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November 23, 2011.docx

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SOC 233
Kara Somerville

SOC 233 November 23, 2011 Modernity & Post-Modernity Note – There is debate as to whether we are in a Modern, or Post-Modern state. Modernity  Dynamic process of shaping our social world. Modernity: Characterized by a particular outlook on the world, which sets itself against tradition. Characterized by:  Industrialization, division of labour, urbanization, technology, mass communications, rise of bureaucracy, decline of community, decline of religion, and the rise of science. Rise of Science: Complete mastery of all areas of human life through science.  A whole new set of ideas shaping our human existence; shaping our social world. Note – Structural and social changes. Key Features: 1. Economic Production  Social classes based on economic relations are still a fundamental mode with which we structure society. 2. Urbanization  Movement from rural, to urban centres. 3. Bureaucratic State  Powerful governments.  Powerful states can exercise power over non-powerful states and people. 4. Knowledge  Increasingly gaining knowledge through science.  Rational, scientific thinking, not religion, driving pursuit of knowledge. 5. Progress  World is supposed to be improving. Postmodernism Postmodern: Fewer regulations over our behaviour than in the past through increased individualism and increased uncertainty.  Truth is socially constructed.  Based upon the discourses or interpretations that are created in society.  Breakdown of all aspects of society, so as to not impose limitations on the theory.  There is no truth, there is no reality; series of truths and realities, in which one is no better than the next. Note – There is no pattern of social reality, because there is no social reality.  Challenges the idea that we can hold theories that develop over different stages.  eg) Social Class as a Basis for Power – Social class is a discourse, not a basis for power. Note – Race, class, gender, SES, etc. are all discourses, not analytical concepts we can use. Class Example – Gender  Masculine and feminine are not the only two genders.  People can choose to live their lives in various genders, and the focus is on the myriad of ways individuals choose to live their lives. Note – No one truth is more accurate or real than the other.  Experiences can only be understood in DISCOURSES or interpretations. Key Features of Postmodernity: 1. Growth of Service Sector  eg) Part-time, flex-time.  We cannot just look at labour relations, because there are a multitude of options as we grow a service sector. 2. Spread of Globa
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