- Weber argued that interpretation of human actions was crucial for a better understanding of social phenomena in society. Discuss. 20
- Status can be seen in the terms of social position which in turn reinforces stratification in society. Elaborate.
Q1. Weber argued that interpretation of human actions was crucial for a better understanding of social phenomena in society. Discuss. 20
- Weber was the pioneer of Sociology as a discipline and one of the founders of the Interpretative approach.
- He argued that the aim of sociology should be to establish the cause and effect. And understanding the meanings attached by the actors to their actions can help us to establish cause and effect relationships.
- He suggested some methods to establish meanings.
- Causal Pluralist methods and
- He rejected the monocausal explanations of any phenomenon and stressed that there could be multiple causes. He termed it as the probabilistic approach, and favoured that there could be more than one probable factor for a certain behaviour.
- Verstehen literally means comprehending at the level of the actor. This could be done through using simple steps.
- Firstly the investigators should reconstruct the situational choices and constraints of the actor. It involves developing the description of an actor by using secondary resources.
- Then the investigator should be at the same wavelength as the actor. It involves developing communication abilities which help the investigator to effectively interact with the actor.
- Further the investigator should not have any sympathy with the actor or the situation i.e. there should be indifference and interest should be confined to establishment of meanings alone. This will help in ensuring objectivity in the analysis.
- And finally, the investigator can enter into conversation with the actor and use primary sources of data collection to establish meanings.
- He further discusses two types of understandings which can be used to decipher meanings: Direct observation and Explanatory Understanding.
- Weber emphasised the importance of behaviour in studying society and carved out new subject matter for the subject viz Social Action and Ideal Types.
Q2. Status can be seen in the terms of social position which in turn reinforces stratification in society. Elaborate. 10
- Status, earlier was ascriptive in nature for example caste, noblemen, clergy etc. But today it has acquired a wider meaning. It is both achieved and ascriptive in nature.
- Just like class, gender, race etc status is another dimension of social stratification.
- Members of status groups are generally conscious about their affiliation to that group.
- It is more closed as compared to class.
- According to Max Weber, status is one of the dimensions of stratification. And he argues that caste is the most developed form of status based stratification.
- Pakulski and Waters in their Death of Class argues that the status dimension is becoming more important in post industrial society.
- Warner considered three variables viz education, occupation and income as determination of status.
- Pierre Bourdieu also noted that lifestyle choices are more important than class in the modern world.
- Srinivas suggested concepts like Sanskritization and Westernisation for status mobility between classes.
- Conclude on the lines of the language of the answer.