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SOCIOL 2S06 (310)
David Young (301)
Lecture 6

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McMaster University
David Young

Page 1 of 7 Sociology 2S06E Professor Young October 11 , 2012 Durkheim’s study of Religion Continued… totemism continued…  Collective effervescence a special feeling that occurs when experiencing the sacred in social gatherings o These feelings occur in two types of gatherings: (1) when members gather to worship the totem through ceremonies, (2) when members gather to punish those who had violated social norms  There is this mysterious force that goes beyond the individuals and surrounds them  Religion as the worship of tribal society  based upon his analysis of totemism Durkheim’s general argument was that religion involved the worship of tribal society itself o The basis for this argument, in detail as to what he is suggesting  the beliefs and practices that are associated with the sacred, and the existence of sometime of supernatural force or higher power  neither of these are acting on the tribal society o Rather it’s the other way around o Tribal societies developed these beliefs and practices, they created this supernatural force/higher power o These things came from the tribal society itself o There are the collective conscience that are binding the society together o Religion is more generally celebrating the power and significance of society o But people have forgotten this o What we have going on here is that people are worshipping sacred objects, whether it’s the totem or cross or whatever other symbol, that unconsciously represent society and its power Max Weber A biological sketch of Weber  Early years  Born in Germany in 1864 and when he was growing up he was in a relatively privileged middle class family Page 2 of 7  His father was trained in law but he pursued a career in politics and government o He was a strict, authoritarian and brutish man o He often mistreated his wife  The mother was extremely religious  More specifically she was protestant and a Calvinist  Mothers sisters were religious as well  Weber was never religious but through the influence of mother and her sister he became interested in religion and its implications on society  Weber’s uncle  a professor and historian o Also a man who had liberal political views o And they had an impact on weber o Weber holding a liberal position rejected socialism o He preferred a liberal political system that operated in the context of a capitalist economy university education  Father pressured weber to go into law, since the father was into law  Weber enrolled into law school into the university of Heidelberg in 1882  Weber spent the first year of law school having a good time  drank, fenced o Both Marx and Weber were party animals and they both had to transfer universities after first year  Second year weber went to university of berlin o He completed law school there  His first job was as a junior barrister o He also started a phd in law  He got a phd in law in 1889 university employment  Weber had to decide whether he wanted to be a lawyer or an academic  He began his academic career has a lecturer in university of berlin in 1891 o Weber found his interest started to shift from law to: o (1) Economics  became prof of econ at the university of Freiburg in 1894  Became chair of econ at university of Heidelberg in 1896 o (2) History became chair of History o (3) sociology marriage Page 3 of 7  1893  married his second cousin Marianne  They never had sex, they shared an intellectual relationship as oppose to romantic  The wife had been one of the leaders of the German feminist movement (focused on getting women to vote)  Weber supported his wife as the leader tragedy and collapse  Family dispute  There was a family dispute in 1897  While his parents were visiting his home, weber got into an argument with his father o This argument had to do with the fathers mistreatment of his mother o Weber angrily told his father to leave his home and never saw him again o Father died just several weeks after the fight occurred  A nervous breakdown  o Weber started to experience exhaustion, sleeplessness and anxiety after the death of his father and all of these symptoms developed into depression o Weber was unable to function and he had no choice but to resign his position as a university prof o He then spent several years in total collapse where he did nothing but tried to cope with his depression  Causes of the breakdown  it was never totally diagnosed o there may have been several causes o (1) catalyst  guilt and remorse over the death of his father o (2)tensions between his parents  they had taken a toll on weber for years o (3) stressed with university prof work and was sexually repressed (he had an affair 20 years later but never had sex with his wife) o (4) mental illness ran in his family  some of his close relatives did experience similar conditions recovery from the collapse  1903  he started to recover after 6 years  If was not until 1904 he started to return to his academic work  He was now able to function and write but he would never completely recover  he would have mental health problems for the rest of his life  Travel to the united states in 1904 as he was invited to a lecture o (1) The positive response to his lecture o (2) The experience he had in the united states o Encouraged him to get back into his writing Page 4 of 7 o During his time in the US, American capitalism was dominated by large corporations which took the form of bureaucracies o Many of the most successful business men in the US were protestants o So we start to think there is some connection between capitalism and Protestantism  Return to research and writing  started to play out these ideas
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