Tag Archives: Weber

House Of Sand and Fog

In the film “House of Sand and Fog” we see Weber’s ideal types. Burrani’s character represent the traditional. patriarchal family, he’s the bread winner, wife is expected to obey her husband. with the lady who lost her house we see affection. she acts on her emotional state of mind. and with the police officer we see value-rational, when he planted the drugs on a man who was physically abusing his own wife, the officer justifies his actions because he believes this man deserved to be in jail one way or another. And again with Burrani we see instrumental-rational when he buys this house as an investment, he wasn’t thinking about what’s right and wrong, his only concern was to buy the house and sell it for a profit. this movie was very interesting and I liked how the events played into Weber’s ideal types.


Blog #2- Status Anxiety

The video “Status Anxiety” explains the reasons why so many Americans have negative feelings towards status. Weber defines status as stratification according to principles of consumption of goods and services (lifestyle). First off, most people are envious, it is a natural emotion, and when we see people we consider our “equals” succeeding, it causes anxiety. Succeeding can be anything from getting a job promotion, buying an expensive car, etc. Status is so important to people because it shows where you stand on the social latter. The more you have the more respect you think people will show you. Everyone is always trying to compete and hope to appear a certain way when really they are not like that at all. For example, just because you have an expensive car it does not make you rich, it just shows that you spent all your money on the car so people think you are rich but really you are not. I actually know someone who spent all their money on a beautiful Porsche, and I wondered how someone so young could afford that on their own, but it turns out he blew all his savings on that car just to appear a certain way. It is so sad what lengths people will go to these days. For some reason these materialistic objects make people feel superior to others, which is why other people may get angry, especially when its just to impress other people. In Weber’s theory of The Distribution of Power: Class, Status, Party, he explains that power is the chance a man has to realize their own will in a social action even against the resistance of others. Every man wants power and people feel they must look and act a certain way to achieve that.

Blog 2: weber and Status anxiety

People are driven by the idea of being richer, and that it will make us happy and secure. This video goes on to explain why people suffer from this “status anxiety”, this anxiety that we are successful based on our status. People are resentful towards those who we consider to be our equals. We are envy towards them when they have a better house, job or car. This because our society tells us that we are suppose to be equal, but in reality we are actually living in a society filled of inequality. Weber explains that status and class creates the competition with people. Weber also explains that peoples actions are shaped by society, this is true in our society in which our drives and aspirations are based on this idea of the American Dream. The American Dream that we will all be equal and live comfortable and can afford nice things. This ideal creates the status anxiety that is explained in this video.

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 #4: New Money vs. Old Money

Today’s class discussion about status immediately got me thinking about status in modern America. I believe the video played in class did a great job of describing American’s and their competitive strive to pass somebody who is a couple steps ahead of oneself in the social ladder. Unwillingly, we become envious of those who seem to have a little more than us.

The idea of how people with money who typically inherit their money, look down at people who have to work for it, is perfectly shown in one of my all time favorite books and movie: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The status of people in The Great Gatsby is divided between the “New money” and “Old money” or the “West Egg” and “East Egg.” Fitzgerald does a great job in explaining Weber’s theory of status. Although Gatsby is filthy rich and has wealth, he still does not status in society. Nobody knows where his money came from, and a humble background is not much appreciated. He struggles and competes with Tom Buchanan, who comes from a socially solid family, and has immense status, although he has not really done anything to acquire his money. In the end, Daisy ends up choosing Tom because he has status and class unlike Gatsby. Gatsby may be wealthy, but by the standards of society, he is not worthy. Although Daisy actually loves Gatsby, choosing him over Tom would be a social downgrade for Daisy. This directly correlates with Weber’s theory of how although someone may be wealthy, they still do not have social status.

Whether we are talking about the 20th century, or the 21st century, Weber’s theory still applies. Acquiring wealth is magnificent, but status is what holds the key to satisfaction. This is why Americans are so obsessed with social status. In the case of Gatsby, he lost the girl of his dreams because of his status. Whether we realize it or not status affects the lives of everybody everyday. We try to achieve high social status as a means to an end.


Blog #5: “The Distribution of Power within the Political Community – Weber

downloadWeber continues to debate with Marx ideas of class position, however Weber argues about there are different forms of power connected to economic which are: classes, status, and political parties. Weber does not use Marx’s view of the classes but he uses a more difficult view of interest that shape people through their actions and the way society is organize. Weber mentioned that status is a ‘social honor’ or ‘prestige’ of economic power. From what I can understand, the economic power of status is how we are able gain money through our means. An example of a status is having an education degree but not earning a lot of money after getting that degree. But someone who does not have an education degree and gain money through criminal means will have economic power but will not have that status as of an academic person. Weber mentioned that ‘power’ may bring legal order but this is an “additional factor that enhances the chance to hold power or honor; but it cannot always secure them” (Edles & Appelrouth, 193). Even though ‘status’ for different groups of people does not have the same privileges as other groups means that there is some type of stratification in society. Majority of the stratification of status in any society indicated that there are monopolization in society. This society will have stratification within the status of different class of people because the society needs to continue existing by economic means, even if they must exploit the class that is suffering from the hands of the economic stress to exist.

Weber states that the way we get ‘status’ honor is by ‘status order’. The definition of ‘status order’ from Weber is “the social order and the economic order are related in a similar manner to the legal order” and “status order is strongly influenced by…economic order…which economic goods and services are distributed and used” (Edles & Appelrouth, 193,194). Weber definition of ‘classes’ is not ‘communities’ but ‘bases for social action’ (Ibid, 194). An example of an social action of classes is the Feminist movement in the United States where women were getting paid less than a man does from doing the same job. In addition, the United States had different classes of people working the same jobs getting paid less due to their ethnic/race backgrounds. Another example of this is the African-American population treated less than human even after 1864 Civil War between the North and the South. Another example, is today in United States immigrant Hispanic groups are not getting paid at least the minimum wage which is another visible social class (class struggle, stratification). Weber gave an example of a “status group” are the “slave or serf” which is another type of class that did not have much economic power (Ibid, 1940. Weber mentioned that there are three types of ‘class’ that makes it a ‘class situation’ (Ibid). These three types are:

“1) a number of people have in common a specific causal component of their life chances…2)this component is represented exclusively of goods and opportunities for income, and 3) is represented under the conditions of the commodity or labor markets” (Ibid, 194).

Being a worker and gaining an education at the same time is similar to a status and a class at the same time, in my opinion. However, working and spending my income in things that are necessary must be spending to continue to strive for something better and for future accomplishment (for the future family, or your own life).  Weber states that “class situation is…ultimately market situation” (Ibid) which I believe in 2014 United States people (in any class) is actually striving to be in a good economic shape than being in the poor class.

Lastly, Weber states that party as a political party not a celebration of party. Weber mentioned that “parties resided in the sphere of power” (Ibid, 200) and their mission is to gain “social power” to influence “social action” no matter what is the ‘social action’. Weber states that parties may present interest of class situation as an individual case.  Conversly, the sociological meaning of parties is what kind of social action the party is influenced by (what kind of struggle this social group is being burden with) status being stratified by classes.


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

Weber Prediction

Blog #2

“Specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart; this nullity imagines that it has attained a level of civilization never before achieved.” This quote summarizes what is yearned from Capitalism and the Protestant Ethic, perhaps not directly but it represents the consequences of the instrumental-rational ideal type with which they operate. I believe our present society has arrived to this stage of dehumanization, of disenchantment. People seem to be focused on the future and how to survive, which instead of allowing wealth desires and possibilities- costs what a professional career provides (if attained). Education is no longer a place to enhance one’s passion in a career, but a required qualification to succeed as an adult. Civilization is characterized as the farthest achievement from humanity/affective ideal type. Progress and success are presented as the only valid aspirations in an ever modern, technologically advanced society. An individual’s responsibilities require so much time, dedication, and commitment that any affective driven, personal activities rarely characterize his/her everyday life. The iron cage is actively part of who society has become, conditioned to rationalize, provide and succeed.