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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - origins of capitalism, eurocentrism and inequality

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University of Guelph
Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 2040
D Rose

Origins of Capitalism: Eurocentrism and Inequality The Historical Transformation of Work • Industrial capitalism only around for about two centuries • Preindustrial mode of production 1. Foraging: gathering, hunting, fishing wild, egalitarian -simply rely on what the wild can offer them 2. Horticultural: some domestication, some inequality -are able to produce some of what they need, wild animals/plants and humans are dependent on each other for survival; humans for food animals/plants for food/cultivation -social changes too, division of labour by gender roles, membership in the group is through familial relations 3. Agrarian: use of animals/machines, greater inequality -much more social inequality, greater ability to create surplus  there are specialists for certain jobs, not everyone is involved in the production, associations are still through family but also slave /master relations Work in Industrial Capitalist Societies • Underlines colonial policies, Eurocentric view  only the very elite class or Europe • Use of inanimate sources of energy, inanimate use for production • A profit oriented system based on private ownership of production • Market driven, impersonal -all about production and exchange for money, creates consumerist ideology • “free wage labour” -the idea that you are nor a slave anymore, you are free to decide what you want to be, choose for whom you work for  doesn’t mean it is not paid -HOWEVER we are still not free, there are classifications of society who must sell their labour in order to provide for themselves and their families -the 33% unemployment rate does not give us the freedom of choice of work since we need whatever job we can get to continue living Main feature of work in industrial capitalist societies • Production system, inanimate • Unit of production, moves from home to factory • Complex division of labour, specialization but also gender and through colonialism regional -many degrees and options for jobs -think of all the productions that goes into making a simple cup of coffee, all the machines to help make coffee and the cup itself and the transportation of the product and the commercial market all have major job specifications that need to be met by lots of people -this also includes the variety of countries that are involved together to create the product we use on a daily basis (regional) • Time -it is impossible to be “on vacation” (are still paid and still have to pay for things) just as it is impossible to be unemployed • Education and recruitment, mandatory schooling -level of schooling provides different kind of knowledge and teaches us different and new values/trades • Economic system, market economy -everything happens through the medium of money • Meaning of work, Marx and Weber • Purposes and payment -mode of payment has changed throughout the times • Embeddednes of work spatial separation, work/leisure time Documentary: The Burning Times • Salem witch trials • Authorities did not stop accusations against women, but needed evidence in order to do something about it • There was a book which determined what being
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