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Lecture

Lecture 24 - January 6th.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCIOL 2S06
Professor
David Young
Semester
Fall

Description
Evaluation of Early Neo­Marxism A) Strengths of Gramsci and the Frankfurt School 1. Cultural Analysis • Saw the importance of analysing culture and ideology in capitalist society • Members of Frankfurt school addressed culture and ideology through the culture  industry • Gramsci addressed culture and ideology through hegemony  • The subjective, cultural and ideological superstructure 2. Dialectical Analysis • Response to economic determinism and the critical theory of the Frankfurt school  drew the importance of dialectical analysis • Looking at the conflicts and contradictions between different elements in  capitalist society and out of these conflicts and contradictions that something new  will emerge • Gramsci talked about how there is a dominant group and a series of subordinate  groups and he emphasized the conflict between the groups • Ideological struggle/war of position to see who’s ideology is going to dominate in  society • The members of the Frankfurt school ­ The ideas associated with the  enlightenment came into conflict with the ideas and rationality of capitalist  society 3. Contemporary Applications • In relation to Gramsci we talked about how contemporary neo Marxist are using  his notions about hegemony to understand what’s going on in our capitalist  society B) Weaknesses of Gramsci and the Frankfurt School 1. Economic Analysis 2. Extreme Pessimism • Only applies to the Frankfurt school • Members of the Frankfurt school didn’t see potential for change because we are  so manipulated by the culture industry that a revolution to overcome capitalist  society is unlikely • Gramsci talked about the possibility of a war of position so he saw the potential  for change to occur – subordinate groups can win the ideological struggle and  change the ideas of society so we can over through capitalism Conflict, power and later neo­Marxism Introductory issues and historical overview A) The inaccessibility of early neo­Marxism theory • Largely inaccessible for English scholars  • Gramsci wrote his notebooks in the late 1920s and early 1930s but Selections from the  Prison notebooks was not published until the early 1970s • Horkheimer and the Adorno wrote the Dialectic of Enlightenment in the 1940s, but the  book was not published in English until the early 1970s B) The critique of structural functionalist theory • Ralg Dahrendorf critiqued the focus on social order in 
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