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2S06 Lecture 24.docx

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David Young

Fox 1 Lecture 24 SOCIOL 2S06 Thursday January 09, 2014 The Theoretical Ideas of Ralf Dahrendorf A) Situating Dahrendorf’s Theoretical Ideas • Writing in the late 1950’s he developed an alternative to structural functionalist theory and came up with conflict theory • Expressed in Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society – 1959 1) Reaction to Structural Functionalism • It was the dominate theory in sociology at the time, and was also a theory that focused on social order • Dahrendorf responded to focus on social order is useful, but it is not addressing the realities of social conflict 2) Reaction to Marxism • Production Relations: The Capitalist Class (owns the means of production), class conflict (due to exploitation in the production process), The Working Class (does not own the means of production) • He argued that this focus on production relations established by Marx, was now outdated 3) Adoption of Weberian Ideas • He was trying to move beyond Marx’s focus on Production relations, and he thought it would be useful to draw upon Weber’s work to get past Marx’s ideas without excluding class and class conflict • Drew on concepts of authority and legitimacy • Need to understand class and class conflict in terms of authority relations B) Class Structure 1) The Emergence of Postcapitalist Society • Argued that capitalism has changed since Marx’s time (70-80 year gap between these 2 men) and because of this, it led to the emergence of postcapitalist society or postcapitalism • Capitalist mode of production still there, just a different kind (capitalism in general still exists) Fox 2 Lecture 24 • Argues that postcapitalist society is different from Marx’s because it involves a much more complex system of inequality and because it goes beyond the simple split between capitalists and workers 2) Rejection of Marx’s Two Class Model • Dahrendorf thought that the two class model was problematic because it focuses on property ownership and property relations because capitalism has changed and there is no longer a simple arrangement • Instead, he argues that there would be Separation of Ownership and Control: Ownership (the stockholders/social inequality based on property relations), Control (by corporate executives and managers/social inequality based on authority relations) C) Power & Authority Relations 1) What is authority? • Dahrendorf described authority as legitimate power • Authority is associated with social positions 2) Components of Authority Relations a) Super-Ordination and Sub-Ordination • Authority is always in relations with these • The super ordinate social position involves issuing commands and those demands control behavior in the sub ordinate social position • The sub ordinate b) Domination & Subjection • Saw domination as parti
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