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Volume :38 Issue : 3 2010      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Beyond Weberian Bureaucracy: Max Weber on Bureaucracy and his Critics

Auther : Abdullah M. Al-Wagdani

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to link Webers theory of bureaucracy with the basic methodological foundations of his sociology. The essay argues that, although contemporary sociologists widely recognize Weberian bureaucracy, they fail to pay serious attention to its formation as an ideal type that captures an essence and involves hypothesis formation. Instead, many commentators view Webers model as an iron cage that aims to depict reality accurately. More specifically, this study examines the extent to which Webers analysis of bureaucracy conveys the central aspects of his methodology. Since ideal types are his major research tool, the discussion focuses on these hypothesis-forming models instead of common mistaken views that treat ideal types as real social structures. The article also emphasizes Webers rejection of sociological positivism, which breaks sharply from his methodological individualism.

Key words: Weber, Bureaucracy, Methodology, Ideal types, Iron cage, Positivism.

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