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Weber and Freud: Vocation and Self-Acknowledgement

Tracy B. Strong
The Canadian Journal of Sociology / Cahiers canadiens de sociologie
Vol. 10, No. 4 (Autumn, 1985), pp. 391-409
DOI: 10.2307/3340048
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3340048
Page Count: 19
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Weber and Freud: Vocation and Self-Acknowledgement
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Abstract

Most comparisons between Weber and Freud merely identify them as part of larger cultural syndromes. In this paper, I argue that they most resemble each other in the centrality they give to the notion of vocation or adulthood. For both, the man truly possessed of his vocation is the touchstone by which reality is both understood and transformed. They differ, however, in the structure they attribute to vocation. Weber sees it as requiring that humans accept their own historical sociology as constitutive of their selves; Freud asserts that (some) humans can escape from their pasts and only thus become full human beings. /// En générale, les comparaisons entre Freud et Weber se réduisent a l'affirmation qu'ils font tous les deux parti d'une même culture fin-de-siècle bourgeoise. Par contre, je soutiens ici qu'ils se ressemblent le plus dans la centralité qu'ils donnent chacun aux idées de la vocation et de l'adulte. Pour chacun, l'homme de vocation est la source de la comprehension de la réalité et de la transformation de la réalité. Ils diffèrent dans leur sens de la structure de la vocation. Pour Weber, l'homme de la vocation prends sur lui-même son passé et la sociologie de son histoire. Pour Freud, c'est plûtot une question d'echapper à son histoire, quelque chose que seulement certains pevent accomplir.

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