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SOCIOL 2S06 (310)
David Young (301)

Jan 8 Lecture

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McMaster University
David Young

Sociology 2S06: Lecture January 8, 2013 Neo-Marxian Theory Economic Determinism A) What is Economic Determinism? • The assumption that the economic system shapes all other aspects of society ◦ Political systems ◦ Ideological systems • Neo-marxian theory attempts to re-interpret, revise and update Marx's theoretical ideas so they better explain what's happening in contemporary capitalist society • Early neo-marxists ◦ The breakdown of capitalist society is inevitable ◦ The economy is going to cause the end of capitalism B) Marx and Economic Determinism • Early neo-marxists thought that Marx was an economic determinist ◦ This is WRONG ▪ Marc focused on Dialectical Materialism • Hegel – the Dialectic • Feurerbach – Materialism ▪ Marx argued that problems in society stem from real, material conditions such as the existence of capitalism ▪ Solutions to these societal problems must be found in dialectical relationships such as the conflict between capitalists and workers ▪ He borrowed from Hegel, the subjective aspects of social life (ideas and ideology) • Not just to focus on the objective aspects of social life (economic, material conditions) Hegelian Marxism A) What is Hegelian Marxism? • Atheoretical approach that restores the dialectic to analysis of the subjective and objective aspects of society • Alarge reaction against the early neo-marxist and economic determinism B) Georg Lukacs • History and Class Consciousness ◦ Reification ▪ Aviewpoint that involves treating social structure as if they had a life of their own ▪ Marx: the Fetishism of Commodities • People in a capitalist society produce various commodities • People in a capitalist society tend to lose sight that they themselves produce these commodities • Commodities are seen as “things” in the marketplace that people either need or desire • The commodities take an independent existence apart from people • Confined to the economic aspects of capitalist society ▪ Reification applies to all other aspects of capitalist society • Social structures (ie. Social i
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