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Routinization of Charisma

From Wikipedia:

Maximilian Carl Emil Weber (1864 – 1920) was a German political economist and sociologist who is considered one of the founders of the modern study of sociology and public administration. He began his career at the University of Berlin, and later worked at Freiburg University, University of Heidelberg, University of Vienna and University of Munich. He was influential in contemporary German politics, being an advisor to Germany's negotiators at the Treaty of Versailles and to the commission charged with drafting the Weimar Constitution.

His major works deal with rationalisation in sociology of religion and government, but he also contributed much in the field of economics.

Max Weber began his studies of rationalisation in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, in which he shows how the aims of certain ascetic Protestant denominations, particularly Calvinism, shifted towards the rational means of economic gain as a way of expressing that they had been blessed. The rational roots of this doctrine, he argued, soon grew incompatible with and larger than the religious, and so the latter were eventually discarded. Weber continues his investigation into this matter in later works, notably in his studies on bureaucracy and on the classifications of authority. In these works he alludes to an inevitable move towards rationalization.

From this website [1]:

For Weber, legitimate authority could be based on one, or more likely a combination of several, of three “ideal types" of authority: rational-legal; traditional, and charismatic. Charismatic authority is that authority based on devotion to the 'charismatic individual,’ who is treated by his followers as being endowed with exceptional, superhuman, or supernatural powers and qualities. legitimacy is derived from spiritual endowment rather than tradition or legally established rules and procedures. Charismatic authority provides a more radical warrant for innovation than either of the other two ideal types. However, by the very fact of its origination as something "out of the everyday" and by its association with the charismatic individual, charismatic authority is precarious and "in its pure form .... may be said to .exist only in the process of origination" [2] Therefore, particularly with the death of the charismatic individual, there occurs a process of transformation by which the followers return to a more everyday existence - charisma becomes routinized (Verwalltäglichung des Charisma) and traditional and/or rational-legal types of legitimation become important [3]

And from this website:

According to Weber, rationalisation creates three spheres of value as the differentiated zones of Science, Art and Law. This fundamental disunity of reason constitutes the danger of modernity. This danger arises not simply from the creation of separate institutional entities but through the specialisation of cognitive, normative and aesthetic knowledge that in turn permeates and fragments everyday consciousness. This all-pervasive 'rationalisation' is argued to have profoundly negative effects on socialisation, social integration and cultural production.
This 'disunity of reason' implies that culture moves from a traditional base in a consensual collective endeavour to forms which are rationalised by commodification and led by individuals with interests which are separated from the purposes of the population as a whole. This 'purposive rational action' is steered by the 'media' of the state, which substitute for oral language as the medium of the co-ordination of social action. There is then antagonism between these two principles of societal integration - language, orientated to understanding, and 'media', which are systems of success orientated action.

References

  1. "The Routinization of Charisma? Some Comments on 'Motif Messianique et Processus Social dans le Bahaisme'" by Peter Smith
  2. Weber, Max, The Theory of Social and Economic Organization, trans. by A. M. Henderson and Talcott Parsons, and intro. by Talcott Parsons, New York, The Free Press, 1947, pp.364
  3. Ibid, pp.358-373
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