From Max Weber: Essays in sociology. - Open Library
Another example might be the independent influence of ideology on the voting patterns of people. People do not always vote for the party which might represent them best, but may be tied to a certain political party for ideological reasons. A Marxian might say that working class voting Reform or Saskatchewan Party represents a false consciousness. For Weber, such an equation would be too simple. It is necessary for the sociologist to study such behaviour and attempt to determine what thought processes are occurring here. The possibility of the influence of other factors -- ethnicity, sex, age, etc. -- which cannot all be reduced to the economic base, should also be considered.
Weber collected essays on the sociology of religion
In the view of some, Weber may have "spent his life having a posthumous dialogue with the ghost of Karl Marx." (Cuff, p. 97). This dialogue concerned (i) economic determinism or the extent to which developments are rooted in the material base, and (ii) the extent to which economic factors alone can be considered at the root of social structure. At the same time, the differences between Weber and Marx should not be overstated. Weber's analysis had similar scope to that of Marx, and he came from a similar historical, German tradition of thought, examining many of the same topics as Marx. Many contemporary sociologists think of Weber as complementing Marx, examining issues that Marx thought less important, providing a way of thinking about the individual within a structural approach, and laying out a sociological methodology. Weber's writing had an influence on structural functionalism, critical theory, some of the social interaction approaches, and much contemporary sociological theory, including some Marxist approaches that use ideas from Weber.
Weber studied at Heidelberg and Berlin (earning a Ph. D.) and, unlike Marx, was not prevented from taking up an academic career because of his politics, but became an important German professor. As Marx had done, he studied law and became a lawyer. He began studying the conditions of agricultural workers in east Prussia in 1892 and by 1894 became a professor of economics. His studies branched out into the study of history, economics, sociology, religion and languages. Like Marx, he tackled practically any subject which interested him, and both were products of a broad intellectual tradition. "Max Weber belonged to a generation of universal scholars ... ." (Gerth and Mills, p. 23).
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Weber's analysis helps bridge the gap between the large structures of society and individual social action and interaction. Weber argued that sociologists can develop an understanding of actions of individuals and groups, and thereby of historical processes. Weber described this as or understanding, whereby the sociologist becomes empathetic with the individual, developing an understanding of the meaning that individuals attach to various courses of action. Understanding and meaning are key elements of Weber's approach – these are not just intuition or sympathy with the individual, but the product of "systematic and rigorous research" (Ritzer, p. 116). This approach is
Sociology 250 - Notes on Max Weber
Max Weber (1864-1920) was a German writer, academic (historian and sociologist), who was sometimes involved in the field of politics. He was born near Erfurt, Saxony (in central Germany) part of Prussia at that time. His family background was not all that dissimilar from that of Marx – both were born into middle class professional families, although Marx was Jewish and Weber's family was better off than Marx's.
Max Weber - Sociology - Oxford Bibliographies
For Weber, it is the meaning that people attach to ideas, affecting how people act, that is the proper subject of sociology. Weber is most concerned with actions that are considered and contemplated by actors, where decisions must be made. Reflexive actions are not of sociological interest, and as a result, Weber was not very concerned with psychology and mental processes. Where the individual or the group contemplates various course of action, the processes of deciding among these, within institutional and structural constraints, is the concern of Weber.
A principal founder of modern sociology, Max Weber Jr
From this allegedly realistic premise, Weber famously moved on toidentify three ideal types of legitimate domination based on,respectively, tradition, charisma, and legal rationality. Roughly, thefirst type of legitimacy claim depends on how persuasively the leadersprove their charismatic qualities, for which they receive personaldevotions and emotive followings from the ruled. The second kind ofclaim can be made successfully when certain practice, custom, andmores are institutionalized to (re)produce a stable pattern ofdomination over a long duration of time. In sharp contrast to thesecrucial dependences on personality traits and the passage of time, thethird type of authority is unfettered by time, place, and other formsof contingency as it derives its legitimacy from adherence toimpersonal rules and universal principles that can only be found bysuitable legal-rational reasoning. Weber’s fame and influence asa political thinker are built most critically upon this typology andthe ways in which those ideal types are deployed in his politicalsociology – or, more literally, sociology of domination(Herrschaftssoziologie).