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Foundations of Modern Social Theory - Audio

Foundations of Modern Social Theory - Audio

Popular episodes

25 - Durkheim and Social Facts

Apr 5 • 00:03
Durkheim understood life sciences as divided into three branches: biology, which is interested in the body, psychology, which deals with the personality, and sociology, which deals with collective representations. In The Rules of Sociological Method, Durkheim attempted to provide methodological rules and guidance for establishing social facts and how they are related to on...

24 - Durkheim on Suicide

Apr 5 • 00:03
Durkheim's Suicide is a foundational text for the discipline of sociology, and, over a hundred years later, it remains influential in the study of suicide. Durkheim's study demonstrates that what is thought to be a highly individual act is actually socially patterned and has social, not only psychological, causes. Durkheim's study uses the logic of multivariate statistical...

23 - Durkheim's Theory of Anomie

Apr 5 • 00:02
In the transition from mechanical solidarity to organic solidarity, brought on by increasing division of labor, industrialization, and urbanization, Durkheim argues that there will be social pathologies, which he calls anomie. These abnormal and unhealthy consequences of the change in type of social solidarity have various causes. Durkheim is best known for arguing that a ...

22 - Durkheim and Types of Social Solidarity

Apr 5 • 00:02
Emile Durkheim, a French scholar who lived from 1858 until 1917, was one of the first intellectuals to use the term "sociology" to describe his work. In the early years of his career, Durkheim's orientation was functionalist (The Division of Labor in Society) and positivist (The Rules of Sociological Method); in the early twentieth century he took a cultural turn and becam...

21 - Weber's Theory of Class

Apr 5 • 00:02
Along with the macro-level shift from traditional forms of authority to legal-rational authority, Weber's theory of class identifies a macro-level shift from status to class determining life chances. In feudal times, under traditional forms of authority, monarchs or others in power conferred high status upon individuals and material wealth followed; first a man would be na...

20 - Weber on Legal-Rational Authority

Apr 5 • 00:02
The purest form--the ideal type--of Weber's legal-rational type of authority is bureaucracy. Legal-rational authority indicates that authority is invested in a set of rules and rule-bound institutions and that the creating and changing the rules are outside of the control of those who administer them; it does not mean, however, that the authority is democratic. Monarchs an...

19 - Weber on Charismatic Authority

Apr 5 • 00:02
Charismatic authority, unlike traditional authority, is a revolutionary and unstable form of authority. Weber borrows the religious term of charisma and extends its use to a secular meaning. Audiences and followers believe that charismatic leaders have a close connection to a divine power, have exceptional skills, or are exemplary in some way. Charismatic leaders promise c...

18 - Weber on Traditional Authority

Apr 5 • 00:03
We return to Weber's idea of domination, Herrschaft. Herrschaft has been translated into English as "authority" and as "domination." The translation into domination highlights the elements of power and legitimacy that are co-mingled in the concept as well as the importance of the suggestion of the asymmetrical power relationship within the concept of domination. We turn to...

17 - Conceptual Foundations of Weber's Theory of Domination

Apr 5 • 00:03
Diverging significantly from Marx's idea that history can be traced by the modes of production and the economy, Weber argues that history is characterized by different modes of authority. Leaders strive to rule in authoritative ways, they attempt to legitimate their uses of power. Weber argues that throughout history, leaders have successfully established domination in thr...

16 - Weber on Protestantism and Capitalism

Apr 5 • 00:03
Max Weber wrote his best-known work after he recovered from a period of serious mental illness near the turn of the twentieth century. After he recovered, his work transitioned from enthusiastically capitalist and liberal in the tradition of Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill to much more skeptical of the down-sides of modernization, more similar to the thinking of Nietzsche ...

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