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"Max Weber – Explaining Rationalisation"
Max Weber – Explaining Rationalisation
Author:
Gabrielle Gooch
Max Weber was the man behind the theory of rationalization. Weber was born into a prosperous middle class family and studied jurisprudence at the Heidelberg institute in Germany. During his time at Heidelberg he was to become a member of the SDP, a role in which he was very much active through out his life.


Whilst at Heidelberg Weber would have debates over positivist economics and historical analysis, he would argue that there were no necessary patterns through out history, rather that the events and causes were unique.


He did acknowledge that there were regularities that could be explained by means of intellectual analysis and a moral understanding of these regularities which would involve distinct and separate modes of reasoning.


He noticed that due to the change in society (from organic to mechanic) that there was a decline in the myth, magic and to some extents religious values where as there was a rise in the use of rational calculation and secularism.


This change in ideas was seen as a result of independent variables which changed either to increase or decrease productivity. Thus Weber is credited with the qualitative approach. This led to the 'Protestant ethic' whereby workers had to prove their worth through their work.


The organic to mechanic shift took place during the early 1900's when the industrial age was gaining strength. With the industrial age came the development of Capitalism and Modernization which Weber argued led to the traditional and aristocratic values of religion and the Church breaking down.


With the development of Capitalism fairly strong in Northern Europe, Weber concluded that functions carried out in factories would need to be specialized, thus increasing the level of beauracratisation and the level of impersonality in everyday life.


Weber saw society divide in to the following:


Propertied Upper Class – Which owned the factories and during the...

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