Weber’s reasons for why people work

BLOG #3 I think Weber’s instrumental-rational approach to social action describes why most of us go to work. Today people just want to work to make money so that they can have food and shelter. Especially nowadays since the economy isn’t great and the job options aren’t many, people are most likely going to take any kind of job opportunity that comes their way. Even a person who loves their job still only works to make money. This would fall under the category of Affective Action. But it is not Affective Action alone that makes people in this situation work; they are also motivated by instrumental-rational actions. They aren’t purely doing what they love because they love doing it. They have other motives.

One could say people work because of value-rational reasons. This would mean people work because they believe in the value of work and that it makes you a respectable person. But then, in my opinion, if work takes away time from the real important things such as your family, religion and your mental health than how could one believe it is inherently respectable? I agree that supporting a family is a respectable thing to do. A person wants to be able to feed and shelter his family. But then that would also fall under the category of instrumental rational action. The only other social action for the reason why we work is because of tradition. People have been working since the beginning of time and this could be why we do it today. But this only works in conjunction with instrumental-rational action as well. Because even though people have always been working, they’ve only done it to be able to survive. They do it to be able to have the means to create shelter and sustenance for their families. To sum up, even if a person works because they love their work or they believe in the action of work itself or they are doing it because their ancestors did it, they still are working because they know a paycheck is coming at the end of the week. Money is definitely a main motivator for why people go to work today.





2 responses to “Weber’s reasons for why people work

  1. I think you present very strong solid arguments in your post concerning Weber’s approach of why we go to work, but I slightly disagree with some of your aspects. In the case of people who work in power plants/factory-based environments, there is a strong possibility they may “work because of value-rational reasons;” despite having to work around hazardous conditions all the time, they still strive to hold onto the mentality that they are psychically able to take on any task that is handed down to them, and see a paycheck as a form of reward for all their hard work and effort. There may even be some people who enjoy working not just for the money but because they feel they have the ability to help others, such as teachers aiding students with real-life lessons or scientists hoping to find a cure to a common disease.

  2. people who work in factories and dangerous environments may do their job because of value-rational reasons but i don’t believe it is because they believe in their work alone and that is why they are doing what they are doing. my point was maybe these people work because of value-rational reasons but its in conjunction with instrumental-rational reasons. these people may not want to work in a dangerous setting and would maybe change their environment if their bosses stopped paying them. they don’t just go to work because they believe in the job they are doing they are also doing it because of their salary. and in response to teachers, firemen, policemen and other jobs that help others, although these people are helping others and they believe in their job they also do it for the money. because they believe in their work, their work would fall in the category of a value-rational action. but they also work because they are getting a salary. because at the end of the day these people need to pay their bills and if the job they were doing wasn’t paying them they wouldn’t being doing it. so these people also work because of instrumental-rational reasons.

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