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Lecture 3

SOCI 1F90 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Class Conflict, Social Inequality, Proletariat

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Sara Cumming

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Modern Social Theory
Social Conflict: Challenging order
-Question social order model
-ignores complexity of the social relations
-norms exist, but are often not shared
-e.g. nuclear family
-who determines norms? what interests are served?
-Power is an issue functionalists overlook
-Norms support particular social orders
Conflict Theorists
-Society is organized by inequalities that produce conflict between social groups
-powerful have privileges and resources
-disadvantaged are undervalued
-social inequality results
-disadvantaged as agents of social change
-challenge power structures of class, race, gender and sexuality
-its always about money, the rich and the poor thats where the conflict is
-conflict theorists believe we are always in a struggle over scare resources
Karl Marx (1818-1883)
-Capital: analysis of the economic system of capitalism
-mode of production: a way of producing the material things we need to survive
-capitalism produces a class hierarchy
-capitalists/bourgeoisie own the means of production (facotries, equipment, land)
-proletariat works for capitalists for a wage
-suddenly everyone is deciding what your worth, we work for what we need and for us to live.
someone pays us what we need and then we go buy what we need in an endless cycle
-poverty grew exponentially for the first time in a while
-means of production is the factory and the land and business which we use to make the
things we need for capitalism
-false concesnous is sympathizing with the capitalist and wanting to be them
-economies based on inequality are unstable
-tends toward conflict
-exploited workers agitate for change
-history of capitalist society - history of class struggle
-Compete for jobs
-earn wages
-labour products belong to capitalists
-gap between wages paid and market value of the products they make
-profit (surplus value)
-workers are exploited - they don't earn what they produce
Max Weber (1864-1920)
-society based on power, not solidarity
-conversation with Marx about class
-capitalism produces an unequal class system
-class is also shaped by life chances in the labour market
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