Max Weber Ideal Type Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1818 Words
Date:  2022-05-09


An ideal type is one of the most celebrated weber's concept.Max Weber interests were widely ranged but every cut to sociology core and more broadly on social sciences.He thought that concepts of abstract could be used in explaining social events where he argued on interpretive sociology which uses various concepts in understanding people's meaning that they attach to their actions.He suggested that social scientist could use ideal type concepts in order to measure stick that may capture rational and components that may be most essential.The ideal type could be based on capitalism spirit, historical events or they could be more constructed or classificatory from logical grounds. According to Weber, ideal type concept are used in theory of economics but they can also be used in other social sciences.Weber states that ideal type should not be confused with average types.Neither does ideal word means that only one phenomenon can capture with ideal type help.Weber's ideal types of sociology aligned his assumption of fundamental methodology with his theoretical scheme and explanation goal with substantive data. However, It is difficult to enumerate theoretical schemes that are a complex and explanatory framework that was generated by Weber this is because his work has proved to have had a genius in ideal type construction. (Rosenberg, 2016).

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Ideal Type

(Swedberg, 2005) An ideal type can be defined as the tool that helps approach reality.It is regarded as a conceptual construct. It is important to introduce ideal type when confronted with a situation that is empirical (Ahn, 2009). Ideal types are said to be methodological devices that help in empirical analysis but also in avoiding ambiguity and obscurity in the used concepts and increasing analysis accuracy.Weber developed ideal type concept so as to analyze social behavior, this is because it helps us create typical ideal patterns of behavior for comparison with behaviors actual example that we observe during an investigation.

According to Weber ideal type is a mental construct for systematic and scrutiny characteristic of a situation that is said to be concrete.They are constructed in order to facilitate empirical question analysis.They are created, sharpened and modified through concrete problem empirical analysis.Thus they increase that analysis precision (, 2018)., According to Weber, mental construct idea cannot be found anywhere in reality. This is because ideal types are not reality description.They don't explain everything and exhibit some parts of conception.These ideal types are not described on hypothesis basis though they can help in explanation and description.They are rather said to offer guidance to hypothesis construction.However, no ideal type seems to be a mirror image of reality that is said to be empirical.We can, however, say that they are also related to causality analytic conception.This is because they help in attaining comparative analysis and general proposition.They are also used to guide on empirical research and used in data systematization on social reality and historical.

This ideal type is derived in the social history inductively.However in order to produce this ideal types researchers first immersed themselves in reality and then they derived this type from the reality.They should not be specific or general so that they find a middle ground that is between ideographic and nomothetic knowledge.They are however said to have developed from a phenomenon that is intermediate.

Max distinguished four ideal types that described motivated social action that includes. One, effective action is grounded in the state of emotion of the actor rather than weighing of rational ends and meaning.This action ends together and fuses means so that action can be impulsive and emotional.The other one is a traditional action which is guided by habits of thought that are customary. This action occurs when means and ends of action are fixed by tradition and custom.Rational goal oriented is another social action in which the activities are directed towards attaining a goal.Here, actions may be expedient rationally if they are based on the scientific or logical ground.Lastly, we have a rational value oriented social action whereby it is aimed at certain values such as patriotism and honor.The action is said to be rational to a specific value.The value-rational action occurs when individual use or becomes rational.According to Weber, when people value rational they tend to make commitments to subjective goals and hence adopt effective means that aims at attaining this ends.Means are chosen because of their efficiency but what determines their value are their ends.

Understanding social reality

One way sociologist achieves social reality understanding is through focusing on social forces importance that affects our attitude, behaviors and life chances.The focus involves social structure emphasis, social pattern.Weber's observation concludes that as a sociologist uses the perspective of sociology in their research and theory whereby they challenge the understanding of social issues that are controversial and how the society works.This emphasis is known as debunking motif. (Blustone, 1987) .Suggests that Ideal type is an accentuation of the essential characteristic of history that produces the internally consistent system.An ideal type is not meant for usage such as social reality's adequate description.But its meant to guide research through allowing for a more detailed understanding of reality's essential nature.

Weber believed that it was sociologist responsibility to develop some conceptual tools that could later be used by sociologists and historians.One of the most important things to note is that ideal type is heuristic devices because they are used and helpful in understanding social world aspect and in doing some empirical research.As Weber stated that the ideal type function is empirical reality comparison in establishing its similarities and divergences in describing them with unambiguously concepts that are intelligible and to explain and understanding them casually.However, social scientists would come up with an ideal type bureaucracy on their immersion basis in historical data.

(Ubrt, 2017).According to Weber, The main tool for understanding the social action is through ideal type.The ideal is type is ideal in the sense of philosophers' word.It is created to demonstrate a course of action to take in ideal conditions example when an individual is affected by rational factors and is free from irrational.In this case, the ideal type can be described as a model.An ideal type can be said to be an intellectual construct that seeks to clarify sociologist's social phenomena's understanding by themselves.Example of this would be capitalism.If one had constructed capitalism ideal type, then it would be compared with existing real situation capitalism in a given country.However, the comparison would be helpful in showing the specific real capitalism characteristics that differ and corresponds with the ideal type.

Weber understood that individual's social actions are products of all social institutions and systems.He explained social relation's emergence out of individual actions.Weber used the term 'chance' to explain the contrast of social inevitability deterministic theory.He defines the state as legitimate power use as monopoly.where a ruler has a power monopoly.To describe society's power arrangement, Weber used authority concept.where he distinguished three authority ideal types.Charismatic, legal and traditional authority. (Collin, Jensen and Gron, 2011). In investigating on social reality, Weber uses ideal type or idealized concept tools.He maintained that ideal types make the social action of autonomous idiographic science possible.They supply instrumental concepts for a social approach which focuses on the phenomena of an individual and are not parasitic on principles and concepts of nomothetic disciplines.


An example of Weber ideal type that my argument will be based on is bureaucracy.Weber' s bureaucracy ideal type is grounded in a legal authority exercise.With this authority type, it is derived by its legitimacy decision and action rationality that was translated into legal regulations and rules.The bureaucracy of ideal type suggested by Max Weber is characterized by some principles that are identified through individual separation from the office and task division that is to be arranged in an order that is regarded to be hierarchical.Individual career path is, however, structures and predetermined hierarchically for an advancement that is based on seniority.A bureaucratic organization is also seen to presuppose communication and command channel. In the hierarchy, command flows from top to bottom, while communication takes the form of file keeping and written documents and the information flows in a reverse direction.

Weber argues that the model of bureaucracy is privileged over the traditional model that rests upon force and compulsion and the charismatic model that is contingent and fleeting.He mentioned that bureaucracy eliminates social differences through allocating positions on basis of their qualifications rather than on their rulers and leaders. (Heugens, 2005).Identified important areas in a bureaucratic model that has a lot of advantages.He stated that organizations that are bureaucratic allow effective resource allocation for tasks accomplishment.Bureaucracy rationality resides in production maximization and minimization of deficiency through the best and efficient use of means that achieve a particular end.On the other hand, Weber was so much aware of the bureaucracy consequences that are negative which are embodied in organizational life de-humanization and its power concentration in the hands of a master who could exploit the authority to serve their interests.

However, Weber's bureaucratic model and ideas have received many critiques with the new managerial change and reform emergence.The organizational field dominant theory stresses the need for a more entrepreneurial flexible organizational culture that would replace inflexible and rigid bureaucracy character.This demand for more flexible organization bureautic model critique has begun with a change in external environment due to communication, globalization and information development.This development change put pressure on the organization thus making it be responsive to continuing changes and being entrepreneurial in dealing with the ambiguous and uncertain environment.

(Ltd, 2018) .Weber argued that through bureaucracies modern people confronted domination of rational-legal form every day.He stated that bureaucracy is one of the most rationalized forms of organization this is because it fits the modern society's growing needs.A lot of Weber's bureaucracy concept is irrelevant this is because they assume that ideal type has similar logic status as an empirical model or simple satisfactory type.The ideal type has received a lot of critics because of not focusing on other organizational reality crucial aspects that includes dysfunctional consequences or informational organization.To this criticism, Weber replied that he did not intend to construct bureaucracy model that approached concrete reality.He rather tried to identify typical administrative characteristics kind of organization.

There have also been other critics that have pointed out that other ideal types characteristics are not found in organizations in which they are bureaucratically manifested. According to Weber's sense, they should not be included because they are not essential in bureaucratic concepts.This critic considers bureaucracy of ideal type as a logic class that is simple that should be...

Cite this page

Max Weber Ideal Type Essay. (2022, May 09). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism