social action theory -weber

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  • Created by: chinwe
  • Created on: 11-02-15 22:35


MAX WEBER " An adequate sociological explanation includes 2 key aspects.......

  1. level of cause- (objective) structural factors that shape peoples behaviour.
  2. level of meaning- (subjective) meaning that the individual attaches to their action.


Instrumentaly rational action- The actor calculates the most effcient means of acheiving their goal, however this may be, without considering possible negative consequences.

Value rational action- An action towards acheiving a goal, in which the actors perceives as desirable for its own sake.

Traditional action- Routine (habitual) action that requires no rational/conscious thought, but is carried out because it has always been done.

Affectual action- Actions that express emotion.


+ Corrects the over-emphasis on 'stuctural factors affecting our actions', put foeward by functionalists and marxists.

- Schutz 'webers idea is too individualistic and cant explain the shared nature of meanings'

- Webers typlolgy of 'action' is difficult to apply

- The idea of 'verstehen'(empathectic understanding) is not effective as we will never acctualy be that other…


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