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Class 58-60 Economics and Politics

5 Pages

Course Code
SOCI 100
Debra Pentecost

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In Class (58) Notes 02-25-2013 Economics and Politics Economy  Social institution  Organizes production, distribution and consumption of goods and services Historical Overview: Economy  Agricultural Revolution o 5000 years ago – harness animals to ploughs o Generate surplus o Economy as distinct social institution  Agricultural technology  Permanent settlements  Trade  Specialized work  Industrial Revolution o New sources of energy – 1765 steam engine o Work centralized in factories o Manufacturing and mass production  Information Revolution and Postindustrial Society o 1950 begins in Canada o Based on service work and high technology o Automated machinery + robotics + computer How has work changed in Canada?  From tangible products to ideas o Industrial era: production of goods o Postindustrial era: manipulation of symbols  Shift from mechanical to literacy skills  Centralization of factories  decentralization of work afforded by computers Sectors of the Economy  Primary – draws raw material from natural environment  Secondary – transforms raw materials into manufactured goods  Tertiary – involves services rather than goods Global Economy 5 Main Consequences:  Global division of labour  Products pass through more than 1 nation  National governments no longer controlling economic activity within borders o Cant regulate value of currencies o Currencies traded in financial markets  Small number of businesses control large amount of world’s economic activity  Well being of workers worldwide threatened Economic Systems: Paths to Justice  Every society’s economy makes a statement about justice since it determines who gets what Capitalism and Socialism: Two ends of continuum  Capitalism o Private ownership of property o Pursuit of personal profit o In purest state: Free Market System  No government interference  Laissez-faire economy  Adam Smith: economy regulated by laws of supply and demand – “invisible hand”  See Controversy and Debate Box p. 316  Socialism o Collective ownership of property o Pursuit of collective goals o Government control of the economy “Justice” in any of these systems  Capitalism – market freedom to produce, buy and invest according to self- interest  Socialism – freedom of basic want – meeting everyone’s basic needs in more- or-less equal manner Economic Form Along Continuum  Welfare capitalism – ex. Canada + several European countries o Mostly market-based economy plus extensive social welfare programs o Government owns some of the largest industries and services o Extensive government regulation Present: Economic Globalization – Neoliberal Ideology  Powerful corporations + G8 + (World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, World Bank) o US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Canada o Expanded to G20 Alternatives: South of the Border MySocLab: Stratification + Shifting Power  Number of countries in South America heading i
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