The Annual Review of Sociology
Online ISSN : 1884-0086
Print ISSN : 0919-4363
ISSN-L : 0919-4363
Special issue: Review of the Relation between “Social Action and Social Order”
The Problem of “Action and Order” in Max Weber's Social Theory
From the Perspective of “Einverständnis”
Katsuhiro Matsui
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2011 Volume 2011 Issue 24 Pages 24-35


The purpose of this essay is to clarify the meaning of “Einverständnis” in Max Weber's early manuscripts of Economy and Society and thus to reexamine the problem of “action and order” in his social theory. “Einverständnis” means the order that makes possible social action as if there was a social order even when no agreed or established order in fact exists. First, we show this concept is the basis for the realization of a rational social order and we attempt to explain the structure of multi-layered communities. Second, we examine Weber's sociology of domination from the perspective of “Einverständnis” and the multi-layered structure of communities. In this way we can understand his sociology of modern bureaucracy not only as a formal-rational structure but also as the construction of order based on the self-justification, convention, traditional life style, and honor and status.

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© 2011 The Kantoh Sociological Society
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