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Permanence of Social Relationships

Weber develops a notion of permanency of social relationships by noting that there is repeated recurrence of social relationships so patterns and regularities of social action develop. This provides a way to connect individual social actions with institutions and structures; it is these patterns and recurrent relationships that form the institutions of society. According to Weber a social relationship can be of a varying degree of permanence.There is a probability of the repeated recurrence of the behavior which corresponds to its subjective meaning and hence is expected. The meaningful content which remains relatively constant in a social relationship is capable of formulation in terms of maxims which the parties concerned expect to be adhered to by their partners on the average .

The more rational is relation to values or to given ends the action is the more likely to be the case. Weber said that relationships may be regularly repeated so that the actions that have meaning associated with them come to be expected. It is this repetition on a regular basis that creates the patterns that we may call institutions. While these may be formal institutions such as workplace or school many of them are formed on a voluntary basis institutions such as family, peer groups or friendship. But Weber argues that these are still social action and based on meaning for the actors.