The Anti-Cruelty Society is a good example of a non-profit that has gained, in Weber’s terms, power and domination in Chicago. This is a party that is associated with a status of people who are passionate about animal rights and focus on advocating and caring for cats and dogs. The Anti-Cruelty Society has gained domination throughout multiple social locations including Chicago and the United States. The organization has a central location in the Near North Side of Chicago. Many animal shelters nationwide that are over-crowded will send cats and dogs to the Anti-Cruelty Society to avoid euthanasia practices that exist in other states (due to lack of space). The organization has grown much since its founding in 1899 and so they just opened a new location near Union Station in the last year to accommodate all the cats and dogs.
The effects of their domination are especially exemplified through their involvement in founding the Chicago Animal Shelter Alliance (CASA) (anticruelty.org/aboutus/). CASA was formed by a coalition of animal shelters in Chicago “who realized that, by working together, they could consolidate their efforts to reach a wider audience and make a greater impact” (casachicago.org). CASA since then has expanded to include more shelters and even veterinarians. The Anti-Cruelty Society, thus, has found other parties with similar goals and directives to collaborate with to expand their domination together in Chicago through psychical force. The Anti-Cruelty Society has appropriated their power and domination to recruit parties to be advantageous to their cause. By achieving this level of domination they attract people within their status, or in other words they attract animal lovers to their cause, and teach their value system. As a result, their value system (as well as other organizations and veterinarians that associate with CASA) has become standard practice and influenced Illinois laws regarding euthanasia (casachicago.org).
Everyone working and volunteering within the Anti-Cruelty Society, then, operate under their shared value system. This includes but is not limited to: protecting animals against cruelty, an open-door policy in which all animals are accepted, no time limits, the way to prevent overpopulation is through sterilization, and that only if an animal’s life is severely compromised is euthanasia a humane practice (anticruelty.org/aboutus/). This sort of authority would fall under Weber’s ideal type of rational-legal authority which is shown through people following the domination of Anti-Cruelty Society based on their position in society. This value system would then also fall under Weber’s ideal type of substantive rationality. Its philosophy was not always the tradition or custom in the United States and was a goal achieve by the Anti-Cruelty Society and the coalition within CASA to make Illinois and especially Chicago such an accommodating city for animals. This is not always the case in other states in which euthanasia is a common practice when over-crowding occurs or an animal has been in the shelter passed a particular time limit (ex. one year).
The Anti-Cruelty Society is a successful example of Weber’s concept of Verstehen. They have rationalized a philosophy to work under through understanding the hermeneutics of cats and dogs lives and how best to protect their well-being. To successfully access a situation through a process similar to Verstehen is to be a successful party – to achieve the initiatives sought out. The Anti-Cruelty Society has achieved this especially since they recognize that the hermeneutics of cats and dogs lives are not static and the leaders within this party make sure to continue to grow reevaluate cats’ and dogs’ needs.