Max Weber's Four Types Of Social Action

Max Weber was born in the year 1864. From an early age books became the center of his life. Weber was known as the type of individual to read whatever he could get his hands on. Teachers noted, Weber was highly intelligent; hardly payed attention in class and did very little work. At the age of thirteen, Weber wrote two historical essays. Unlike, other sociologists before him, Weber focused on the consequences social life had on an individual’s mind and how it impacted one’s behavior. He believed as individuals we had the power to chart our own course; our ideas matter instead of following the wind of social facts. He thought of sociology as a science in which attempts the interpretative understanding of social action in order thereby to arrive …show more content…
Social action meaning, “[the] virtue of the subjective meaning attached to it by the acting individual, it takes account of the behavior of others and is thereby oriented in its course (Weber, 127).” To help Weber understand and explain individual’s behaviors he developed four types of social action. Firstly, he developed instrumental-rational action; meaning an action in which an individual’s attempts to pursue their goals outweighing the advantages and disadvantages along the way. Secondly, he developed value-rational acting, allowing for an individual to achieve their goal because it is the right thing to do. The third type of action Weber outlines is traditional action, “where behaviors are determined by habit or long standing custom (Applerouth & Edles, 128).” And lastly the fourth type is affective action, meaning an individual acts based on impulses they have. These types of social actions allocated for Weber to make the connection whether the action was to be considered good or bad. Social actions contributed to Weber’s study between labor and surfs. He rationalized freedom was a vital aspect and need in a surfs life. He found more often than not servants would do everything in their power to in order to receive freedom. A great portion of the time after they were released from their owners they lived in poverty; and worked as wage labors. Later on, Weber decided he would study how the …show more content…
He believed the significance of calling, “lies in the fueling a dramatic social transformation; the growth and eventual dominance of capitalism and the accompanying rationalization of much of social life (Applerouth & Edles, 136).” He viewed calling as a motivation to pursue worldly success. This process of thinking was quite different from Martin Luther’s view. In which he viewed calling referred to ones “religious quest of salvation (Applerouth & Edles, 136).” Luther viewed individuals were mandated to perform their duties to the best of their abilities. On the other hand, Weber believed, “an individual’s actions are inspired by his desire to glorify God and thus gain confidence in the certainty of His grace, not by a desire to accumulate wealth as a means for purchasing material goods (Applerouth & Edles, 136).” He articulated that being wealthy meant you were an elect of God and confirmed an individual’s salvation as long as one did not use their wealth to purchase luxurious items. He conveyed it was disrespectful to God and any wealth individuals received was to be poured back into their “calling”; otherwise noted, “God had wasted his time defining what an individual’s life-task was (Applerouth & Edles, 144). Profit was considered to be a blessing, Weber expressed that even the wealthy were not an exception to labor because, everyone has a

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