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Max Weber

By | August 2012
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Max Weber (1864-1920)

Max Weber is of German descent and started his educational endeavors at the University of Berlin where he studied the relationship between society and the individual. He is considered as one of the founders of the modern study of sociology and public administration. He has been influential in German politics and has held many positions within the government.

Max Weber is considered to be one of the world’s greatest sociologists and wrote about the capitalist world he lived in. Weber wrote about many different subjects such as economics, politics, religion and urbanization. Some of these aspects are state power, class inequality, social change, authority, ideology. To understand how Weber thought one must look at each area separately then put them all together to get the whole picture. He believed that sociologists should be observant of the real “flesh-and-blood” social individuals and as opposed to dealing with abstractions. According to Weber, “Action is social in so far as, by virtue of the subjective meaning attached to it by the acting individual (or individuals), it takes account of the behavior of others and is thereby oriented in its course.” Weber describes history in terms of the constant struggle for power. He bases all significant historical changes on the power struggle that caused them. Weber describes power as a zero sum game. That means for one person to gain power, someone else has to loose the same amount of power. A fundamental aspect of the power struggle is the state, and its power. Weber states that the state is the monopoly of legitimate force. The state is a compulsory of power, and the laws within it are its powers to enforce its power. The main struggle for power is that of force verses authority. Force is power that can be used to get one's way, and authority is the legitimate use of power to rule. Within the struggle for power, Weber defines three forms of authority: rational-legal authority,...

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