Weber_Mar23 - SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of Sociological...

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1 SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of Sociological Theory Max Weber Key Points: ± What are the characteristics of traditional, rational-legal, and charismatic authority, according to Weber? ± Explain Weber’s method of ideal types through his analysis of legitimate authority.
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2 “Domination” as a useful redefinition of the notion of power ± Weber defines domination as “the probability that certain specific commands will be obeyed by a given group of persons. Every genuine form implies a minimum of voluntary compliance, that is, an interest (based on ulterior motives or genuine acceptance) in obedience.” ± Temporary or transient types of power are not usually considered to be dominance. This definition of domination also eliminates those types of power that are based on sheer force, because force may not lead to acceptance of the dominant group. Situations of overt conflict and force are also relatively unusual. “Domination” (continued) Thus, a power relation which is one of dominance involves: ± Voluntary compliance or obedience. Individuals are not forced to obey, but do so voluntarily. ± Those who obey do so because they have an interest in so doing, or at least believe that they have such an interest. ± Belief in the legitimacy of the actions of the dominant individual or group is likely. The particular claim to legitimacy is treated as ‘valid’. ± Compliance is not haphazard or associated with a short- term social relationship, but is a sustained relationship of dominance and subordination so that regular patterns of inequality are established. “Domination” (continued) ± When dominance continues for a considerable period of time, it becomes a structured phenomenon, and the forms of dominance become the social structures of society. ± While Weber’s definition of domination may be narrow, it is a useful way of examining relationships that do become structured. For example, while employer- employee or other types of relationships characterized by domination and subordination often involve conflict, the use of force is not always, or is not normally, an aspect of these and subordinates do obey and implicitly accept this subordination.
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This note was uploaded on 02/05/2012 for the course 920 313 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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Weber_Mar23 - SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of Sociological...

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