SOC 104 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Economic Surplus, Social Complexity, Class Conflict

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13 Feb 2016
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February 1, 2016
SOC 104- Understanding Society
The social and biological as interactive
Evolutionary theory suggests biological changes (which are unplanned)
are responses to the environment
There is a complex interplay between environmental and inherited
factors
Most contemporary geneticists an sociologists agree on this interactive
perspective
Dialectics (Marx)
Overarching idea: “change is the result internal stresses”
1. “everything is related”, we are in multiple relations of dependence
2. “change is constant”, nothing is absolute or permanent
3. “change proceed from the quantitate to the qualitative”
4. “change is the results of the unity and struggle of opposites”
A Marxist perspective on societies
Mode of production…
o…how do people meet their basic needs?
Economy…
o…how is production, distribution, and exchange organized?
As a social species, how these are accomplished involves organized
social relations
o…how is power distributed in these social relations?
Foraging societies
Approx. 12 000 years ago the “homo sapiens” became the only
hominid.
Foraging (hunting/gathering) was the mode of production
Few settlements, as the need for food guided movement
Sharing and practical division of labour
People in small bands: co-operation (high) and warfare (low)
Sociological characteristics of foraging societies
Social relations: Egalitarian, kinship
Economically: reciprocity and redistribution (sharing)
Subsistence level/ no surplus produced
No concept of ownership or private property
The Neolithic revolution
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