Tag Archives: bureaucracy

Blog 2 – Alienation

Marx’s theory of Alienation is surprisingly common when looking into our social structure in the U.S.  Being a capitalist country, we developed a mode of production that deprives humans of being “human”.  Workers are basically drones, gears in a grand industrial clock, where they are emotionless and have only one output which is labor.  What is the point of constantly grinding out work, the same thing day in and day out, if you can’t enjoy life.  It’s unfortunate that this net, that is alienation, has caught so many people and exploited them.  However, as seen in history many times over, revolution seems to cure, even if only for a short time, the proletariat’s epidemic.  I would assume that in order to achieve a “fresh start” that overcoming bureaucracy would be necessary and as time passes it seems more and more difficult.  Alienation of the worker is spreading and it looks as if we are drifting further away from humanism.




Weber pointed out that we cannot analyze our social behavior without “verstehen”, which means understanding or insight in German. He pointed out that we can’t analyze social behavior with the same criteria as we use to measure height or temperature. To fully understand behavior, we must learn the subjective meanings people attach to their social actions. It’s also important how they themselves view and explain their behavior.

We owe credit to Weber for a key conceptual tool: the ideal type. He sets up ideal types for social actions, legitimate authority, and bureaucracy.  While Weber is presenting this model of bureaucracy, he was not describing any particular organization. His purpose was to provide a useful standard for measuring how bureaucratic an actual organization is. Weber emphasized the basic similarity of structure and process found in the otherwise dissimilar enterprises of religion, government, education, and business. Weber saw bureaucracy as a system that is quite different from the family-run business. He developed an ideal type of bureaucracy that would reflect the most characteristic aspects of all human organizations. However, In reality  the perfect bureaucracies do not and will not exist; no real-world organization corresponds exactly to his ideal type.

There are five basic characteristics in Weber’s ideal bureaucracy. (1) Division of labor (specialized experts perform specific tasks). (2) Hierarchy of authority (each position is under the supervision of a higher authority). (3) Written rules and regulations (standards and goals). (4) Impersonality (without hatred or passion while perform duties). (5) Employment based on technical qualifications. (hiring based on qualifications rather than favoritism)


#1.A democracy which makes o…

A democracy which makes or even effectively prepares for modern, scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic. No country can be really well prepared for modern war unless it is governed by a tyrant, at the head of a highly trained and perfectly obedient bureaucracy.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/bureaucracy.html

Blog#1 House of sand and fog

As I watched the movie House of Sand and Fog, I discovered many of the terms Max Weber uses such as bureaucracy, class, status and party. Behrani and Kathy’s main focus is on class they are two people who are Self-destructed, they feel the need to lie about their living and money situation. They are arrogant in the sense that they need to lie about their financial situation to look good in front of thier families. Behrani is only looking out for his best intrest and his family’s. He invests in (Kathy’s house) in which he purchased and will making a killing profit out of it, he doesnt care about her struggles, he want’s to make his money and feel that he has lived the American dream and find himself in a better Finacial status, since he comes from Iran in which he was a Col. then comes to the US and struggles as a construction worker and store clerk to improve his faily’s condition.

In-class Movie

I was just making flash cards for all the terms we’ve learned or gone over during the semester and when I got to chapter four, on Max Weber the terms made me focus a lot of the movie we just watched. The terms are bureaucracy, class, status and party that really jumped out at me. This movie had such a focus on class consciousness. The characters main focus was about their class, and although the two main characters are very different- they do have some similarities that are evident.
Kathy and Behrani lie to their families about their money issues, and put up a front to act as if they are doing well, and do not need any help. They both make it seem as if they have everything under control until it all spirals out of control. They are both overwhelmed, and instead of coming clean or getting help it seems as if they dig themselves deeper. The whole reasoning is to keep their debt a secret. They don’t care who they step on to get where they need to go, whether it be not returning the house or using the officer to Kathy’s advantage to get what she wants/needs. The movie somehow feels like a small episode of survival of the fittest, the person who is able to battle it out the most will remain the keeper of the house.
It’s kind of funny how when you watch a movie on your own, you don’t dissect it to understand all the underlying messages but once it’s brought to your attention then it’s as if you can’t notice anything but this.

Blog #2- Weber, from Authority to Bureaucracy

Weber describes three different types of authorities: The rational-legal which rests on the believe that laws are the legitimate form of domination, traditional which rests on the belief in the sanctity of traditions and that traditions are the legitimate form of how to become dominate, and finally charismatic authority which rests on the belief that you obey because you are moved by the charismatic qualities a person possesses and therefore you will listen to them and that is how they become dominate.  After looking into how he sees the different types of authorities dominating, I then read his views on Bureaucracy.

Bureaucracy is a type of government where decisions are made not by the elected officials, but instead by organizations or state officials.  This is a different type of authority then the three Weber has previously discussed.  It seems that bureaucracy instead encompasses all three types of these authorities.  Weber describes bureaucracy as the ideal type of government, but he goes on further to describe the ideal form of bureaucracy.

It encompasses the idea of regional-legal authority because laws still exist in a bureaucracy.  Although the laws are enforced not by elected officials, but instead by organizations that were not elected.  It shows traditional authority because it seems to keep the same type of people holding positions of hierarchy who keep many of the same laws and rules in action.  Charismatic authority is shown in bureaucracy because the people in power didn’t come into power by being elected, but instead speaking to people in a way that makes them obey and do what they want.