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Lecture

SOAN 2112 Lecture Notes - Oberlin College, Harriet Martineau, Sans-Culottes


Department
Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2112
Professor
Linda Hunter

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Classical Theory Review
Romantic Period
Romanticism-The extreme, against Bourgeoisie, young men, seek order, poise and to express
emotion. Focuses on strangeness, wonder, feelings. Technical advancements focus on the
individual.
Music-Improved instruments to change melody. Music had a direct influence of people’s
feelings which is why there was such a response by Romantic composers. They expressed
nationalism through art and tried to express a variety of human experiences/emotions.
Romantic Conservative Reaction-Turned away from Enlightenment thinkers who focused on
general laws and reasons but both groups were humanistic, concerned with nature, attentive to
human consciousness, classical culture and human freedoms.
-The Conservative reaction focused on irrational fears, tradition, feeling, imagination and
religion. Revival of poetry, art, focus on groups and communities. Everything focused on the
individual, inner experiences and emotions.
Edmund Burke-Criticized Enlightenment Thinkers. He believed that the individual had NO
abstract rights and only has rights and privileges that prevail in a given community in which he
acquires them by chance of living there. He was very conservative, favoured reforms and not
revolution.
-He argued that revolutionists treated society as a machine thinking that they could pluck out the
absolute parts and replace it with new ones. He believed in an Organic conception of society.
Bonald and Maistre-Conservative traditional reaction. Assumed a religious reactionary charcter
interested in restoring the Old Regime. They developed the Catholic counterrevolutionary
philosophy where church and other institutions are the main source of traditions. They idealized
the past medieval order.
Bonald-Denies individual action, there are no natural rights only social man with rights through
social interaction. Art is a collective effort not that on an individual. He believed outside of
society man doesn’t exist. He also believed language was not invented by man 9divine origin)
and we know language through social interaction.
Maistre-Moral unit of the family is important, discredited principles that led to the revolution. He
believed that man is unthinkable without society.
Conservatives-Society is organic unity, superior to man, individuals are members of society who
fulfil certain roles, parts of society are interdependent and interrelated, society is comprised of
institutions and customs.
Artists
Turner-Landscapes featuring emotions, look really moody, airy visions, obsession with nature,
exploration, emotions, religiosity.
Friedrich-Picture evoking emotions, mixed emotions of happiness wonder and sadness. The I”
and the individual overlooking the revolution.
Gercault-The Raft of Medusa was a painting of a raft set adrift and some people were saved.
Gercault interviewed some survivors.
Movie-Danton inspires people to take to the battlefront. Paris is left defenceless. Sans-culotte’s
went to prisons and slaughtered many prisoners, women were raped.

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-Robes-Pierre rises to the forefront to guide the revolution; he believed there was no longer room
for a king. They put Louis 16th on trial. Jacobins want the king killed so the revolution can
persist and move forward. Louis is found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. He was
beheaded.
Saint Simon
Background-Rich getting richer, poor getting poorer. Exploitation of colonial poor, revolts began
as millions emigrated from Europe. National and social movements began; laws were changed
because people wanted to make their own decisions.
-Provoked to question society and be involved in research, reforms and London statistical
Societies began.
St Simon-Created terms such as “Industrialization” “social psychology” and “positivism”
-Simon wanted a society stripped of religious connotations, he was the founder of sociology. He
argued that philosophes had contributed to the disintegration of the old order because their
principles were destructive and led to revolutionary crisis but did not teach people how to regain
order. He was a utopianism so he sought to create a new and organic social order based on new
principles. 19th C will be a period of invention, he believed, and there was no going back to the
medieval order.
Comte
Law of 3 stages-Saw history as the same as the human organism. Positivist sociology was
created to look at the harmonious aspects of society instead of what was wrong with society.
-Society goes through 3 stages; Theological/Fictitious (God’s, demons, spirits, priests etc),
Metaphysical/Abstract (Middle ages to Enlightenment, speculative) then Scientific/Positive
(Observable scientific relationships).
-Laws of motion are dynamic, laws of social stability are static and society of man is studied the
same way and same manner as the world of nature.
-Created the word sociology. Socio means society and logy means study at a higher level.
Family- Equality is insubordinate to society and attempted to prove that women should be
subordinate/domestic. He believed family is the true social unit, the school of social life.
Language, religion and division of labour-Social body is held together by spiritual ties.
-Common language is a median towards solidarity. Religion for unifying belief with no diversity.
Division of labour creates inequality but also solidarity through creating dependency on
individuals in the community.
Comte-From science comes prevision from prevision comes action.
-Universe is ordered by natural laws, 3 stages of development, social stats and social dynamics,
believed in progress.
Criticisms-Based on values and sentiments, not as scientific as he thought, thought humans were
not active subjects, sexism, racism.
Harriet Martineau
Background-Member of literary circle, one of the first women to write under her own name,
translated Comte’s work. Concerned with methodology of observing human behaviour, first
writer to discuss observation especially in foreign countries in How to Observe Manners and
Morals which instructs travellers.
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-Wrote Society in America after studying in America for 2yrs because she wanted to witness
workings of democratic institutions.
Methodology-How to observe manners and morals said how to observe the observed and
observer by overcoming prejudice and be sympathetic. Observer should note their own feelings
as it can shape how they view things. The mind of the observer is a tool that should be analyzed.
-Essays on the art of thinking emphasized good planning, great questions and journals. You
should write up the results when you get home.
-She believed a cemetery was the best place to understand a culture/society. Ideas of the past
shape new ideas, tell the health of a community, age of people and relationships in a society.
Health of a community was an index of its morals, also songs/art are a reflection of the dominant
morals of the time.
Politics-She was Lassie-faire liberal. Raised money for Oberlin College which was the first
college to accept black people and women. She refused a government pension at age 40 because
she condemned the use of taxation, People feared the aristocrats would be exploitative and the
aristocrats feared over taxation by the people to the rich. She focused on the belief of the greatest
happiness for the greatest number of people.
-She believed the declaration of independence did not apply to women and other humans. The
idea that America could successfully self-govern was contradicted by slavery and low women’s
rights but she recognized that women still had more rights here than in Europe.
Sociology of Slavery-Slavery was in 13states that had tobacco, rice, cotton and sugar. Saw how
southerners believed/pitied white people who had to work.
Political Condition of Women-Jefferson excluded infants, women and slaves from full
citizenship. James Mill excluded women on the ground that their interests were represented by
the males in their lives. Marriage was universal and safe in America. She knew there were
inequalities but they weren’t as bad as in Europe and acknowledged advantages women had now
in the new system. She thought there would be no slavery before women received their rights
specifically the right to vote.
Alexis do Tocqueville
-Social and political theorist grappled with democratic and industrial revolution. He focuses on
the question of whether people or property will govern. What he desired for France he found in
America, he acknowledge inequalities but it was still better than France.
-He was interested in aristocracy in American context. His first book was Democracy in America
-Saw America as a classless society and the lack of an Old System makes America’s regime
unique. Personal liberty and trial by jury existed in USA. He praised the autonomy and
decentralized government in USA.
-He used documents and official statistics but mostly was his opinion.
Inequality of human rights-He was appalled by racism in America. Native and Black people
were forced into inferior positions. He recognized the tragic disorder of white tyranny had
caused among aboriginal people. He was optimistic though about the abolition of slavery.
Aristocracy of Manufacturers-Lack of personality and creativity in work causes alienation.
-In democratic egalitarian societies people tend to recognize their common humanity.
Democracy changes the character of language (intro of new words), history and social.
Place of the Boss-Nomadic people hunt caribou but when caribou was scarce one year they went
to the coast and met white people because they were starving. These trips increased in frequency
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