Weber’s legitimate domination seeks to explain the tripartite classification of authority that was developed by Max Weber. The theory explains authority as a legitimate form of domination in which the followers and people under authority consider the individuals in power as legitimate (Netelenbos, 2020). The theory further states that the legitimacy might not be right or good, but it has been approved by the subordinates who consider the authority as bearable and desirable. Weber’s legitimate domination is categorized into three different types, which are charismatic, traditional, and legal or rational. The essay will discuss Weber’s legitimate domination based on my life experiences, including the three different types of authority.
The traditional authority is whereby the rights of power and the dominant person or group have been widely accepted and have existed for long periods. In this type of legitimate authority, power is vested on traditional figureheads such as religious leaders, elder members in the society, patriarchs, or the dominant elite (Morcillo & Schlichte, 2016). I know what legitimate authority is from my own experience because when my parents travel they leave me in charge of the house and other issues. I have two elder sisters, but my community is highly patriarchal, therefore, my parents give me the authority to take care of everyone, and the former never challenged this decision. In most communities, traditional authority lies with the males in the family, and our home is one example.
Charismatic authority is where legitimacy is vested upon a leader’s charisma in which they possess the right to lead them because of their heroism, magical powers, or much more. According to Klein (2017), the subordinates allow such a leader to rule them because of their unique qualities and not because that power has been vested in them by traditional or legal rules. I have experienced charismatic authority when I was young. In my neighborhood, we had a new neighbor who won over the people and was selected to represent the area’s grievances to the local council. He was among the youngest people in the neighborhood, but he was entrusted to represent the community’s views to the relevant authorities.
Legal or Rational Authority
The legitimacy of legal authority is vested on a system of rules, whereby they are applied administratively and judicially using the known principles. In legal authority, the people in power are usually elected or appointed through legal procedures and channels (Netelenbos, 2020). People in legal or rational authority are subjected to rules in which their powers are limited and required to separate their private and official duties. I have encountered legal authority in several places and stages in my life, including institutions and much more. There are several people in legal authority in my current institution, such as the Dean of Students and the Vice-Chancellor. I understood certain details about legal authority when I was elected as the chairperson of the high school debate club. The chairperson of the debate club gets elected annually, and a person cannot hold office more than once because of the school regulations.
The people in power get their legitimate form of authority when they are not challenged by those they lead. The three different forms of legitimate authority are legal, charismatic, and traditional. In traditional forms of authority, power is held by people such as priests and fathers. In legal forms of authority, the power is in the hands of appointed or elected people and their powers are limited by the law. People with charisma usually hold power in charismatic authority. The subordinates have accepted that the people in power hold these forms of authority and do not challenge them.
Klein, S. (2017). Between charisma and domination: On Max Weber’s critique of democracy. The Journal of Politics, 79(1), 179-192. Web.
Morcillo Laiz, Á., & Schlichte, K. (2016). Rationality and international domination: Revisiting Max Weber. International Political Sociology, 10(2), 168-184. Web.
Netelenbos, B. (2020). Bringing back Max Weber into network governance research. Critical Policy Studies, 14(1), 67-85. Web.