By S. Stewart
This booklet explores sociological debates when it comes to tradition, flavor and price. It argues that sociology can give a contribution to debates approximately aesthetic worth and to an knowing of ways humans overview.
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Extra info for A Sociology of Culture, Taste and Value
8–9). We might ﬁnd that motivations such as jealousy or injured pride have triggered the angry outburst. Verstehen thus involves formulating plausible hypotheses regarding the subjective motivations for social action, a means of interpreting ‘the subjective understanding of the action of the component individuals’ (Weber, 1968, p. 15). This method can be used at a macro and micro level, as a means of explaining historical events, the actions of states, nations, armies or corporations, as well as the actions of individuals.
The antinomy between formal and substantive rationality The above-mentioned conﬂict is mirrored in the antinomy between two dominant types of rationality in modern capitalist society: formal and substantive rationality. Let us now examine these ideal types, with examples. According to Weber, rationality is formal when it is calculable, measurable and unambiguous, and economic activity is formally 30 A Sociology of Culture, Taste and Value rational ‘according to the degree in which the provision for needs … is capable of being expressed in numerical, calculable terms and is so expressed’ (Weber, 1968, p.
Bureaucracies have a long history and there are examples of bureaucratic organization stretching back to Ancient Egyptian society. However, many of these, whether in Egypt during the period of the New Kingdom or in China, from the time of Shi Hwangti, contained strong patrimonial elements with authority sanctiﬁed by tradition rather than by abstract rules, and with subjects dependent on a lord or master, whose power they augmented with their service. Weber (1968, p. 1002) argued that only in modern Western society did there emerge a bureaucratic structure expressive of formal rationality in that it had ‘a “rational” character, with rules, means-end calculus, and matter-offactness predominating’.
A Sociology of Culture, Taste and Value by S. Stewart