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Lecture 22 Marx.docx

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Antonio Sorge

Anthropology 2R03: Religion, Magic and Witchcraft March 6 2013 Lecture 22: Marx Karl Marx: - Elaborated the concepts of Social consciousness and ideology - Basic assumption of his o People exist only in society  Individuals not as autonomous units – part of society  The society of which people are a part determines their personality, morality etc  Determines their ideas and beliefs  Therefore, to understand society we should study society, not the individual  Opposite of psychology  Understand social relations – society is a pattern of social relations, not a collection of individuals o Individual is a byproduct of society  What an individual believes – ambitions, drives, world view etc. – all conditioned by the pattern of social relations in society  Tabula rasa – can make an individual whoever you want o Pattern of society determines the individual - More on Patterns of social relations o Marx as an economically oriented theorist  Argued that when it come to social relations in socity – the thing that determines everything else and is crucial to know is society’s mode of production  To understand the individual, understand how they are conditioned by patterns of social relas – more specifically, by the mode of production o M of p = the social relations surrounding the organization of labour and the ownership and control of property = who owns what, who works for whom  Helps you understand who has more power than whom - Culture o Society consists of many things other than M of P – arts, literature, sports etc – culture, but it is the social relations surrounding the M of P that determines the culture  Culture itself is conditioned by the mode of pro  “As we produce, so we relate” o To one another, to the world, to the invisible etc – what we are and how we are towards one another. The tone and temper of our relas, how we conceive of the supernatural, how we think about good or bad etc o Philosophical materialist – ideas and beliefs determined by society, do not determine society  See Consciousness 1  Schematic depiction of how soc works o Bottom – nature  How society must adapt  Infrastructure – environment, context o Top of that – soceity  How people interact with one another  Live in the environment of structure o Top of that – consciousness  What people belief and feel is an outgrowth of the structure  The super-structure o Values, norms etc  Quote at bottom of this slide** o Consciousness 2 quote says the same thing but amplifies it*  Break down:  The material conditions of life determine your thoughts/beliefs  People’s religious beliefs, values etc. don’t have a history – sprout like mushrooms on the stuff of daily existence (pattern of soc relats)  Religion is a form of control by one group over another – fundamentally, everything we take for granted as having an autonomous, true existience are not autonomous  Have no history or dev  As society changes, patterns of soc relats change, so will people’s idea about the world  Life is not determined by consciousness, but consciousness by life o In social analysis – there are 2 ways of approaching it  Look at a society at one point in time  Values, norms, economy etc  Keep an eye on the relations of production o When you know that – you’ve got your key to understanding all the other aspects of culture that are determined by them  Look at a society over time  Try to understand how the relations of production are reproduced from generation to generation o What keeps the rich rich and the poor poor  How do you have such concentration of wealth and power and then such poor on the other side  Reproduction of the relations of production from one gen to the next o How does that happen?  False consciousness  A type of social consciousness – but leads people to an incorrect understanding of the world  Allows power to be foisted on people  Leads to a system of consent whereby the poor/the masses come to accept their status as alienators of their own labour - Pg 171 – 3 historical modes of production o The original one – Primitive Communism  A m of p based on communal labour – based on direct a
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