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A more modern form of traditional authority is patrimonialism    , which is traditional domination facilitated by an administration and military that are purely personal instruments of the master (Eisenberg 1998). In this form of authority, all officials are personal favorites appointed by the ruler. These officials have no rights, and their privileges can be increased or withdrawn based on the caprices of the leader. The political organization of ancient Egypt typified such a system: when the royal household decreed that a pyramid be built, every Egyptian was forced to work toward its construction.

Traditional authority can be intertwined with race, class, and gender. In most societies, for instance, men are more likely to be privileged than women and thus are more likely to hold roles of authority. Similarly, members of dominant racial groups or upper-class families also win respect more readily. In the United States, the Kennedy family, which has produced many prominent politicians, exemplifies this model.

Charismatic authority

Followers accept the power of charismatic authority    because they are drawn to the leader’s personal qualities. The appeal of a charismatic leader can be extraordinary, and can inspire followers to make unusual sacrifices or to persevere in the midst of great hardship and persecution. Charismatic leaders usually emerge in times of crisis and offer innovative or radical solutions. They may even offer a vision of a new world order. Hitler’s rise to power in the postwar economic depression of Germany is an example.

Charismatic leaders tend to hold power for short durations, and according to Weber, they are just as likely to be tyrannical as they are heroic. Diverse male leaders such as Hitler, Napoleon, Jesus Christ, César Chávez, Malcolm X, and Winston Churchill are all considered charismatic leaders. Because so few women have held dynamic positions of leadership throughout history, the list of charismatic female leaders is comparatively short. Many historians consider figures such as Joan of Arc, Margaret Thatcher, and Mother Teresa to be charismatic leaders.

According to Weber, power made legitimate by laws, written rules, and regulations is termed rational-legal authority    . In this type of authority, power is vested in a particular rationale, system, or ideology and not necessarily in the person who implements the specifics of that doctrine. A nation that follows a constitution applies this type of authority. On a smaller scale, you might encounter rational-legal authority in the workplace via the standards set forth in the employee handbook, which provides a different type of authority than that of your boss.

Of course, ideals are seldom replicated in the real world. Few governments or leaders can be neatly categorized. Some leaders, like Mohandas Gandhi for instance, can be considered charismatic and legal-rational authority figures. Similarly, a leader or government can start out exemplifying one type of authority and gradually evolve or change into another type.

Summary

Sociologists examine government and politics in terms of their impact on individuals and larger social systems. Power is an entity or individual’s ability to control or direct others, while authority is influence that is predicated on perceived legitimacy. Max Weber studied power and authority, differentiating between the two concepts and formulating a system for classifying types of authority.

Short answer

Explain why leaders as divergent as Hitler and Jesus Christ are both categorized as charismatic authorities.

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Why do people accept traditional authority figures even though these types of leaders have limited means of enforcing their power?

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Charismatic leaders are among the most fascinating figures in history. Select a charismatic leader about whom you wish to learn more and conduct online research to find out about this individual. Then write a paragraph describing the personal qualities that led to this person’s influence, considering the society in which he or she emerged.

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Further research

Want to learn more about sociologists at work in the real world? Read this blog posting to learn more about the roles sociology scholars played in the midst of the Arab Spring uprising: (External Link)

References

Acton, Lord. 2010 [1887]. Essays on Freedom and Power. Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Catrer, Chelsea, and Fantz, Ashley. 2014. “ISIS Video Shows Beheading of American Journalist Steven Sotloft.” CNN, September 9. Retrieved October 5, 2014 ( (External Link) )

Eisenberg, Andrew. 1998. “Weberian Patrimonialism and Imperial Chinese History.” Theory and Society 27(1):83–102.

Hosenball, Mark, and Westall, Slyvia. 2014. “Islamic State Video Shows Second British Hostage Beheaded.” Reuters, October 4. Retrieved October 5, 2014 ( (External Link) )

NPR. 2014. “Debate: Does U.S. Military Intervention in the Middle East help or Hurt?” October 7. Retrieved October 7, 2014 ( (External Link) )

Mullen, Jethro. 2014. “U.S.-led airstrikes on ISIS in Syria: What you need to know.” CNN, September 24. Retrieved October 5, 2014 ( (External Link) )

Mullen, Jethro (2014). “U.S.-led airstrikes on ISIS in Syria: Who's in, who's not”. CNN, October 2, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2014 ( (External Link) )

Pollock, John. 2011. “How Egyptian and Tunisian Youth Hijacked the Arab Spring.” Technology Review , September/October. Retrieved January 23, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Weber, Max. 1978 [1922]. Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology . Berkeley: University of California Press.

Weber, Max. 1947 [1922]. The Theory of Social and Economic Organization . Translated by A. M. Henderson and T. Parsons. New York: Oxford University Press.

Questions & Answers

how does society cause desaeas
Kahange Reply
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Ali Reply
wt
Aijaz
समाजशास्त्र मानव समाज का अध्ययन है। यह सामाजिक विज्ञान की एक शाखा है, जो मानवीय सामाजिक संरचना और गतिविधियों से संबंधित जानकारी को परिष्कृत करने और उनका विकास करने के लिए, अनुभवजन्य विवेचनऔर विवेचनात्मक विश्लेषण की विभिन्न पद्धतियों का उपयोग करता है।
Soumya
समाज के विभिन्न पहलुओं के क्रमबद्ध अध्ययन को समाजशास्त्र कहते हैं |
Soumya
समाजशास्त्र मानव समाज का अध्ययन है। यह सामाजिक विज्ञान की एक शाखा है, जो मानवीय सामाजिक संरचना और गतिविधियों से संबंधित जानकारी को परिष्कृत करने और उनका विकास करने के लिए, अनुभवजन्य विवेचनऔर विवेचनात्मक विश्लेषण की विभिन्न पद्धतियों का उपयोग करता है।
Soumya
what is sociology?
Dulom
the study of human behaviour and its environment
Jimmy
The study of human behaviour beliefs etc.study of man's life from woom to tom
Zahid
what's criminal investigation?
Haruna
it is simple be defines as the process of collecting information or evidence about a particular issues eg.place, when, interrogation and many more
Oduro
what is the nature of social problem?
rashid
relative deprivation
Batch Reply
Why is Max Weber different from other founding fathers of sociology
Bertha Reply
what problems sociologist faced in their profession
Mishi Reply
The sociologists professional ethics defines the rules of the sociologists professional activities. Observing moral standards is an expression of care not only for the sociologists common good, but also for the society common good as the society is examined by the sociologists and the soci
Aijaz
It varries from country to country. As it is comparatively a new profession, I think job placement itself is one among the key concern for the new Sociologists. Main reason is that what they do is usually considered to be something that is not as good as what other professionals do.
Naughty
thanks
Mishi
who is Karl Marx
Cyborg Reply
Karl Marx was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary. Born in Trier, Germany, to a Jewish middle-class family, Marx studied law and philosophy at university.
Aijaz
okay
Haruna
Charz fond of watching Tv series she spends most of her time after school hours watching TV consequently she had very poor performance in her academic year exams. using the behavioral theories describe charz problem and suggest ways to solve it.
Chax Reply
l really want to know the main difference between culture and society
Kaifa Reply
Society is composed of people where as culture is what they think and what they do. Culture is the way people live. Society is a larger group of people. Their similar ways of living constitute their culture.
Naughty
sure
ROBERT
exactly, thanks.
Hawa
Explain Karl Marx concern on ecology ?
Indana Reply
who is a lanbroso?
Haruna
To link Marxism and ecological transition may seem at first like trying to bridge two entirely different movements and discourses, each with its own history and logic: one having mainly to do with class relations, the other with the relation between humans and the environment. However, historically
Aijaz
           View all Cesare Lombroso, was an Italian criminologist and physician, founder of the Italian School of Positivist Criminology. Lombroso rejected the established classical school, which held that crime was a characteristic trait of human nature. ok
Aijaz
Hi
Ariful
hello
Ophelia
hello
Amin
what is the best book for explane theories of sociology?
Amin
Classical Sociological theory by George Ritzer
Mubarak
yeah ritzer is one of the best
musharaf
sociological rheory of laura desfor edles is alsoo
musharaf
his wording is very easy
musharaf
I never seen this book Musharaf
Mubarak
try to consult. actully this book is of contemporary era's theorist
musharaf
Okay I will do it right nw
Mubarak
Thank you so much Musharaf for ur concerns
Mubarak
my pleasure sir
musharaf
I think the book not free. right
Amin
tnx my friend.
Haruna
hi friends
Vicky
hi Indana
Akak
what is culture
Dancan Reply
is the totally way of life
Marvin
what do you mean by method ?
Gautam Reply
   In object-oriented programming, a method is a programmed procedure that is defined as part of a class and included in any object of that class. A class (and thus an object) can have more than one method. A method in an object can only have access to the data known to that object, which ensures d
Aijaz
👍
Aijaz
what is sociology?
Steven Reply
It is the study of human social relationships and institutions
Oduro
scientific.
Steven
It is the scientific study of human social relationships and institution
Steven
scientific analysis of a social institution as a functioning whole and as it relates to the rest of society
Venkat
Nice
Steven
what sort of career are you interested in ? how could studying sociology help you in this career?
Sharmo Reply
how do you think taking a sociology course might effect your social interactions?
Sharmo Reply
am studying at uni and in the course I have chosen there is sociology so I just wanted to know more about it.
Corinne
I am studying at University and I think the course change your social interactions. becouse sociologists have other vision of stuffs means world.
Joel
am teaching sociology in my opinion sociology must be taught from primary level to all kinds of students because social interactions and values are important to everyone.
Ajaib
sociology is the only subject which is studied by every person from his fist day of the birth to till death
musharaf
do you really think so
Corinne
it is the study of the society and how people live in the society
Muhammad Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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