Social Facts Versus Social Action Essay

710 Words3 Pages
Sociology is the objective and systematic observation of human interaction. These interactions routinely take the form of ideas that are established by that society; these ideas disclose values held by that society and in turn explain how/why certain behaviors become customary. In a broader scope, sociologists also consider aspects of context such as race, economic class, gender, and age, because all of these things are responsible for shaping values, beliefs, and behavior. Social facts can be described as societal norms that indicate social patterns that exist despite beliefs of the individual experiencing them. Things such as customs and societal values exist outside individuals whereas cognitive activity is responsible for motivation…show more content…
It is a social action if and only if the individual considers other individuals’ actions and orients their behavior accordingly. Max Weber, born in 1864, believed that these social actions could be interpreted and understood, giving rise to their purpose and meaning. One central theme of his approach to sociology is the importance of being as objective as possible while studying highly subjective interactions. Weber believed in motive and stated that social action is understood through the subjectivity of the individual committing the social action in relation to someone else. The interpretive focus of Weber’s theory states that individuals often attach obscured bias to their actions and in order to understand meaning and purpose of their actions must objectively survey the subjective nature of the individual. In Weber’s analysis, there were two clear sides, one being the subjective and the other being the objective. While there are objective means to behaving a certain ways; these objective means derive from the subjective ends that exist either in our conscious or unconscious mind. These social actions were responsible for maintaining or severing the social relationships we hold with one another. This idea of social action fell into four distinct categorizations.
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