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Rationalization - Max Weber

Max Weber adhered to the method of rationalization in sociological work. It is a product of the scientific specialization and technical differentiation peculiar to western culture and Weber sometimes associated to it with the notion of intellectualization. It might be division and coordination of activities on the basis of an exact study of men's relation with each other, with their roots and their environment for the purpose of achieving greater efficiency and productivity. He also described rationalization as striving for perfection in other words as an ingenious refinement of the conduct of life and the attainment of increasing mastery over the external world.

Increasing rationalization is far from being or representing progress or being reasonable. Although it is based on scientific techniques it cannot be said to constitute an advance in knowledge in the sense of a better understanding of our way of living. Rationalized man knows that his life is provisional and uncertain; he suffers because happiness is uncertain. Rationalization is thus utopian in character; it leads man to believe that happiness is for his children, his grandchildren and so on. Hence the attraction of improved external conditions always equally remote but constantly more desirable makes him miserable in the present. Happiness continuously postponed prevents him from being content with what he has. Thus increasing rationalization and intellectualization transforms the dialectics of the inner and the outer world into that of a real void and on imaginary plenitude.Rationalization is not in itself necessarily a sign of progress hence the problem is in locating progress.

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