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Lecture 3

SOCI 1F90 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Émile Durkheim, Primitive Communism, False Consciousness


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCI 1F90
Professor
Sara Cumming
Lecture
3

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SOCI 1F90
Lecture 3
-Peter Berger see the general in the particular
-C. Wright Mills said the social imagination is more widespread during social crisis
-Micro analysis
-Common sense thinking
-Social imagination transformed personal problems into public issues
Emile Durkheim
-Suicide
oSuicide rates are strongly influenced by social forces that exert pressure
on the individual
Forces like collective feelings of normalness, identified by Durkheim
as anomie
oAnomie is when people do not know what is expected of them in society
(“floating” in society)
More anomie in society, the higher suicide rates
oStudied why certain groups of people had higher rates of suicide
oSuicide is caused by the pressure formed on a person my social issues
oThe more social solidarity a group has, the more firmly anchored
individuals are to the social world (less anomie), the less likely people are
to take their own lives
oMore women than men have psychological disorders
Women are more involved in social events
4 men for every 1 woman commits suicide
oSeniors are more prone to suicide because they are alone and everyone
around them their age is dying (loss of spouse)
Karl Marx
-Political economist, revolutionary
-Rapidly changing European world was his focus
-Industrial revolution- everything was quickly changing
oLabours lived in extreme poverty
oLabour laws did not exist
Society and Conflict
-Father of the conflict theory
-Observed the early decades of industrial capitalism
-Capitalism and history
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-Social conflict is the struggle of society over social value
-Class conflict arises from the way a society grows
Society and Production
-Forces of production: the physical and intellectual resources a society has with
which to make a living
-Proletariat were the workers
-Bourgeoisie were the owners
-Relations of production: the relationship between the proletariat and the
bourgeoisie
oRefers to how material production is socially organized. It is characterized
by relations of economic subordination and domination
-False consciousness: belief in and support of the system that oppresses you
oResulting in ideological control the proletariat and other classes are misled
about the social relations of production
oMaterial and institutional mislead the working classes
Conflict and History
-Conflict is the engine that drives social changes
-Communism is when people share everything no ownership
-Early hunting and gathering societies were based in highly egalitarian primitive
communism
-With technology advances come social inequality
Capitalism and class conflict
-Class conflict: when the interests of one class are in opposition to another
oAntagonism between entire classes over the distribution of wealth and
power in society
-Class consciousness: recognition of domination and oppression and collective
action to change it
Capitalism and alienation
-Alienation: process by which workers lack connection with what theu produce
and become separate from themselves and other workers
-Capitalism alienates workers in 4 ways:
oFrom the act of working: workers have no say in production (workers are
like robots)
oFrom the products of work: workers have no ownership (the more they
invest in production, the more they lose)
oFrom other workers: work has become competitive (allows little change
from human companionship)
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