Rationalization As The Development Of Western Society And Modern Culture

1671 Words Nov 11th, 2015 7 Pages
Rationalization is a process whereby traditional meanings, values and the mode of thought are replaced by modern ‘rational’ ones. Weber sees the development of rationalization as the development of Western society and modern culture. Individuals become more concerned with achieving materialistic goals by rational means and by calculating and weighing up all the possible outcomes. In addition to rationalization, Weber also saw the disenchantment of the world, in which science and rationality are more highly valued than belief. It is the devaluation of mysticism and the cultural rationalization, mainly apparent in modern Western societies. Through this rationalization process, Weber sees an increasing trend towards secularization, bureaucratization and modernization. For Weber, traditional society was one where “the world remains a great enchanted garden”. (The University of Winchester, 2014) He regarded these traditional forms as irrational or at least non-rational. This is because they rely on superstition and magic as a way of explaining the social world and have no methodical forms of development, but are based on emotions, feelings and personal insights.

The view that rationalization leads to an increasing trend towards secularization is supported by Wilson (1966), who defines this concept as a process in which religious ways of thinking, practices and institutions lose significance in modernity. This can be seen in statistics on church attendance. According to Human…
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