This paper intends to highlight the facts concerning Max Weber. This includes general history, his education, major contributions, theories, as well as, the critical contributions he made.
Max Weber was born in Erfurt, South Germany in 21 April 1864 (Morrison, 1995). He passed away in June 1920 (Morrison, 1995). He brilliantly finished school at an early age and then went on to teach at several universities in Germany while delivering thought-provoking lectures and writing what are to be considered his major contributions to politics, sociology, economics etc (Morrison, 1995).
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Max Weber was an outstanding student (Morrison, 1995). Furthermore, he holds a bachelor’s degree in law and a doctorate in political economy which he both earned in Berlin (Morrison, 1995). Moreover, he also attended University of Heidelberg, as well as, University of Gottingen (Morrison, 1995).
Max Weber’s contribution to the world of economy, law & public administration, philosophy, political economy, politics, as well as, sociology include the following: 1) Major research projects on capitalism, methodology, and religion like the “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” specifically “The Religions of the East” wherein he looked into the relationship between religious and philosophical ideas in the east and the development, (as well as, inadequacy of it) of capitalism in that geographical area; 2) “Economy and Society” which is taken to be Max Weber’s most ambitious theoretical and historical work; 3) theory of bureaucracy; 4) types of legitimate domination; 5) concept of rationality; 6) etc (Morrison, 1995).
Max Weber’s theories are categorized under “bureaucracy” (Morrison, 1995). For him, this concerns the continuous, rational, professionalized, as well as, rule-governed form of administration (Morrison, 1995). In addition to that, Weber believes that bureaucracy is a form of an administration that do not entail any kind of personal, irrational, or emotional feelings (Morrison, 1995). Furthermore, he associated the phenomenon of bureaucratic development or bureaucratization with rationalization, as well as, modernization (Morrison, 1995).
Moreover, he also claimed that bureaucratic development is related to the division of labor or specialization, in terms of administration and not economic production (Morrison, 1995). Also, he said that bureaucracy is excellent since it is characterized by efficiency, impartiality, as well as, efficiency but from it also arise dangers including its incompatibility with democracy, as well as, alienation of the public from the processes of bureaucracy (Morrison, 1995).
One of the most critical contributions of Max Weber is known as the legitimate types of authority (Morrison, 1995). First of all, he claims that legitimate authority and legitimate domination is one and the same (Morrison, 1995). Second, he states that domination is not similar with power (Morrison, 1995). Explaining further, “power according to Max Weber is the capacity of an individual to do something even if resistance comes into play while domination is a right of the ruler to command and to be obeyed (Morrison, 1995).
Third, according to him the three types of legitimate domination or authority are the following: 1) rational-legal, which is based on legal precepts and rules and that obedience is something that is impersonally owed and obligatory wherein an order is the source of authority; 2) traditional, which is established on what norms are acceptable and practiced, including rites and rituals which are carried out wherein the family is the source of authority; and 3) charismatic, which is instituted in the qualities of the leader considered to be extraordinary especially when it comes to the capability of the leader to inspire his followers eventually making his followers obey him (Morrison, 1995).
- Morrison, K. (1995). Marx, Durkheim, Weber: Formations of Modern Social Thought.
- London: Sage Productions.
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