2007-11-08 - 1) the problem of rationality 2) bureaucracies...

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1) the problem of rationality 2) bureaucracies as statistical observer 3) the multi dimensional theory of stratification The Problem of Rationality rational choice rationality is very important in sociological theory max weber is first a sociologist o we know according to weber rationality is instrumental rationality o we can be rationalized is to the ends but the means???? o an action is instrumental rational if given the particular goals or outcomes o the action selects the most adequate to realize those ends and goals o no goal is more rational than any other o it is a matter of taste o what can be rationalized is only the technical means that are required to accomplish certain things o webers whole thing is on the technical part of rationality o efficiency and effectiveness bringing about specific goals or end rational choice o what one tries to accomplish is what one calls the subjective preference o you can do it in rational and irrational ways only when it does what it originally sets out to do only in the most efficient way possible o in rational choice rationality is treated as an assumption or norm so rationality and rational action are assumed they are not observed by empirically analyzing natural actions, rationality is assumed to be the underlying assumption of all action it is usually an idealized assumption, not an empirical observation o the sociological approach to rationality is to treat it as a variable rationality is not a constant, it varies the question is not are or are not people actions rational but to what degree in different conditions rationality is not a matter for either / or present or absent the idea is to find out the covariants of this variation what tasks are routine under what conditions will rationality become more or less of an option for natural persons or corporate persons / organizations we turn rationality into a dependent variable we are looking for independent variable that go with rationality o 1 st Covariant (transition from front stage to back stage) rationality tends to surface on front stages rationality tends to structure organizational behavior when an organization acts on its front stages
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when persons act on front stages they make use of rationality as a particular culture or repertoire to explain their actions back staging do not give rise as much to rational accounts and rational structure front stages for orgs deal with inspectors and audiences etc in such situations they try to deliver rational justifications for their behaviors rationality is a cultural script that orgs and persons use when they have to deal with observers of themselves on the backstage both orgs and persons are much more messy and disorderly they are much more informal on their backstages there is only loose coupling between formal and informal, back and front stages rationality seems more prominent as one moves from back stage to
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course SOC 302 taught by Professor Fuchs during the Spring '07 term at UVA.

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2007-11-08 - 1) the problem of rationality 2) bureaucracies...

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