chapter  10
39 Pages

Radical Structuralism

WithGibson Burrell, Gareth Morgan

The radical structuralist paradigm is rooted in a materialist view of the natural and social world. Radical structuralism is aimed, first and foremost, at providing a critique of the status quo in social affairs. The intellectual foundations of the radical structuralist paradigm were laid in the second half of the nineteenth century in the work of Karl Marx. Subsequent developments within the context of the radical structuralist paradigm have been largely based upon different interpretations placed upon Marx’s later work. Within radical structuralism theorists tend to be most interested in Max Weber’s analysis of bureaucracy as an instrument of social domination, most forcibly expressed in the notion of the ‘iron cage of bureaucracy’. In the context of radical structuralism, radical Weberianism focuses upon bureaucracy, authority and power as the points of concentration for theoretical analysis as a means of understanding important aspects of social life under capitalism.