I will upload the essay guideline document in word format. The document include all the requirements for the essay and the Suggested readings.
There is also the explanation of the Essay question in the file.
Please make sure you read all the requirements and follow them as precisely as possible and use the readings correctly.
**and please!! follow the requirements properly and if you think you can’t, do kindly make sure to let me know as early as possible because the deadline is on 17th. So
i don’t have much more time to do it myself or any other solution.
Thank you so much.
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Why is bureaucracy’s relationship to democracy so conflicted?
Paul DuGay (2000) In Praise of Bureaucracy, Sage London
H. H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills (1948) From Max Weber Ch.8 Bureaucracy, pp196-
245 and Ch.10 The Meaning of Discipline, pp253-66
P. Blau (1970) ‘Bureaucracy’ pp141-6 in Dennis Wrong (ed) Max Weber
R. Edwards (1979) Contested Terrainch. 8 ‘Bureaucratic Control: Policy No. 11’ pp130-62.
V. Fournier and C. Grey (1996) ‘Too Much, Too Little, and Too Often’ Organization 6(1) pp107-28.
Larry Ray (1999) Theorising Classical Sociology p173-188
G. Ritzer (2000) The McDonaldization of Societychs. 1 & 2.
Anthony Giddens (1971) Capitalism and Modern Social Theory pp124-132, 163-168, 178-184
Explanation of the essay question:
I am trying to get you think about the following: Weber argues bureaucracy is actually a push towards openness, fairness and, in some sense democracy – at least in its
origins. For example, when you submit your essay it will come to me only with a student number so that I do not know who you are and hence cannot treat you favorably
or unfavorably on the basis of your class, gender, religion, race, or whether or not I like you. Each student is to be treated anonymously through the same processes
and according to set guidelines and therefore as the same – this is a democratic move because who you are does not determine your treatment – I must treat all the
The world was not always like this e.g. women were not allowed into universities a hundred years ago and until the 1970s. Women were often paid less for the same work
as men – they were treated differently (worse) because they were women). However, Weber also highlighted the tendency for bureaucracies to become very complex with
extended divisions of labor and hence hierarchal. He was worried that those at the top of the hierarchy would use their position or expertise to favor some groups over
others (notably but not exclusively themselves but think of something like the old boys network). Hence there is a tension or a conflict within bureaucracy to be both
open and democratic and simultaneously to be authoritarian and anti-democratic. Think about who senior managers manage firms for – themselves, shareholders, workers,
others? Executive pay increases unrelated to performance suggest they manage for themselves? But this might be too simple an answer because if it puzzled Weber enough
to leave him unclear on it, it definitely was not simple.
Hence in the question you have to tease out this relationship and use the readings, evidence and your own informed opinion to assess bureaucracy’s relationship to this
‘democratic’ urge. Remember Weber thought of bureaucracy not as inefficiency but as ruthlessly efficient hence its relationship to power and democracy was essentially
important to social progress. When you use examples, please try to avoid the ones I have just used. Finally, the essay is NOT asking about parliamentary democracy, the
right to vote, or anything really to do with that (although Weber had a lot to say on these issues)
Additional information/breakdown regarding assessment details:
As a general rule of thumb the recommended readings for the lecture provide a theoretical insight into some socio-economic and organizational shifts over the past two
centuries. The seminar readings often provide a somewhat, more empirical understandings of these changes. Both types of reading are required for the essay and the
ESSAY WRITING TECHNIQUES
1) Analyse the question
Questions tend to be either specific and tailored towards a particular issue, or general. The former ties you closely to a specific narrative in your response, whilst
the latter invites you to present and defend your own interpretation. In analysing the question you are looking to break it down in order to establish what the
question is concerned with, how you intend to interpret it and respond to it and what the parameters of your essay will be as a consequence. The hardest part of the
essay is deciding what to leave out rather than what to include. If you have looked into a topic, followed all of the reading suggestions, and gone further, you are
likely to have more information than you need, in terms of ideas and evidence, to back up an argument. Your task is to set out your own interpretation and defend it,
and the way you read the question is crucial to it. Remember that we assess your ability to construct and defend an argument, not to recite what other people argue
about a subject. This does not mean that anything goes by way of response to a question. A good essay shows your ability to persuade the reader that your
interpretation is both valid and powerfully stated. Essay plans can be useful to this purpose if they help you focus on what your argument actually is and encourage
you to sift out all the less relevant material and ideas.
Possible weakness to avoid:
A poor essay offers little explanation as to why it is addressing the question the way it does, or a coherent and clear account of the case that it is defending.
Your introduction can explain what you think the question is concerned with, and where questions are ambiguous clarify your reading of them, how you intend to answer
and what you are defending. Without giving it all away here, you can spend a few paragraphs taking the question apart and explaining it in a way that the reader knows
how your essay is going to be structured and why. You are guiding the reader into your interpretation, without stating the obvious, just by establishing your
Potential weakness to avoid:
If introductions are unclear, absent or understated the reader has to impose their own structure to your essay and this can be problematic.
3) Explain and discuss
The main content of the essay is where you present your case and defend it from counter claims and challenges to your interpretation. If you are discussing an issue,
you don’t need to set out every possible argument for or against it in a merely rhetorical manner. Avoid listing points and try to construct a coherent narrative to
persuade the reader that these are important issues to be engaging with, by means of reasoned argument and evidence. While there are other arguments to be used, this
is your interpretation and what you think is of most significance for anyone trying to understand the issues the essay addresses.
Potential weaknesses to avoid:
Lack of a clear structure. Remember to include signposts to link together the different arguments you wish to set out, so that when moving from one point to the next
you link them by a sentence telling the reader why you are making the move.
Use of anecdotal evidence (opinionated one-liners, hearsay, etc.). To avoid this remember to use references and always acknowledge the sources of your information,
this shows that you have researched the topic as well as thought about it.
Conclusions are not something tagged on at the end. They are the answer to the question! There is no pressure to be definitive if you are still undecided, but you do
need to tie things together and offer an answer to the question in the conclusion. Here you can also try to draw out an overall picture from the discussion and
argument you defended in the essay.
Potential weakness to avoid:
Your interpretation only emerges in the conclusion, giving the impression that you were unable to handle the question thoroughly.
Academic essays require full references and bibliography. For an example of how to do this, read the Harvard Referencing Style
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