By S. Stewart

ISBN-10: 1137377089

ISBN-13: 9781137377081

ISBN-10: 1349477907

ISBN-13: 9781349477906

This booklet explores sociological debates with regards to tradition, flavor and price. It argues that sociology can give a contribution to debates approximately aesthetic worth and to an knowing of the way humans overview.  

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Such examinations were not entirely new, and had featured in the Islamic Orient, in China, and in the Occidental Middle Ages, facilitating the needs of pre- or semi-bureaucratic epochs. However, Weber (1968, p. 999) argued that ‘[o]nly the development of full bureaucratization brings the system of rational examinations for expertise irresistibly to the fore’. In modern society, therefore, it is the case that ‘patent of education’ serves the same purpose as did ‘proof of ancestry’ in patrimonial, feudal societies.

For example, the market economy creates a group that is quite different to the family network, the community of interests or the neighbourhood clan. What binds the group in a market situation is the coming together of the rational, purposeful pursuit of the interests of a series of individuals. The particular exchanges that take place are ephemeral, and the social action is orientated towards the commodities in question rather than towards the partners in the exchange. The impersonality of this social action ensures that ‘there are no obligations of brotherliness or reverence, and none of those spontaneous human relations that are sustained by personal unions’ (Weber, 1968, p.

139). What the rationalization process does enable, however, is the possibility to know all of the above things, the possibility to calculate how things work, to find out precisely how the streetcar is set in motion, to find out how the phone or the television or the computer works. The knowledge is now there at our disposal and it would only be a matter of taking the time to research and to absorb this information. The technical means are increasingly available with which to understand the minutiae of our existence.

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A Sociology of Culture, Taste and Value by S. Stewart

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