Writing Out Loud: Bureaucracy

Ah, bureaucracy – that endless hallway of never-ending paperwork and thick red tape. Weber introduced the idea of bureaucracy claiming that it is the most rational form of organization and domination, but it was not without its negative side. Take a look at the key components of bureaucracy and then answer the following questions.

Theme: Pathway to Meltdown


  1. What does Weber mean when he says that holding an office is a “vocation”?
  2. What do you think Weber means when he says that bureaucracy came about through a “leveling of social and economic differences”?
  3. As we know, ideal-types are rarely found in the real world. Rather, real world examples often deviate from their most rational components. Think of a concrete example of when you encountered a less than ideal bureaucracy and describe how it deviated from the criteria that Weber gives us for bureaucracy.
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