Tag Archives: traditional

Blog # 6 “The Types of Legitimate Domination” (Weber)

Weber discusses the ‘three pure types of authority’ and each types of authority have different types of claim or meaning. The three types are “rational, traditional, and charismatic” (Edlers & Appelrough, 204).An example of each different authority that both editors of our textbook are President Clinton (Rational), Queen Victoria (Traditional), and Gandhi (Charismatic). These three figures are good examples of these three authorities in a prospect of how people had to do by supporting and helping people they want by doing the right thing but to show what they are able to do at this time. What I am trying to say is that these three different authorities and the people that I mentioned before represent a type of obedience for their home country.

Rational authority (legal authority) is a belief in “legality of enacted rules and the right those elevated to authority under such rules to use commands”, Traditional authority means the belief “in the sanctity of immemorial traditions” and the “legitimacy” of ruling, and finally Charismatic authority means the “devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person” (Ibid, 204).

To say that these three different theories can apply anywhere in history of the world can be stated. However I think relating these three theories to people (such as President Clinton, or Queen Victoria) can give more color to the meaning to the different authorities (somewhat allow me to remember them a little more).

Weber states that Legal authority or rational authority called “the pure type” because it “rest on the acceptance of the validity of the following mutually interdependent ideas” (Ibid, 205). Another pure type of authority is the traditional authority because of its legitimacy and the “believed in by virtue of the sanctity of age-old rules and powers” (Ibid, 206). Lastly, charismatic authority is more applied by the quality of an individual personality by virtue, such as a leader.  Also charisma is can be a routine that can occur every day. Weber states that charismatic authority may exist only of its pure form are “in statu nascendi” (Ibid, 2009).

An example of what I believe is another version of traditional authority is an community that is seeking a peace place of living. This video that I saw, had rules of the community (similar to Hammurabi). In addition I found another video explaining the different authorities of Weber a little further.


Edles, Laura and Appelrouth, Scott. 2010. Sociological Theory in the Classical Era: text and readings 2nd edition. Pine Forge Press Sage Publications

“The Role of Traditional Authority in Peacebuilding” (2013, March 5) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEB8BrSHbQY) accessed 3.10.14

“Max Weber – Types of Authority” (2012, December 24) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZTtQ-RWTZE ) accessed 3.10.14


Blog #3-Weber

I believe that each of Max Weber’s different types of social action is valid because all individuals go about their lives acting in certain ways for different reasons. Some people act on emotion, others do it for the sole purpose of achieving a certain goal, others do it because of a strong belief or value, and others do it because of tradition. One single individual may incorporate all different types of social action into his or her life, depending on the specific circumstance.

The type of social action that really speaks to me is traditional because as I was focusing on these four types of social action, I realized that so many of my own actions come from a source of tradition. By this I mean that I do not necessarily think about why I am doing certain actions; I just do it because that is the only way I know; it is tradition. As a modern orthodox Jew, so much of my life revolves around tradition. When I am performing an act connected to Judaism I do not necessarily stop to think about why I am doing it, whether it is rational, whether I value what I am doing, or whether I will ultimately benefit from this action, rather, I do it because it is tradition and it is what has always been done. I keep the Sabbath, I eat strictly Kosher, and so much more, and while I have come to love this way of life, If I had not started doing it because of family tradition, I am not sure it is something I would have started doing on my own because it is not something I see as a means to an end or something that seems so logical. Perhaps tradition is not the most rational idea but I do believe that acting because of tradition usually come from a good place.

Blog 2: Weber on Domination (Authority) and Legitimacy

In The Types of Legitimate Domination (1925), Max Weber addresses how domination (authority) is the “probability that certain specific commands (or all commands) will be obeyed by a given group of persons” that “requires a staff, that is, a special group that can normally be trusted to execute the general policy as well as the specific commands” (204). He continues on to describe three pure types of legitimate domination that demonstrate their own form of authority: rational-legal authority, traditional authority, and charismatic authority. Rational-legal authority is where “obedience is owed to the legally established impersonal order [that] extends to the persons exercising the authority of office under it by virtue of the formal legality of their commands and only within the scope of authority of the office,” whereas in traditional authority, obedience is seen as a “matter of personal loyalty within the area of accustomed obligations [that] is owed to the person of the chief who occupies the traditionally sanctioned position of authority and who is (within its sphere) bound by tradition” (204-205). Charismatic authority differs from these two because while “the charismatically qualified leader is obeyed by virtue of personal trust in his revelation, his heroism or his exemplary qualities so far as they fall within the scope of the individual’s belief in his charisma” (205), it does have its personal setbacks. If the charismatic leader’s “prophecies are proved wrong, enemies are not defeated, [or] miraculous deeds begin to ‘dry up,’ then his legitimacy will be called into question” and “the movement he inspired will collapse along with his rule, unless designs for a successor are developed.” For instance, in the film The Hunger Games (2012), it is evident that the antagonist, President Snow, displays a mix of rational-legal, traditional, and charismatic authority under his dictatorial rule.

            Under rational-legal authority, President Snow is obeyed as a superior of his impersonal order, who rules the nation of Panem under a single-party dictatorship (called the Capitol) that is structured under a consistent system of abstract rules. Panem is also divided into twelve districts that either live in great prosperity or suffer from extreme cases of poverty and famine, and due to the aggressive ways of the depicted totalitarian society, some of the female citizens have learned to acquire certain qualities that make them stand out more than the male citizens in preparation for the upcoming Games. The traditional aspect of President Snow’s authority is how, under his discretion, the twelve districts are forced to take part in an annual morbid competition of survival called the Hunger Games, which have been held for the past 74 years and effectively exhibit the oppressive power of the Capitol. The competition is structured as one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are selected from each of the twelve districts as tributes, prepare for a week, and are then sent into an outdoor arena to fight to their death; the event is nationally televised as mandatory viewing for all citizens. Under his charismatic authority, President Snow constitutes his “mission” in teaching the districts the consequences of attempting to rebel against his structured order, which has proved effective since no one has revolted in outrage against the cruelty being placed against their children because it is likely that do not want to be obliterated like the citizens of District 13. However, his charisma may begin to fade away as seen in how former Games tribute Katniss Everdeen inspires the beginning of an uprising after winning the competition at the end of the film that will be further escalated in the upcoming sequel Catching Fire (2013).

Weber + 4 Ideal Types of Social Action

Blog #4

Max Weber (1864-1920) was a sociologist who was expressing his concern with rationalization. Rationalization is the process whereby an increasing number of social actions and social relationships become based on considerations of efficiency or calculation. Weber believes that there are four ideal types of social actions. Ideal types are used as a tool to look at real cases and compare them to the ideal types to see where they fall. No social action is purely just one of the four types.

  1. Traditional Social Action: actions controlled by traditions, “the way it has always been done”
  2. Affective Social Action: actions determined by one’s specific affections and emotional state, you do not think about the consequences
  3. Value Rational Social Action: actions that are determined by a conscious belief in the inherent value of a type of behavior (ex: religion)
  4. Instrumental-Rational Social Action: actions that are carried out to achieve a certain goal, you do something because it leads to a result

In class we discussed the social action, marriage, in terms of these four ideal types. Now, I will discuss “going to school” in terms of these four ideal types. Traditionally, one may attend college because her grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles have as well. They wish to continue the family tradition and continue with college as well. When relating to affective, one may go to school just because they enjoy learning. They love going to college whether or not it will make them broke. With value rational, one may attend college because it’s apart of his/her religion that everyone must receive the proper education. Therefore, this person attends college for that reason only. Finally, one may go to college because he/she may want an amazing job in the future and in order to get that job, he/she needs a college degree. 

Post #3 on Gilman

Its interesting how Gilman brings up about gender inequality. For instance she says, “One of the first things we force upon the child’s dawning consciousness is the fact that he is a boy and that she is a girl,” she gives an example of parents buying clothes for their child depending on the gender. It’s so natural for us to differentiate gender by buying pink clothes for girls and blue clothes for the boys. As we all know, from Gilman’s time to present, a lot has changed publicly in the society regarding gender, as in people would still consider a woman a female even if she only wore pants, hanged out with more men than women, and doesn’t wear pink. However for children, I think depending on the parent there’s less freedom for a child to behave the way he or she wants to. For example some mother’s who bring their daughters to toy stores will automatically bring them to the “girly” section. However if one’s daughter wanted an action figure rather than a doll, a mother’s reaction and response wouldn’t be so pleasant as her daughter, who already made up her mind on what she wanted. The mother turning out this way is probably from being used to what generally society perceives a young girl as, when it comes to playing.