Project

Max Weber on the Nature of Discipline

Goal: This is a Weber book proposal, with an emphasis on what Max Weber had to write about the nature of discipline, in all its good and bad characteristics, in the modern world. It is primarily a critique of what happens when development projects do not take advantage of Weber's understandings of discipline. Case studies to be developed will be from Myanmar and DR Congo.

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Tony Waters
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This book is specifically about sociologist Max Weber's (1863-1920) ideas regarding discipline. Weber defines discipline as the intrinsic justification people use to submit to authority. Weber makes the case that modernity is equated with the internalization of discipline in which the people shape themselves to the authority of rationalized institutions, particularly that of the bureaucracy. The more tuned into the inhuman demands of bureaucracy a population becomes, the more likely the population will generate the enduring structures that we think of as the modern rationalized systems of market and state. I find Weber's ideas about discipline powerful. For me, it explains the three-part paradox I saw between Thai and Tanzanian peasant farmers I knew in the early 1980s, and the well-paid Western experts who were trying to bring them "development." The development experts were "disciplined" in Weber's sense of the word, while the self-sufficient subsistence farmers that I knew were not. The first part of the paradox is that subsistence farmers who rely on the weather for their lives show up for "work" whenever the weather and season calls. They are among the world's greatest risk takers. They work very hard at any time to make sure their crop is successful. In doing this, they focus on preserving the resilient kin-based networks that gives their lives meaning. Physically, many are strong and agile from decades of weeding, plowing, hoeing, harvesting, and the many other tasks associated with subsistence farming.
CHapter 3 from my book "Max Weber and the Problem of Modern Discipline." This chapter uses modern Myanmar and Congo as examples of how discpline works (and does not work) to order modern society. Chapters 1 and 2 are also on my Academia.edu and Researchgate.net sites. Please ask your library to order a copy of the real thing!
This is chapter 5 of my book Max Weber and the Modern Problem of Discipline. It is the chapter wihere the sociological looks at the consequences of the psychological conditioning that our society shapes us with. Please urge your library to purchase the book!
Tony Waters
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This book will be published on October 15, 2018!
 
Tony Waters
added an update
I finished the mss., and have it off to the publisher (Hamilton Books). Should be out toward the end of 2018.
 
Tony Waters
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Book being written now. Hopefully out within a few months.
 
Tony Waters
added a project goal
This is a Weber book proposal, with an emphasis on what Max Weber had to write about the nature of discipline, in all its good and bad characteristics, in the modern world. It is primarily a critique of what happens when development projects do not take advantage of Weber's understandings of discipline. Case studies to be developed will be from Myanmar and DR Congo.