SOCIOLOGY ASSESSMENT OUTCOME 2 There are different approaches used in sociology to explain the source of social behaviour. This essay will explain the main features within Social Action Sociology. The theorists who adopted this approach were Max Weber (Social Actionist) and George Herbert Mead (Symbolic Integrationist). They both believed that social behaviour was a result of personal free will.
Marx Weber (1864-1920) lived in Germany and studied law and legal history. He turned to the social sciences to concentrate on the reasons behind the rise of capitalism. He believed that the growth of capitalism had been born from the seeds of the protestant work ethic. The beliefs the protestant's held were; that hard work and investment ensured the individuals own personal right to a relationship with God. This would ensure their own actions as being of consequence rather than having to gain absolution through a catholic priest. Weber saw that these beliefs had brought about social change.
He used these theories to show how social change can be brought about by the beliefs and actions of large groups of people.
Weber was a great admirer and believer in many of Karl Marx (1818-1883) theories. However, he felt that Marx concentrated too much on the social structures of society as being the reasons behind social behaviour. He felt that the free will of the individual had a role to play towards their social circumstances.
Weber felt that in order to understand society it was necessary to understand the behaviour of the individuals who make up society and how their behaviour is influenced by other individuals, and their actions, within society. Weber referred to society as a theatre and that individuals will take on many roles within the theatre of life. The roles that they adopt will depend on what is required...