Weber's Sociology. The ‘Ideal-Type’ Explaining Social Phenomena.

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According to Weber sociology is a particular science of human behaviour and its consequences. For him all kinds of social structures and relationships, cultural objectification are the results of basic individual behaviour.


To do so however, it is not sufficient to observe action of one individual or collect data from a group of individuals. It requires selection of method to address the peculiar question the action raises (Schtz, Walsh & Lehnert, 1967 5). Weber does not find description alone sufficient; there should be understanding from an individual action. A few causal explanations could be made e. g. I am certain the window broke because it was struck by a rock - I saw it myself; but I can not predict on the basis or rules or laws as to what blows will break which windows. At the most a generalisation like 'Windows are fragile, and fragile things tend to break when struck hard enough, other conditions being right.' (Ringer, 1997-85)... Weber's method of understanding meaning of an action is by construction of ideal types. These are not statistical averages since these depend on unusual questions being asked at that time and they are created as per the methodological demands of these questions (Schtz et al. 1967 5). The article focuses on Weber's concept of ideal-type and rationality as a tool for understanding social phenomena through interpretive sociological research.
An ideal type is a mental construct or picture which the investigator uses to address the reality. ...
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