Traditional Authority

What is Traditional Authority ?

‘Traditional Authority’ refers to the authority derived from customs and tradition rather than the strength or valour of the authority itself. It is one of the three forms of authority put forward by sociologist Max Weber’s tripartite classification of authority with the other two being ‘charismatic authority’ and ‘rational-legal authority’.

In traditional authority, the subjects adhering to it would do so out of their habit of following the traditions irrespective of the fact that the leader holding the authority has any valid credentials to hold it.

A common example cited for traditional authority is the authority of the kings of any land. It is considered that the authority comes from God in these cases and since the custom has been followed for several years, the newer generations accept the authority without questioning it.

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