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Soc 233 Sept 12

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University of Saskatchewan
SOC 233
Kara Somerville

SOC 233 Sept 12, 2011 Marx – The Voice of the Worker “Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains.” Film: An Age of Revolutions  Understanding of French Revolution; people stood up for equality.  Overthrow the powerful through the masses.  Intellectual environment.  Moved onto Industrial Revolution; capitalism and its influences; wealth created but not evenly distributed.  Harsh working conditions; owners prosper while poor suffer even more.  Working conditions and separate social classes made the marginalized groups “fight.” Karl Marx – 1818-1883  Born in Germany, but lived in France during revolutions.  Middle class.  Collaborated with Engels. His Work:  Historical basis of inequality.  Inequalities can be resolved through social change.  Class conflict between proletariat (i.e., workers) and bourgeoisie (i.e., owners).  Social change is about CONFLICT between opposing interests, driven by economic forces. 1. Capitalism: Economic and political system in which large numbers of workers work to produce commodities for the profit of a few capitalists.  Capitalism mediates social relationships of production; alienation and exploitation.  Economic – Things are being produced that are having a market value; people being paid to produce; system of power which is not equally distributed.  Alienation: Lack of connection with other workers, owners and product produced.  Exploitation: Using one social class (i.e., lower) to gain profit. 2. The Dialectic a. Contradictions between needs and desires of bourgeoisie which contradicts needs of worker; struggles in society; change needs to be implemented through action. b. Theory of Capitalism –The notion of inequality. c. The Dialectical Method – Social values cannot be separated from fact and value.  Values cannot be kept out of our sociological theorizing - Marx suggests we shouldn’t keep them out; our values should guide our theorizing.  Reciprocal Relations – How past shapes present, and how present lays seeds to future.  Structures can restrain and/or enable, but it is only through relationships that we can gain insight.  Changes on one side will have a change
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