Download Authority: A Sociological History by Frank Furedi PDF

By Frank Furedi

Hindrance with authority is as outdated as human background itself. Eve's sin was once to problem the authority of God by way of disobeying his rule. Frank Furedi explores how authority used to be contested in historic Greece and given a robust that means in Imperial Rome. Debates approximately non secular and secular authority ruled Europe throughout the heart a while and the Reformation. the trendy international tried to strengthen new foundations for authority - democratic consent, public opinion, technology - but Furedi indicates that this challenge has remained unresolved, arguing that at the present time the authority of authority is wondered. This historic sociology of authority seeks to provide an explanation for how the modern difficulties of distrust and the lack of legitimacy of many associations are expert through the former makes an attempt to unravel the matter of authority. It argues that the major pioneers of the social sciences (Marx, Durkheim, Simmel, Tonnies and particularly Weber) seemed this question as one of many vital demanding situations dealing with society.

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There is little doubt that Athens’s disposition to change encouraged a democratic ethos which in turn made it difficult to consolidate and institutionalise tradition and authority. 42 One of the remarkable features of Athenian society was that it called attention to the ‘conventional quality of its own conventions’. This questioning had not only a political but also a profound intellectual dimension. In such circumstances, institutions of rule and laws cannot be endowed with sacred or transcendental qualities.

21 Competition between oligarchs and democratic leaders was often expressed through accusing the other side of violating the dictates of the (unwritten) ancestral constitution. 22 But the very intensity of political conflicts over custom and tradition indicated that public life in Athens lacked foundational authority. The limited weight of authority in Greek city-states is emphasised by the German Neo-Kantian philosopher Wilhelm Windelband, through 18 20 19 Arendt (1958) p. 104. Arendt (1958) pp.

45 Cited by Fritz (1941) pp. 56–7. 44 Socrates and the quest for authority people’s support and acquiescence. Athenian society worked most of the time because its people identified with their city. This was a community where authority was invested in the people and the opinions they expressed through the Athenian assembly and other public venues. 46 The legitimacy enjoyed by public opinion and its democratic culture was reinforced by historical events such as the defeat of the Persians by the Athenian navy at the battle of Salamis.

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