Sociology and Rationalization

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  • Topic: Max Weber, Sociology, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
  • Pages : 4 (1354 words )
  • Download(s) : 613
  • Published : April 4, 2012
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The social world consists of drastic changes over centuries. The social world we now live in today is also continuously changing over improvements in technology. These technological advancements were the result of rationalization5 modern society. Rationalization was a major theme in most of Max Weber’s writings, especially the Spirit of Capitalism: The Protestant Ethic. Max Weber explained the major shift that occurred from a traditional society to modern society. The rationalization that was to occur was widespread, and rational technique would spread to the entire state according to Weber. Although Weber spoke about various types of rationalization, he gave distinct and specific examples of how rationalization would play out in modern activities of the state. In the examples he gave, bureaucracy and codification of law were major consequences of rationalization. First, in order to understand the way rationalization was created in economic, social and political spheres of society, we must understand the definition itself. We must identify the root cause of rationalization and what transformed traditional society. It is also vital that the significance of rationalization to modern society is also understood.

The traditional social world comprised of activities influenced by religious forces. These religious forces had no form of development; it strictly relied on personal insight, revelations, emotions and feelings, beliefs and faith. Obtaining knowledge was blocked, and theology was the only route available. The traditional society also relied heavily on magic and supernatural to explain occurrences in the social world. These were features that were the direct opposite of rationality. Catholicism was a prevalent religious affiliation that featured non-rational thought in daily affairs. The only way you would approach God is through the priests. Yet, Weber did not state that religion was all-irrational, and mythical. In fact, he stated that religion would...
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