Essay on Importance of the Typology – According to Raymond Aron, Weber’s classification of social action is important for the following reasons:
(i) Weber defined sociology as the science of social action. The typology of action is thus an abstract conceptual tool to understand man’s behaviour in the social world. His classification of types of authority (rational, legal, traditional and charismatic) is also based on this typology.
(ii) Weber has called sociology a comprehensive science of social action. He has placed much premium on comprehension. This is also reflected in his conception of social action and its typology. Weber’s aim is to know the meaning each man gives to his own conduct, or action. He does not look at social action from observer’s point of view, but from the subjective point of the actor himself.
(iii) His classification helps us to know Weber’s interpretation of the contemporary era. According to Weber, the modern society is tending towards more and more rationalisation. Modern economic enterprises, technological inventions and bureaucratisation, etc., indicate the same trend. “The society as a whole tends towards Zweckrational organisation.
Finally, the classification reveals the heart of Weber ‘philosophical thought. He was interested in “the relations of solidarity or independence between science and politics”. For example, he was interested in the question, “What is ideal type of the political man? The ideal type of the scientist? How can one be both a politician and a professor?” The question was for him, as Aron points out, personal as well as philosophical.
According to Weber, it could be said, that the scientific behaviour is combination of rational action in relation to a goal and also a value. “The value is truth; the rationality is that of the rules of logic and research…”
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