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date: 21 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Max Weber developed his sociology of domination between 1909 and 1920. This chapter addresses the relationship between domination and power, distinguishing between legitimate and illegitimate domination or authority. Legitimate domination is based upon the three pure types of legal, traditional, and charismatic domination, which appear in combination with different organizational structures. Charismatic domination can assume different forms, from authentic charisma to hereditary and office charisma to an antiauthoritarian variant. Traditional domination encompasses a variety of types, from gerontocracy to diverse forms of patrimonialism and feudalism. The belief in legality, expressed for instance in a bureaucratic administrative staff, is characterized primarily through formal rationality, not purposive or instrumental rationality. Thus, today this last type is affected by tendencies that promote the weakening or even the dissolution of legal formalism. This chapter combines a systematic presentation with the application of the “domination” topic in the different scientific and cultural research fields during the last decades.

Keywords: authority/domination, bureaucracy, charisma, clientelism, feudalism, legitimacy, patrimonialism, rationality, routinization

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