Definition of Traditional Authority
Examples of Traditional Authority
- Hereditary nobles in Europe, particularly the monarchy. The Royal Court, which is attached to a ruler is typically filled with family and friends, who often serve as administrators as well. However, since appointments are made based on relationships to the ruler, the appointed may not be competent.
- President of the United States, while individuals may be different, they are assuming the authority of their predecessors as grant by the Constitution.
- The Pope holds authority as a surrogate of Jesus. Individual popes may be charismatic with crowds lining up to hear them speak, but authority is in the papacy, not the individual.
Traditional Authority Pronunciation
Syllabification: tra·di·tion·al au·thor·i·ty
- American English – /truh-dIsh-uhn-l uh-thOR-uh-tee/
- British English – /truh-dIsh-uh-nuhl aw-thOr-i-tee/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /trəˈdɪʃənəl əˈθɔrəti/
- British English – /trəˈdɪʃənl ɔːˈθɒrɪti/
- Plural: traditional authorities
- The authority of tradition comes from time or “right”, typically because ruler’s family has always held power and thus transfers the authority through heredity or the position (e.g. prime minister), not the individual holds the legitimate authority. According to Weber, people obey traditional authority because of the “eternal yesterday” not because of statute or tradition.
- Traditional authority is typically patriarchal and found in tribal or feudal societies.
- Charismatic authority typically disrupts traditional authority. According to Weber, most past societies were characterized by traditional authority, with periods of charismatic authority.
- A type of authority.
- Crime and Law Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Politics and Policy Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “traditional” and “authority” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
Andersen, Margaret L., and Howard Francis Taylor. 2011. Sociology: The Essentials. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Brinkerhoff, David, Lynn White, Suzanne Ortega, and Rose Weitz. 2011. Essentials of Sociology. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Bruce, Steve, and Steven Yearley. 2006. The SAGE Dictionary of Sociology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Brym, Robert J., and John Lie. 2007. Sociology: Your Compass for a New World. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Dillon, Michele. 2014. Introduction to Sociological Theory: Theorists, Concepts, and their Applicability to the Twenty-First Century. 2nd ed. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Ferrante, Joan. 2011a. Seeing Sociology: An Introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Ferrante, Joan. 2011b. Sociology: A Global Perspective. 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein. 2010. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. 2nd ed. New York: Norton.
Giddens, Anthony, and Philip W. Sutton. 2014. Essential Concepts in Sociology. Cambridge: Polity.
Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.
Henslin, James M. 2012. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Hughes, Michael, and Carolyn J. Kroehler. 2011. Sociology: The Core. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.
Kendall, Diana. 2011. Sociology in Our Times. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Kimmel, Michael S., and Amy Aronson. 2012. Sociology Now. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Kornblum, William. 2008. Sociology in a Changing World. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Macionis, John. 2012. Sociology. 14th ed. Boston: Pearson.
Macionis, John, and Kenneth Plummer. 2012. Sociology: A Global Introduction. 4th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.
Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).
Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).
Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).
Ravelli, Bruce, and Michelle Webber. 2016. Exploring Sociology: A Canadian Perspective. 3rd ed. Toronto: Pearson.
Schaefer, Richard. 2013. Sociology: A Brief Introduction. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Shepard, Jon M. 2010. Sociology. 11th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Shepard, Jon M., and Robert W. Greene. 2003. Sociology and You. New York: Glencoe.
Taylor & Francis. (N.d.) Routledge Handbooks Online. (https://www.routledgehandbooks.com/).
Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Tischler, Henry L. 2011. Introduction to Sociology. 10th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).
Wiley. (N.d.) Wiley Online Library. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/).
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “traditional authority.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved May 29, 2020 (http://sociologydictionary.org/traditional-authority/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
traditional authority. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from http://sociologydictionary.org/traditional-authority/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “traditional authority.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed May 29, 2020. http://sociologydictionary.org/traditional-authority/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“traditional authority.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 29 May. 2020. <http://sociologydictionary.org/traditional-authority/>.