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Max Weber: Socialization

Updated on September 21, 2012

In today’s society, socialization is viewed differently in the eyes of many. Socialization is seen as the interactions of people in a given society. Others might see socialization as being the interactions of people in a culture or country. As in any city or country, there are rules and regulations that need to be followed. Max Weber thought of an ideal type bureaucracy, where society is broken down into many pieces.

First, Max Weber thought of the division of the labor. The division of labor is where trained people are given jobs in society that they specialize in. For example, a chemistry major is given a job as a chemistry professor because that is the field that he knows about. The functionalist perspective on this would be that this is necessary so that there will always be people who are willing to further their education and work their way from a low-paying job to a high-paying job. This in turn would be someone, whom is a conformist and trying to reach America’s idea of success. The functionalist perspective would view this as a smaller part of society working specialized jobs in society, in order to keep society functioning. The conflict perspective might be that the wealthy do not care about the needs and wants of the less fortunate. The interactionist perspective might be that the socialization of people while working helps to keep the workers happy and wanting to work at their job.

Second, Max Weber thought of the Hierarchy of Authority. The Hierarchy of Authority is when each position is under the supervision of someone in a higher position. An example of this is a teacher working in a school, the person that is in charge of them is the principal, who also has someone in charge of them. The functionalist perspective is that there is control in this situation, which helps to keep things running smoothly. The interactionist perspective is that you get to understand others more and their thought processes when it comes to work-related situations. The conflict perspective is that the wealthy want to keep the rich wealthy and do not care about the less fortunate trying to acquire their status.

Third, Max Weber thought of Written Rules and Regulations. The Written Rules and Regulations help to ensure that performance of each task is of high quality and nothing less. An example of this is when you go to work and you have to wear certain uniforms and keep up a clean, neat appearance in front of others. The functionalist perspective might see this as people having to follow a set of rules to keep them working so that the individual does not feel that they can do whatever and feel less obligated to work at a high performance level. The interactionist perspective might be that people in a higher position work harder because they know what is expected of them and try to abide by it. The conflict perspective would be that everyone does not like a lot of rules because they feel that they are being controlled and no one wants to feel that way.

Fourth, Max Weber thought of Impersonality. Impersonality is when you do your job without hatred or passion towards another. An example of this is when a cashier is working at their job, even though they are being paid minimum wage, they love their job. The conflict perspective might view this as some people might not love their job and might not try to reach high quality performance when completing a task. The functionalist perspective is that if you love your job, then you will perform better at it. The interactionist perspective is that everyone has to have a job in order to reach some level of success in their lives. The interactions of the cashier with other cashiers might help tasks become completed faster and easier.

Fifth, Max Weber thought of Employment Based on Technical Qualifications. This is when people are hired at a job because of their qualifications. An example of this is when a manager is hired at McDonalds because they were a good manager at their other job and had a lot of experience. The conflict perspective might view this as being unfair to those who do not meet certain qualifications because they might not have been able to achieve a level of education to obtain those requirements. The functionalist perspective might view this as those with a higher education are able to obtain better paying jobs and therefore cannot work their way to the top in a hierarchy of authority. The interactionist perspective might view this as those who can meet the requirement might socialize with those who are of equal status.

Sixth, Max Weber spoke of formal, written communications. This is when bureaucracies rely on reports and memos to be given to those who need help in completing a certain task or assignment. An example of this is when a manager hands a report to someone who works with loading and unloading products about the inventory in the store. The conflict perspective might view this as being unorganized because sometimes the memos and reports might not reach the right person or might not be sent. The interactionist perspective might view this as more interaction between others and more cooperation that will help the company function. The functionalist perspective might view this as organization within the company being maintained.

Overall, the theory I agree with the most is the division of labor. I agree with the division of labor the most because I feel that people who go to school and become specialized in a field deserve to obtain a job that is about their field. The perspective I agree with the most is the conflict perspective because I feel that even though there are positives to a lot of situations, you must also think of the consequences that could happen. My classmates agree most with Max Weber theories overall because it fits what our society consists of today. The perspective my classmates agree with the most is the functionalist perspective because they believe that different parts of society help to maintain its functioning as a whole. I agree with my classmates on their opinion about the functionalist perspective, but I feel that the conflict perspective is the most important one.


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    • torrilynn profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @DDE thanks for reading this hub. It is an article that may or may not help others to view perspectives about society through the eyes of someone else.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      7 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Amazing people and so true of their successes, most informative and you taught me about someone I didn't know much of thanks

    • torrilynn profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      thanks for the feedback and the information

    • CHRIS57 profile image


      7 years ago from Northern Germany

      Sometimes i start believing that great thinkers of the 19th century did not do too much good to how things are going today. Two of those guys with unholy influence were Frederick Taylor and Max Weber.

      Both have in common that they put too much emphasis on rational thinking, rational explanation of behaviour. May be that has to be attributed to the age of rapid industrialization during the second half of the 19th century.

      Do their theories really help advanced economies of today? I believe something is missing, something which has to do with accessing the heart and soul of the participants of an economic entity. What is the identifier that distinguishes a company with well socialized participants from a company with poor socialization? I believe it is none of the above pieces of Max Weber bureaucracy theory. I believe it is common sense understanding of the major task of a company. And every company that understands this and implants it into their management directives is successful.

      To make it more understandable, please follow this link:


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