• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Praised for its conversational tone, personal examples, and helpful pedagogical tools, the Fourth Edition of Explorations in Classical Sociological Theory: Seeing the Social World is organized around the modern ideas of progress, knowledge, and democracy. With this historical thread woven throughout the chapters, the book presents a diverse selection of major classical theorists including Marx, Spencer, Durkheim, Weber, Mead, Simmel, Martineau, Gilman, Douglass, Du Bois, Parsons, and the Frankfurt School. Kenneth Allan and new co-author Sarah Daynes focus on the specific views of each theorist, rather than schools of thought, and highlight modernity and postmodernity to help contemporary readers understand how classical sociological theory applies to their lives.

Rationality and Organization : Max Weber
Rationality and Organization: Max Weber

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

As we’ve seen, capitalism in modernity was intended to facilitate equality. Rather than social position being defined by birth, capitalism promised that each person could progress as far as his or her talents and efforts would take the individual. However, Marx points out, capitalism is built upon exploitation and creates a class structure that limits, rather than facilitates, social mobility. Weber’s primary concern is rationality. On the surface, reason and rationality appear to be the hope humankind has been looking for. Through reason and rationality, we could discover the secrets of the universe and use them to better humanity. Through reason and rationality, we could create social organization free of favoritism, ...

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