Max Weber's Charismatic Authority

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o Weber’s Charismatic Authority Charismatic is derived from the Greek word charisma, which means “grace” and it is used to refer to that peculiar form of personal ascendency which an individual may acquire in a particular society which may bestow or confer an indisputable aura of legitimacy on all his or her acts. Most scholarly work on cult of personality or personality cult is grounded or at least stimulated by the three-way classification of authority established by sociologist Max Weber. There are arguments that the leadership systems of the twentieth century which engendered personality cults might be seen as an embodiment of what Weber characterized as charismatic authority. This is therefore a summary of Weber’s theory of charismatic…show more content…
This means that a state can exist only if the people submit to their leader at any given time. In Weber’s view inner validations, such as people’s belief in the existence of a legitimacy of a particular system or ideology, are the focal points for compliance and provide a reliable foundation for authority. According to Lane (1984:207), “Political power is considered legitimate when it is exercised both with a consciousness on the part of the elite that it has a right to govern and with recognition by the ruled of that right.” Weber drew the three ideal forms of legitimate authority, whose validity of the entitlements to rule are based on the three classifications below: • Traditional authority is based on “an established belief in the sanctity of immemorial traditions and the legitimacy of those exercising authority under them” (Weber et al., 1994:312). The legitimacy of such an authority originates from tradition, convention and cultural principles, like for instance, the divine rights of a king in monarchies or paternal…show more content…
It is not about who the leader is in actuality, but how he is portrayed to those subject to charismatic authority, that is the determinant for the authenticity of charisma. In light of this, the development of personality cult signifies an attempt to breed the ideology that a leader possesses supernormal or extraordinary qualities that are not possessed by any other in society to support the legitimacy of his rule. The use of mass media to propagate not only a false depiction of the leader as an individual, but also of his many accomplishments and uncommon failures, are presented to the naïve
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