Writing Out Loud: Types of Legitimate Domination

Weber is well-known for his work on power and legitimacy. In “Types of Legitimate Domination,” Weber gives us three types of legitimate domination. Answer the following questions after completing the reading.

Theme: Networks of Capital


  1. Domination, according to Weber, relies on a belief in legitimacy. What does it mean for something to be legitimate, and why is legitimacy important for domination?
  2. Define Weber’s three ideal-types of legitimate domination in your own words, along with an example of each.
  3. Weber describes how even the most charismatic leaders can eventually fall to powers of rationalization. Pick one concrete example from current events, popular culture, or your own experience of a charismatic leader or organization that eventually became routinized. Based on your example, do you think all leaders and organizations based on charisma eventually fall prey to the powers of routine, or are some charismatic leaders and organizations better able to endure?
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