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Paradox of the Pariah: Toward a Weberian Understanding of Modern Journalism

Abstract : In his 1919 lecture on the profession and vocation of politics (Politik als Beruf)- probably the best-known and most-read contribution of the German sociologist to the study of journalism-Max Weber refers to journalists as a sort of 'pariah caste'. This metaphor is analyzed here as a cue to understand Weber's portrayal of the two 'aspects' of the condition of journalists in modern media: their market situation and their ethical situation ('character' or 'personality'). This article explores both dimensions of modern journalism with a Weberian lens and intends to contribute to a renewed sociology of journalism. The history of journalistic bylines is used as a case study to illustrate the dynamics of 'personality' and 'anonymity' that lies at the heart of journalism and that every journalist as pariah has to address.
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Contributor : Gilles Bastin <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, November 8, 2016 - 10:30:54 PM
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Gilles Bastin. Paradox of the Pariah: Toward a Weberian Understanding of Modern Journalism. Max Weber Studies, Ebsco Publishing, 2013, 13 (2), pp.216-236. ⟨halshs-00969557⟩

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