Weber and Religion: The Prophet Motive Weber was concerned to demonstrate, contrary to Marx's thought, that culture was not reducible to the economic aspect of a society. Weber insisted that culture was to be considered as an autonomous value-sphere of any society. We might define such a value-sphere as; "..a distinct realm of activity which has its own inherent dignity and in which certain values, norms, obligations are inherent." (Brubaker:1983) Not only is this value-sphere of culture autonomous but, for Weber, it has the ability to construct forms of economic activity! For Weber, culture is seen as an agent in the production and maintenance of social relations. For …show more content…
It is in this sense that we must understand charisma to be based upon a set of social relationships. Relationships of authority and legitimacy. Finally, charismatic authority arises in periods of social unrest and change and thus depends not only on the existence of this `exceptional' individual but a social context which produces large numbers of individuals who are `disenchanted' with the present social institutions. Charisma, is in Weber's view ` a great revolutionary force' for social change. Charismatic movements always seek to dismantle or overthrow existing/traditional forms of authority and power. Finally, Weber suggests charismatic authority as inherently unstable since it is usually based upon a `personality cult' of the leader. When the leader dies then the movement will `die' with him/her or ossify and institutionalise itself into what Weber refers to as `the charisma of office': bureaucracy! Look at Fig. 1, (at the bottom of page 2 of this document) which I have taken and adapted from Bryan Turner's book. To understand the historical process we will need to begin with the `magician' and move `clockwise' towards `secular man'. We begin with the earliest form of society. Hunter-gatherer societies which were organised on the basis of kinship and lived in collectives of clans or tribes. The belief-systems of these peoples were, says Weber, based upon magic. Thus the magician (or
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Before discussing Marx and Weber’s theories we must look at their upbringing and who has influenced their works. Karl Marx was born in West Germany in a small business city called Trier, in 1818 (Karl Marx, Intro. to Part III, Pg.135). Karl Marx was the son of a rich family and
and subsequent reinvestment of capital, is an end that both Weber and Marx reach in their analyses of society and agree on in definition. However, while Marx tells us that phantoms of the brain i.e. morality, religion, ideology, cannot develop independently of material production or influence it, Weber argues that ideas and religion can indeed determine life and the processes of life, namely our material production. The key difference between the two is their scope of factors that can cause historical development. Marx only allows for one factor, productive forces and the economic conditions resulting from them; Weber, on the other hand, acknowledges that while ideology and religion can support the economic relations as a driving factor, they can also develop independently and become a factor, a force on its own that can alter production, economic conditions, and thus history. By accounting for the multiple ways in which a society can be altered, Weber provides a more complete and applicable understanding of historical development and the powerful concept that an idea from an individual or group of individuals can have a legitimate and significant effect on the direction of society.
The purpose of this essay is to analyse Weber’s theory of authority and power in order to establish its role in the modern contemporary world today. Weber, in his most acclaimed writings, discusses his three ideal types of authority being outlined as traditional, charismatic and rational-legal authority. He believes that in order for any political leader or political establishment to hold legitimate authority over its peoples, they must have either one of these types of authority. All of these types of power and authority can be referred to in some way in today’s contemporary world using examples of differing political leaders and systems. However, Weber’s writings were conducted in 1922 and may be considered as out-dated, and not as relevant as they were at his time of writing. Also, many dispute that Weber’s types of authority were perhaps not entirely relatable and Martin Spencer, like many other critics of Weber’s work in fact argue that there should have been four types of authority. Hence why these issues must be discussed in order to conclude whether Weber’s ideal types of authority are representative of political leaders and governments, and whether or not they can be associated with the contemporary world we live in today.
According to Max Weber, the economic and technological relationships that organized and most importantly grew out of the capitalistic production became fundamental forces in the society. This means that one has to adapt to the society that he/she was born into in regards to the division of labor, and the hierarchical social structure. When analyzed, this theory shows that it is difficult for one to envision a life that is alternative to what they were born into.
To be sure, Weber’s description of charismatic leadership does not account for all of the forces at play during the election, but his theory does shed light on why many individuals view Trump’s style of leadership as different and necessary in this current political moment. Weber’s discussion of the charismatic leader as an infallible authority with a perceived legitimate claim of power highlights why Trump supporters endorsed his rhetoric despite its many logical, political, and ethical flaws. Yet, according to Weber, Trump’s current style of leadership and authority cannot last in the long-term. This may be a comforting or concerning notion, but nonetheless, sheds light on what may occur during the Trump
Two names that are repeatedly mentioned in sociological theory are Karl Marx and Max Weber. In some ways these two intellectuals were similar in the way they looked at society. There are also some striking differences. In order to compare and contrast these two individuals it is necessary to look at each of their ideas. Then a comparison of their views can be illustrated followed by examples of how their perspectives differ from each other.
In class, we talked about discrimination in society through economic inequality with Marx, and then with Durkheim. We discussed the positive viewing of individualism in society through inequality. Max Weber is comparable to Karl Marx because they both focus on inequality and capitalism. However, unlike Marx, Weber views the uneconomic actions in society. He has an interpretive view, and as an interpretive sociologist, this means he focuses on the concerns of the society itself and not the people
The employee devotion to their charismatic leader served as the motivation to perform. “Unlike Weber’s other two types of authority, charismatic authority relies on personal devotion to the figure that possesses the qualities exalted by the followers” (Pellegrino, 2010, p. 65). A flat hierarchy became a part of the work culture, but the owner’s recent retirement created a void within the bakery and exposed a leadership deficit. “Charismatic authority is individually based, and when the charismatic leader leaves the organization, the authority or ability to influence leaves with him or her. Weber believed charismatic authority contributed to unstable organizations and disorderly transition of power from person to another” (Shockley-Zalabak, 2015, p. 76). The leadership void and lack of hierarchy began to erode employee commitment and
In Weber’s article he claims that there are specific types of domination, which stress the importance of establishing “legitimacy” as a leader, within a group of people. He supports this opening claim in his introduction paragraph, in which he defines the authority of domination “classified” by the “kind of claim” demanded (2). He ultimately supports his by breaking down the types of legitimacy in domination in three distinct categories: Legal authority, traditional authority, and charismatic authority (3). He supports his argument through theoretical examples in which he assumes the reader has a background in. The assumptions include: knowledge of basic authoritative environments such as work setting or school that are applied to his
Ordinarily, religion is one of the rationales of social orientations, that in one way or another influences the society’s social stability. This is because religion is the impelling force for regulations in the society as well as a destabilizing drive for transformation. Marx Weber together with Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim were very influential personalities in the course of the 19th century, and even now. In one way or another, these persons attempted to make plain as well as comprehensible social change, particularly in the aspect of religion in the society. Their perspectives on religion differ on some aspects. Even though their views on religion are diverse, they all seem to be in accord that
As an area studied by humans about humans, there are realms of the human psyche not yet deciphered by political theorists, but can be explained by various sociological phenomena. Most significantly, the indiscretion of the human condition most easily manipulated is that of the perception of capable authority. The candidate that wins any presidential election is the one that the majority of voters could identify with and trust, deduced from the advertisement of the individual’s values. This inclination is identified during election time, and so emerges the mass phenomenon of charismatic authority. Max Weber outlined charismatic authority as "resting on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism, or exemplary character of an individual person,
For Weber, religion can be seen as a factor which pushes for social change, while for Marx it is essentially used as a conservation, keeping the wealthy, wealthy and suppressing the poor
Religion, as defined by the High Court of Australia, is ‘a complex of beliefs and practices which point to a set of values and an understanding of the meaning of existence’ (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2005) and can be studied either substantively or functionally (Berger 1974:126). Substantive studies of religion fall predominantly in the realm of theology and are more concerned with defining religious beliefs; their historical accuracy; and the existence of supernatural entities (Holmes, Hughes & Julian 2007:425). Sociology however, concerns itself primarily with the relationship between religion and society, examining religion as a social construction (Van Krieken et al. 2010:350-1) and concerned only with the substance of
Max Weber believed the religion is a deeply rooted institution that has shaped people’s image of the world, which in turn can impact their beliefs and motives. For instance, religion is used different amongst people of various class and statues. Individuals with high class and statues will use religion legitimate their circumstances and their situation in the world. On the other end of the spectrum, underprivileged individuals will lean toward religion that promise rewards for hard work and good morals (CSP). In addition, Weber believed that religion had supplied the framework that aided the development of various social institution, in particular the economy (PA).