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Socio 2S06 Lecture 2.docx

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McMaster University
David Young

Lecture 2 – September 13 , 2012  Sociology society meeting o Monday, sept 17 th o Musc, room 318 o 5:30 – 6:20 German Sociology  The ideas of Georg Friedrich Hegel o Was a German philosopher o Based on two key concepts o First imp concept is dialectic  Way of thinking about view of the world stresses the importance of conflict and contradictions  Always two sides of a conflict or contradiction  Out of this clash something new may immerge o Second key concept is idealism  Emphasized the importance of mind and mental products (ideas) rather than the material, physical world  Only dealing with ideas not tangible substances  The ideas of Ludvig Feuerbach o Disagreed with hegels focus on idealism o Feuerbachs philosophy focused on materialism o Thought it was important to address the real material conditions of the human existence  Introduction of karl marx o He accepted the dialectic (hegel) but did not agree with the approach to the dialectic o Hegel  tended to apply dialectic only to ideas o Marx  thought the dialectic could apply to material aspects of life o Marxs reaction to furbach  marx agreed with furbachs focus on materialism but did not agree to his approach (way he delt) with materialism  Furbach tended to focus on the material aspects of life in a one sided fashion (he wasn’t approaching is dialectically, not looking at both sides)  Marx thought a dialectic orientation was needed, need to look at conflicts and contradictions in life o Dialectical materialism  Marx borrowed the two most important things  hegels dialectic and furbachs materialism  Put them together to create the concept of dialectical materialism  Focuses on dialectical relationships with in the material world  Marx agrued that problems in society stemmed from real material conditions  Like the existence of capitalism (source of many probs in marxs view)  He also argued that the solution to these societal problems must be found in dialectical relationships  These dialectic relationships would include the conflict that exist in capitalists and workers  The workers will eventually call for a revolution which would eliminate capitalism  So you look at both sides of the problem (cap, and work) and new thing emerges (revolution to eliminate capitalism) o Influence of political ecnomy  Study of the relationship between the political and economic aspects of society  Marx was influenced by the work of poli econ like adam smith  Marx accepted that Labour is the source of all wealth  He also disagreed with the PEs in two imp ways  Marx was critical in the general acceptance of capitalism (PEs accepted the capi system)  Marx did not accept them  Marx was critical of their fauilure to see the inherent conflict between the capitalists and workers  Also critical for denying the overthrow  PE like adam smith were provicing a conservative analysis  One of marx major work was called capital, it was subtitles a critique of political economy o In this marx challenged the conservative poli econ o Marx put forth his own alternative  political economic analysis of capitalism o Early rejection of marx  This was particularly apparent in the US, his ideas were ignored  Till 1960 he was kinda ignored  Early sociiologists did not like his ideology, they had a conservative ideology (social order) and marx was radical (social change)  The early were influenced by the conservative reaction to enlightenment (Durkheim, social order)  Early did not like marxs interests  they were concerns about social disorder that came with political revolution to change society  Marx was interested in generating social disorder  he called for a revolution to overthrow revolution  Introduction to the work of max weber o Influence of marx  max was majorly influenced by marx  But how so is a matter of debate  Some scholars argue that weber reacted negatively to marx  Weber engaged in a debate with the ghost of marx  This means marx died before weber and weber took issue with some of marxs ideas  Eg. Pointed out that the two men had very diff points of view in terms of social inequality o Weber took conception of social inequality  Other scholars suggested that weber reacted positively to marx (maybe they had some issues but by in large weber was trying to build on marxs ideas)  Foundation of this is the point that webers conceptions of capitalism, class, and other issues were very much inspired o Early acceptance of weber  Weber was quite in the us by the 1930s  3 reasons why weber was accepted by early socio and not marx  1 weber was ideologically acceptable  Political front webers views was liberal at times and conservative other time but not as radical as marx (social disorder, change)  2  weber focused on academic analysis o Presented his ideas in a way that was scholarly o Marx was polemical in writing  engaged in poli attacts in capitalism (attacked poli capi in his writing)  3  weber had diverse interests o Marx was mainly interested in analysis of capitalism o Weber was interested in capi as well but + other things like religion and bureaucrac
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