- Copyright Page
- About the Editors
- Abbreviated Titles for Max Weber’s Texts
- Chronology of Max Weber’s Life
- Max Weber Past, Present, and Future
- Economics and Society and the Fate of Liberal Capitalism
- Max Weber’s Analysis of Capitalism
- Money, Credit, and Finance in Capitalism
- Law and the Development of Capitalism
- Is There a Future for Bourgeois Liberalism?
- Contemporary Capitalism and the Distribution of Power in Society
- Weberian Social Theory: Rationalization in a Globalized World
- Democracy, Partisanship, and Civil Society
- Nation, Nation-State, and Nationalism
- The Weberian City, Civil Society, and Turkish Social Thought
- The Modern State and Its Monopoly on Violence
- The Relevance of Weber’s Conception and Typology of Herrschaft
- The Supranational Dimension in Max Weber’s Vision of Politics
- Plebiscitary Politics and the Threats to Legality: Some Classical Insights on a Current Phenomenon
- Politics and Ethics, and the Ethic of Politics
- Max Weber’s Ethics for the Modern World
- Max Weber and the Late Modernization of Catholicism
- The “Disenchantment of the World” or Why We Can No Longer Use the Formula as Max Weber Might Have Intended
- The Literati and the Dao: Vernacular and Nation in China
- Class, Caste, and Social Stratification in India: Weberian Legacy
- Including Islam
- The Study on Ancient Israel and Its Relevance for Contemporary Politics
- The Rationalizations of Culture and Their Directions
- Max Weber and the Sociology of Music
- Contemporary Life Conduct and Existential Cultures
- From Occidental Rationalism to Multiple Modernities
- Max Weber and the Idea of the Occident
- Intellectuals, Scholars, and the Value of Science
- The Iron Cage in the Information Age: Bureaucracy as Tangible Manifestation of a Deep Societal Phenomenon
- Causation, Value Judgments, Verstehen
- Realism and Reality in Max Weber
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter gives an account of Weber’s concept of rationalization and how it has been used by subsequent social thinkers. The argument of the chapter is that rationalization is a central thread in Weber’s thought, and it explicates his ideas about how this process works in the realms of culture, the economy, and politics. It also discusses some thinkers who have made use of his ideas, including Ernest Gellner, Randall Collins, and Michael Mann. In Weber’s time, a major debate was about the rise and distinctiveness of the West. More recently, the debate has shifted to the causes and consequences of globalization. The final part of the chapter locates Weberian ideas about rationalization, and its limits, in this larger debate.
Ralph Schroeder is professor in social science of the Internet at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford. His publications include Social Theory after the Internet: Media, Technology and Globalization (2018), Knowledge Machines: Digital Transformations of the Sciences and Humanities (2015; co-authored with Eric T. Meyer), An Age of Limits: Social Theory for the Twenty-First Century (2013), Rethinking Science, Technology and Social Change (2007), and Max Weber and the Sociology of Culture (1992).
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