Explain the concept “social action” as evident in the writings of Max Weber. Support your explanation...

Explain the concept “social action” as evident in the writings of Max Weber. Support your explanation with a practical example.
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Ans) Max Weber conceived sociology as a global science of social action. His main focus was on the subjective meanings that human actors attribute to their actions in their mutual orientations within specific sociohistorical contexts. Ideal types of social action may not occur similarly in the real world, as explained in the theory. However, it can exist and occur in the real world as mixture of different forms. He explained the types of actions in the context of the ideal world.

Goal rational social action

This type of social action is goal-oriented and the reason for the goal comes from the actor's wishes. However, the objective must be realistic and the actor must have the necessary means to achieve it. For example, an individual may want to get the highest score in the class, however, to achieve that goal, they must work hard and spend more time studying and not let their emotions influence, attainment of goals. If you don't have time for your studies and still want to get high marks in the classroom, your goal and the means to achieve it are considered irrational or unrealistic.

Value rational social action

It means that the goal and the means to reach the end are derived and determined by values. This type of social action is also considered rational; however, the rationality of this action is justified by the actor on the basis of his set of beliefs, which can religious, constitutional and based on policies. For example, people belonging to the following professions, the police, the priests and lawyers must choose objectives and means to achieve it, according to a particular governing rules and codes, whose effectiveness cannot be questioned by them.

Affective social action

This social action is motivated by the emotions of the individual. This type of social action is considered the most irrational action. For example, if a cricketer gets angry during a match and at that moment of anger, he hits the player of the opposing team, he knows that such action will weaken the position of his team and could influence his career, despite being aware of the consequences he hits the player. Here the player succumbs to his emotions and acts irrationally.

Traditional social action

Traditional social action derives from the customs of society. For example, if someone is struggling to eats pizza with a fork and knife and someone asks why you don't you eat with your hands it’s much easier. If he answers this, my grandparents eat pizza with a fork and knife, so I am eating it that way, that social action will fall into the category of traditional social action.

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