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Sociology of Theory Lecture 1

Course Code
David Young

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Thursday September 8th, 2011
Early Sociological Theory
Forces Affecting the Historical Development of Historical Theory
A) Social Forces
1. Political Revolutions
- (Specifically French, American, and other political revolutions)
-Resulted in massive changes in societies - forever changes countries
-Positive changes - greater freedom and democracy
-Negative changes - resulting in chaos, confusion - social order is broken down
-Theorists who considered revolutions largely focus on negative
-Early theorists called for restoring social order
-* Seen in ideas of Durkheim (restoring order)
2. The industrial revolution and Capitalism
-Late 19th and early 20th C.
-The shift from an agricultural society to a an industrial one
-Focus no longer on farming but manufacturing - commodities - growth in
manufacturing tied to capitalism
-Factory owners profiting at expense of factory workers (capitalism)
-Negative reactions - labour movement emerged to fight for workers suffering in
factories, radical movements emerged and aimed to over throw capitalism
- * Marx Durkheim and Weber
3. Socialism
-Aimed to overcome problems generated by industrial revolution and capitalism
-Some theorists favor socialism as solution to these problems Marx - called for
revolution, workers rise up and overthrow capitalists, establish socialist society
-Other theorists opposed to socialism - Durkheim and Weber - suggested there was a
need to reform capitalism, make it better
4. Feminism
-Challenged existing social arrangements, patriarchal male dominated societies
-19th C. early female social theorists found their work was being marginalized and
discounted by male theorists
-Male theorists included Durkheim and Weber
-Gender issues viewed as largely inconsequential by male theorists
-Many decades later feminism had true impact
5. Religion
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