Sociology Daily Answer Writing (21-09-2022)


  1. Write a short note on routinisation of charisma.     10
  2. Weber argued that the subject matter of sociology is Social Action.   10

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Model Solutions

Q1. Write a short note on routinisation of charisma. 10

Model Structure

  • Routinisation of Charisma is a process by which Charismatic authority modifies itself into "traditional authority" or "rational-legal authority".

Main Body

  • Weber defined power as the capacity to carry out one’s own will despite resistance in a social relationship. And the legitimate power is called authority.
  • Further he provided three types of authority in his theory.
    • Rational legal authority
    • Traditional authority
    • Charismatic authority.
  • Routinisation of charisma:
    • Weber argued that the source of authority in a charismatic authority is the charisma of the leader.
    • People are emotionally attached to the person holding authority.
    • According to Max Weber, Charismatic authority is temporary and exists as long as the individual who possesses the charisma exists. Thereafter, it fades away into another form.
    • As there is no proper administration mechanism there arises the issue of sustenance of the rule.
    • Here the charismatic authority has to sustain and thus the process of institutionalisation of charisma arises.
    • This sustains the leaders' ideologies and policies for a long time.
    • The charisma has to adjust its means of administration to the practical routines of everyday life and practical economic conditions.
    • Weber argued that to preserve charisma in case of crisis situations the authority is Traditionalised – attached to leaders' family/blood ties or Rationalised – Adjusting to a rational/legal system of rules and regulations.
    • The new chosen leader has to live upto the extraordinary powers of the earlier leader.
    • Succession of charisma takes place. The charisma is routinised.
    • Same old strategies are used to ensure original charismatic ideologies are preserved.
    • The characteristics of an old leader are documented and preserved and are followed rigorously.
    • In this way the routinisation of charisma takes place.
    • Legitimacy is no longer focused on the personal quality of the leader, rather on the charismatic utterances/commands. Ultimately a cyclical process emerges.


  • In recent times most charismatic authorities are turning into rational legal authorities with certain traits of the charismatic authority.

Q2. Weber argued that the subject matter of sociology is Social Action. 10

Model Structure

  • Max Weber states, “Sociology is a science which attempts the interpretive understanding of social action in order to arrive at a causal explanation of its cause and effects”.
    Main Body

  • According to Max Weber, "action is social in so far as under the subjective meaning attached to it by acting individual, it takes account of the behaviour of others and is thereby oriented in its course. It includes all human behaviour when and insofar as the acting individual attaches a subjective meaning to it."

  • Weber identified following essential elements of social action:

    • Social action includes all human behaviour.
    • It attaches a subjective meaning to it.
    • The acting individual or individuals take into account the behaviour of others.
    • It is oriented in its course.
  • Max Weber defined four types of ideal actions.

  • Zwerrational/Goal Rational Action

    • This action is goal-oriented. The goal is derived from the desire of the actor. The means and ends are decided by the goal that needs to be achieved.
    • The purpose is to find effective ways to achieve the goal. Efficiency is central, but the action also has to be rational. Rationality is based on logical and scientific grounds.
    • The purpose of the action is to fulfil some other goal and is treated as a means in itself, i.e. the action is instrumental. For example, suppose the goal of an individual is to maximise income.
    • In that case, if the individual chooses to cheat on his income taxes or sell drugs but can maximise income in the end, the goal-oriented action is considered purposely rational than someone who requires less money.
  • Wertrational/Value Rational Action

    • The means and goals are defined by a person’s value system. Rationality is also judged based on aesthetic, religious or constitutional values.
    • If individuals are valued rationally, they commit to a certain subjective goal which may or may not result in material benefits. Police, clergy and lawyers take actions and choose goals and means based on abstract values like justice, honour and patriotism.
    • The means are chosen for their efficiency while the ends are justified by their value. Conscious belief in the absolute value of some ethical, aesthetic, religious or other value codes define value rational action.
  • Affective Social Action

    • While the first two types are dependent upon rational systems (goal-oriented and value-oriented), this is considered the most irrational social action as it is motivated by the emotion of the individual.
    • No calculated decision of means and ends is made. Sometimes the means used may not even serve the end but still, the action is carried out in the heat of the moment.
  • Traditional Social Action

    • It occurs when the means and ends are not decided by the individual but by the social customs of the society.
    • There are no alternative means to achieve a certain end comprehensible to the individual except the social code. The means and end for a certain action are already decided by social convention.


  • Conclude on the lines of the language of the answer.

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