heuristic construct for understanding reality ("measuring rod") e.g. homo economicus, perfect market, bureaucracy
2.3 Forms of Authority
Development and Function of Ideal Types
“An ideal type type is formed formed formedby the one-sided accentuation of one or more points of view and by the synthesis of a great many diffuse, discrete, more or less present and occasionally emphasized viewpoint into a unified analytical construct. This mental image brings together certain relationships and events of historical life to form an internally consistent cosmos of conceptual interrelations. In substance, this construct bears the character of an utopie which we arrive at by mentally accentuation certain elements of reality. Historical research faces the taks of determining in each individual case, the extend to which this ideal-construct approximates to or diverges from reality."
- Max Weber
possibility of imposing one's will upon the behaviour of other persons