Karl Marx and Max Weber
Karl Marx and Max Weber are two important names when thinking of sociological theory. Both men had strong views about our society. Weber’s approach to studying social life will be looked at. Then, Weber’s study of rationalization will be the main point of interest. His theory of rationalization showed us why people acted as they did. As with Weber, Marx’s approach to studying social life will be examined. Next, his theory of the capitalist mode of production will be explored. This paper will discuss his theories of the struggles between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, and how they could be solved.
Max Weber was another intelligent thinker of the last century. His areas of study were primarily concerned with social action and rationalization. Social action is how we behave in everyday life. Ritzer says that behavior occurs with little thought, and action is what we do based on a conscious decision (2010:31). He says that Weber was not concerned with behavior that had no thought behind it, such as touching a hot stove and pulling away. “Weber was interested in situations in which people attach meaning to what they do” (Ritzer 2010:31).
Weber’s major concern was rationalization. First, there needs to be a clear definition of what rationalization actually is. A dictionary will define rationalization as applying logic or reason to something. That is what Weber is also trying to do; he is trying to figure out why people do what they do, and what reason do they have for doing that. He lays out for different types of rationality. First there is practical rationality, which Ritzer defines as how we deal with difficulties on a day-to-day basis, and how we find the quickest and easiest way to reach our goal of getting to one point to another. (Ritzer 2010:34).I think what this means is how we deal with daily problems that we face. For example, if class started in thirty minutes, and I was forty minutes away,