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Lecture 5

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SOC 104
Graeme Metcalf

February 08, 2012: Understanding Society. Chapter 4 Society How does a society change, stay the same, evolve and revolt? 1. Gerhard and Jean Lenski – Society and Technology 2. Karl Marx- Society in conflict 3. Max weber- Power of ideas shapes society 4. Emile Durkheim- How traditional and modern societies hang together Gerhard and Lenski -Sociocultural evolution: The changes that occur as a society gains new technology -For example? -Societies range from simple to the technologically complex Gerhard and Jean Lenski -Societies simple in technology tend to remain small and change slowly -More technologically complex societies support bigger populations, more affluence, and constant change Two examples of historical societies: -Hunter- Gatherer -Agrarian Hunter/Gatherer Societies -Defined by the issue of simple tools to hunt animals and gather vegetation -A few societies persist today in Africa, and Malaysia -They depend on the family and on moving around (nomadic) -Males and females are regarded as having the same economic importance -Few formal leaders, social equality -Often ravaged by forces of nature -Larger population and food surpluses -Greater specialization and inequality -Men become dominant -Societies expanded into empires Industrial Societies -Industrialism: Productions of goods using advanced sources of energy to drive large machinery -Huge populations and increased communication -Anonymity and cultural diversity -Trend away from traditional families and towards schooling and various rights (reduced inequality) Post-Industrial Societies -Post-industrialism: Technology that supports an information-based economy -Great change in occupational structure to service jobs -Information replaces objects as the centre of economy -Worldwide flow of information affects everyone on the globe -How does this society reflect us? -How has technology greatly benefited us? Damaged us? Karl Marx: Society and Conflict* Marx’s key concept: -Social conflict: the struggle between segments of society over valued resources In industrial societies, two social classes: -Capitalists own factories and productive enterprises in pursuit of profits -Proletarians provide labour for wages So
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