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Max Weber: Basic Terms (The Fundamental Concepts of Sociology)
- Essay length: 15255 words
- Submitted: 08/11/2004
The first 200 words of this essay...
MAX WEBER: Basic Terms (The Fundamental Concepts of Sociology)
Definitions of Sociology and Social action:
Sociology is a science which attempts the interpretive understanding of social action to arrive at a casual explanation of its course and effects. Sociology seeks to formulate type concepts and generalized uniformities of empirical processes. (History, on the other hand, is interested in the causal analysis of particular events, actions or personalities.)
Action is human behavior to which the acting individual attaches subjective meaning. It can be overt or inward and subjective. Action is social when, by virtue of the subjective meaning attached to it by the acting individual(s), it takes account of the behavior of others and is thereby guided. Social action may be oriented to past, present, or predicted future behavior of others. Others may be concrete people or indefinite pluralities.
Not all action is social: if it ain't oriented to the behavior of others, it ain't social. Also, it is not merely action participated in by a bunch of people (crowd action) or action influenced by or imitative of others. Action can be causally determined by the behavior of others,
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