Charisma, Political Innovation and Why Superman is Rational: The Case of Argentina's Juan Peron

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Title Charisma, Political Innovation and Why Superman is Rational: The Case of Argentina's Juan Peron
Author Di Piramo, Daniela
Publication Title Charisma, Political Innovation and Why Superman is Rational: The Case of Argentina's Juan Peron
Editor The Australian Sociological Association Conference
Year Published 2004
Abstract This paper offers a conceptual analysis of charismatic leadership, beginning with the observation that such phenomenon is often portrayed as irrational, disruptive and individualistic. As it is not unusual for debates in sociology to be presented in terms of dichotomous logic, the issue might be framed in terms of 'agency versus structure' and 'reason versus emotion', where emotion and agency are pitted against rationality and civility. Weber's work on charismatic authority demands an understanding of these categories and of his methodology; this paper briefly establishes a degree of ambivalence in the approaches of the received scholarship in relation to these themes. I argue that the charismatic leader is neither an 'irrational Superman' nor the inevitable expression of forces of social change, but a rational crucial instrument in the transient process of political change and subsequent social transformation. The rest of the paper illustrates some aspects of this process with reference to the rise of Juan Perón in Argentina. The relation between agency and structure or between the charismatic leader and the systems that constitute society is shown to be interactive, fluid and immediate, accompanied by the destruction and reconstruction of institutions in the rational pursuit of a new social order.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.tasa.org.au/tasa-conferences/
Conference name Revisioning Institutions: Change in the 21st Century
Location La Trobe University, Beechsworth
Date From 2004-12-08
Date To 2004-12-11
Date Accessioned 2010-01-12
Language en_AU
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject Political Theory and Political Philosophy
Publication Type Conference Publications (Full Written Paper - Refereed)
Publication Type Code e1a

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