 1864-1920

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Max Weber 1864-1920

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  1. Max Weber1864-1920 Katie Geneser Hayden George

  2. Background • Born 1864, Thuringia • Father was wealthy civil servant who was highly involved in both politics and academics • For Christmas one year he wrote two analytical essays to give to his parents as gifts • Attended law school • Spent some time in the military

  3. Background • In 1893 he married Marianne Schnitger a feminist activist and author • Took a job as a professor eventually ending up at the University of Heidelberg

  4. Early Work • Early on took an interest in contemporary social policy • Felt that the role of economics was the primary source of solving social problems

  5. Influences • Strongly influenced by German Idealism • Linked romanticism and Enlightenment politics • Kant, Freud, and Simmel • Strongly influenced by Marx’s ideas of socialism and active politics • Differed on the idea of utopian society

  6. Concepts and Contributions • Bureaucracy • Pre-conditions • Growth in space and population • Growth in complexity of the administrative tasks being carried out • Existence of monetary economy, requires a more efficient administrative system

  7. Concepts and Contributions • Bureaucracy • Communication and transportation policies make more efficient administration possible • Hierarchical organization • Delineated lines of authority in a fixed area of activity • Rules are implemented by neutral officials, not the power elite • Advancements depend on technical qualifications from organizations not individuals • Can be a threat to individual freedom

  8. Concepts and Contributions • Rationalization • “The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and, above all, by the ‘disenchantment of the world’” • Instead of the power elite holding society back, it is the laws, rules and regulations capitalism requires • Curtails people’s freedoms and traps them in bureaucratic society • Process is less welcome of individualism and “dehumanizes people”

  9. Concepts and Contributions • Rationalization • Zweckrational (i.e., formal) rationality. The rationality of means-ends relationships, wherein an identifiable goal is sought by pursuing reasonably defined means. • Wertrational(i.e., substantive) rationality. The rationality of non-goal oriented behavior, wherein behavior is pursued independently of the prospects of success.

  10. Concepts and Contributions • Verstehen • German word for interpretive understanding • Looking at society from your own point of view rather than from that of the indigenous culture • How people give meaning to the social world around them • Gives a subjective understanding about individual and group behavior

  11. Concepts and Contributions • The Protestant Ethic • The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905) • Emphasizes hard work, frugality, and prosperity as a display as a person’s salvation in the Christian faith • Societies that are more Protestant tend to be more bureaucratic than capitalist and to Weber this is a good thing • Workers are more likely to be devoted to their craft and are less alienated

  12. Views on Society • Bureaucratic Society • Rather than capitalism or communism, Weber thought society should be run through a system of well organized institutions • Society can be understood through empirical observation rather than quantitative research • Power is not just in the hands of the elite

  13. Relevancy • Influenced Parsons, Habermas, and many others • Presented sociology as the “science of human social action” • Developed antipositivism; stressing the differences between social and natural sciences • Weber Bureaucracies: showed how there are bureaucratic elements of every part of society

  14. Limitations • His specific explanations for society in his time are hard to generalize for other circumstances in society • Failed to see all the positive aspects of rationalization and deemed society to be doomed and trapped in an “iron cage” of its own making • Bureaucratic features of Weber’s ideal society might actually be inefficient (argued by Merton)