Weber_Mar30

Weber_Mar30 - SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of Sociological...

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1 SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of Sociological Theory Max Weber Key Points: ± Discuss how the economic, the social, and the political order intersect in industrial societies, acc. to Weber. ± Compare/contrast the Weberian and the Marxist theories of social order.
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2 Introductory remarks ± Weber’s sociology centers around three interrelated subjects: stratification, organizations, and politics. Of these, stratification provides the core theory of society to which all else is related and within which may be found the forces that move society. ± Weber believed that social stratification results from a struggle for scarce resources in society. Although this struggle is primarily concerned with economic resources, it also involves struggles for prestige and for political power. ± He argues that the constitution of the social order must rest on power, and thus we need to identify the types and sources of power in society. ± The question then arises: Where does power come from? Why do a certain set of people have power, while others do not? Marx on Social Stratification ± Let’s review! Weber on Social Stratification ± Weber builds on Marx and starts with the economic system, but he quickly establishes that there is more to power than money : people can get power through social honor or prestige, or use power for things other than monetary gain. ± Therefore, the social order and the economic order are not identical. The economic order is merely the way in which goods are distributed. ± Thus, Weber posits three dimensions along which social groups are formed: Economic, Social (“Honor” or “Lifestyle”), and Political. These three are related, but understanding how each works lets us make better sense of how changes in society occur, and how the exercise of power, economic, and cultural goods is to be understood. ± Political power, economics, and honor constitute the “social order”.
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3 Three parameters of social stratification, Or three ways of exercising power Economic Order Cultural Order Political Order Status groups Parties Classes Class, status, party: ideal types of social order/social stratification ± Class defined by production role: inequality of owners and non-owners in the marketplace. ± Status defined by consumption and lifestyle norms: Status-groups are about communities, stratified by rituals and conventions. Variable. ² (contrast with caste = ascriptive status, e.g. race) ± Parties: power and charisma – slippery Classes ± Weber argues that owners are in a better position to benefit from what they have than are non-owners, because owners can use their economic resources to further their economic position, whereas non-owners only have their labor (services) to provide. Thus, classes tend to fall along the lines of owners and non-owners.
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Weber_Mar30 - SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of Sociological...

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