Max Weber Social Action Theories Definition & Characteristics

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 11:33 -- Umar Farooq

Max Weber Social Action Theory Definition

The concept of social action is the center of all social ideas of Max Weber. According to his all social concepts joined the central conception of social action. He defines social action, “social action is that action of an individual which is influenced by the actions and behavior of other persons and by which its direction determined”.

“Thus social actions of individuals which are somehow influence, guided or determined by the actions of other individuals is called social action”.

Characteristics of Social Action Theory

The significant features of Max Weber ideas are under

  1. Social action may be influenced by an act of past, present or future. Social action is the result or modification of some actions of some other individual but the modifying action may be occur in past, present or future. For example; in case of present action, when a man provide any type of help to the poor man and is result the poor man wishing him well. In case of past action, a man who did good deed in past with a person, that person will try to do good with him. In case of future actions a man decorating his house in order to impress his friends who are invited in the near future.
  2. Social action occur in the existence of other individual. It is possible only if there is another individual whose action or behavior promoting any given individual to act in a particular manner. It means that there can be no social action in isolation.
  3. Social action should have subjective meaning to another particular social action. If two persons collide accidentally and without any motive, the collision will not be a social action. So, sociology is the study of social action and human behavior. It studies not only the behavior but meaning. So, social action is the new name of sociology.

Stages of social action

According to Max Weber following are the four stages of social action

Traditional Stage


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