By S. Stewart

This ebook explores sociological debates on the subject of tradition, style and cost. It argues that sociology can give a contribution to debates approximately aesthetic price and to an figuring out of ways humans assessment.  

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In earlier, patrimonial forms of bureaucracy, officials received payment in kind, such as, for example, the right to derive economic benefits from the use of a lord’s land, and administrative duties were secondary activities. Relationships in patrimonial systems were regulated by favour and privilege. In contrast, the criteria by which the modern official functions are qualitatively different. First, officials are formally free (the office is separate from the worker’s household) and they are subject to authority only in relation to their official roles.

The Fate of Cultural Values 37 According to Weber, fully developed bureaucracy ‘compares with other organizations exactly as does the machine with the non-mechanical modes of production’ (Weber, 1968, p. 973). He argued that the choice ‘is only between bureaucracy and dilettantism in the field of administration’, and emphasized the benefits of a form of organization based on formal rationality (1968, p. 223). This claim is, of course, contentious, and for many in the twenty-first century, bureaucracy is synonymous with inefficiency.

As Gronow (1988, p. 328) puts it, ‘it is this very formal and abstract nature of modern occidental rationality which explains Weber’s serious worry about the petrification of cultural values and the loss of genuine meaning in modern culture’. 2 The Fate of Cultural Values Introduction In public and private cultures, distinctive cultural values, whether ethical or aesthetic, are irrelevant when viewed from the perspective of formal rationality. So, what is the fate of such values with formal rationality in the ascendancy?

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