The majority of modern bureaucratic officials and political leaders represent this type of authority. And he also said that in the legal-rational authority, there must be a very clear separation of areas of competence. Right? Who is responsible for what? And then you can always understand how to navigate a legal-rational order. You`ll be told, «Well, this is not my table, you`re going somewhere else.» So you go over there and ask the director of undergraduate studies for something, and the director of undergraduate studies could say, «Go see the dean of your residential school» — right? – «because it is the competence of the boarding school». This is how a legal-rational order is supposed to work. And the same thing will sometimes say to the dean of the college, «Well, you need to see your sociology professor or your economics professor.» Right? They want transfer credits for a summer course, for example, and then the dean of the college said, «This is the department» — whether it`s political science, economics or anthropology — «they`ll be able to say if it can be accepted as an economics course at Yale.» Right? We also know that the financial system has immense authority over the lives of individuals. Every shock to the financial system has profound implications. Weber defined the legal system as one in which rules are promulgated and followed as legitimate because they are consistent with other laws, how they can be promulgated, and how they must be followed. Moreover, they are enforced by a government that monopolizes their implementation and the legitimate use of physical force. Okay, so let me start with what the pure type of legal-rational authority is.
And there are really two issues that we need to talk about very briefly. There are different ways to set laws and standards. We are already beginning to test the problem of whether the rule of law and democracy are the same, or, you know, whether they can be democratic or whether they do not need to be as democratic. And then the question is, who obeys what and to whom under legal authority? The next question now is: who obeys whom? And now I don`t want to dwell on it that long. It is very clear. You already know that. What`s important, isn`t it? – the person who has authority, who gives orders, is himself subject to an impersonal order. So we are all subject to the same order. This is the essence of legal-rational authority, at least in the ideal type. Right? We know the exceptions. We know that Berlusconi, for example, in Italy, although Italy is in fact a legal-rational authority, has been doing so for a long time – hasn`t it? – adopt a law allowing it to avoid prosecution; Although he is likely involved in a number of criminal activities, he managed to evade prosecution.
But this is the exception. The rule is – isn`t it? – that even the most responsible person is subject to the same authority and must obey the law. And again, it`s very obvious; We have already dealt with this, the opposite, the mirror image of it. Right? The members of the obedience society, to the superior, not as individuals, but to an impersonal order, to the law as such. This should be obvious. It was this concern for stability and discipline that paved the way for theorists to support bureaucratic and administrative forms of management structures. While Weber advocated rational legal authority (the predominant form of authority today), he saw it achieved through the most efficient form of organization, bureaucracy. While we can seriously question this in the modern environment, in that era of political and cultural instability before World War I, stability, discipline and «rationality» were in high demand. Sometimes the same ideas can be seen in some organizations, schools, and libraries as they try to build their own «safety barrier» around themselves in an ever-changing world. In 1991, at a state conference in Florida, USA, Ken Johnson presented a thought-provoking paper in which he denounced the growing bureaucracy of the school system and instead proposed a student-centered approach (Johnson 1991). This article was not «very well received» at the time, suggesting that the bureaucratic theories advanced by Weber and his contemporaries still have a significant impact on schooling to this day—something that would preoccupy Hughes, Johnson, and Warner (in Chapter 3), but not necessarily surprised.
As Abbott (1988) pointed out in his influential book, this view of occupations in the 1950s and 1960s had an underlying assumption of professionalization as a natural process; That is, a regular sequence by which a profession has moved to «complete» professionalism (Wilensky 1964). In essence, this view, along with the «search for bureaucracy,» has led to a unified view of professions and organizations. Professionals, it was suggested, were socialized in professions where the key values were autonomy, peer control and vocation. For example, Hall (1968) operationalized professional values as a professional organization as a reference, a belief in public service, a belief in self-regulation, a sense of appeal to the field, and a sense of autonomy. Bureaucracy has been operationalized as a hierarchy of authority, division of labor, rules, procedures, impersonality and technical competence. However, it concluded that «the assumption of an inherent conflict between the occupational group and the employers` organisation seems unjustified». Under rational-legal authority, legitimacy is considered to result from a legal system and the laws promulgated in it (see also natural law and legal positivism). In fact, legal-rational authority is the kind of system of authority that is predictable because there is an observable law to which everyone is subordinate, which in fact has the clearest elective affinity with a market economy. Nevertheless, as we shall see, he will argue that – which is very counterintuitive – that the purest type of legal-rational authority is bureaucracy; And that`s usually what we don`t have in mind when we think of a market economy, that it`s bureaucratic.
So we have to deal with Weber`s interesting claim that the purest kind of legal-rational authority that comes with a capitalist market economy is actually bureaucracy. Traditional authority can be closely related to race, class, and gender. In most societies, for example, men are more privileged than women and are therefore more likely to hold positions of authority. It is not uncommon for a man to be the automatic head of a family unit; In some countries, however, it is the woman who is the alleged perpetrator. In any case, most contexts provide a traditional structure of authority, even within the family unit. Similarly, members of dominant racial groups or upper-class families gain respect more easily. In the United States, the Kennedy family, which produced many prominent politicians, is an example of this model. If society as a whole approves of the exercise of power in some way, then power is considered a «legitimate authority.» .