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Lecture #2 - Sept 17.doc

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Zachary Levinsky

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SOC216 Sept 17 th Lecture #2 Theoretical Perspectives and Methodologies Durkheim - social is the starting point o against individual sciences ex. economics o how are societies held together o social exists beyond individuals – something you can study - society o independent o we come and go but society always stays o ritual-based order  ex. singing national anthem at sports arena  unity – force is greater than one person o composite of all consciousness – collective conscience o exists above us – life of its own o not in one place – but diffused o but ways of studying at individual level – has specific characteristics - healing ills of society – wants to unpack how societies tend to be abnormal and how can that rectified - could look at social relationships in scientific way – observe/analyze Division of Labour - 2 types of society – one evolves into the other – natural progression o 1. mechanical solidarity  smaller, early, primitive societies – agrarian  have stronger ties to each other – strong, homogenous and repressive collective conscience • under this is where repressive law emerges – repressive here means we use punishment for breaking the norms of society • penal sanctions – banishment, exile, eye for eye o all designed to maintain the order – pick out the ills to reinforce the homogenous norms of society (affirm the collective conscience/morality) • punishment for transgressing o 2. organic solidarity  juxtaposed with mechanical solidarity  presented as dichotomous (separate entities)  labour divided into more specialized tasks • necessary to run society  collective conscience diversifies • no longer one common threat  less tangible concepts • ex. justice, fairness, appeals to both • not easily pinned out  more heterogeneity  more interaction with strangers – yet stronger bonds than mechanical • functional interdependence – we have stronger bonds because we are more dependent on others due to specialization of tasks  restitutive law • make amends/pay fines • compensation systems • restore some kind of balance • the criminal still plays a role in society – interdependent • compensation system Law to Durkheim - is a social fact – something you can study/discover/pin down - is a visible symbol of social solidarity - can be used to explain other social facts – ex social solidarity - sees crime as normal, useful, serves a purpose - law is a way to study responses and the collective conscience - embodies the morality and norms of a society o morality tied to social form solidarity o thus, justice varies - justice is not an abstract idea o tied to a particular society and collective conscience - suggests justice about responding to social problems o sociologist’s role: identify the social problems  ex study the social facts, see the abnormalities or where society is unhealthy and fix them - law and justice: o come after society o thus, we understand law and justice through notions of society o nothing more than what a society tailors its own purposes Issues With Durkheim’s Understanding of Social Law - the idea that modern societies are more advanced than before - discoveries are treated as evolution - what do we mean by progress? – can technological advances say we are a better society - do laws reflect the collective conscience - what offends the collective conscience more? (ex. Snowden) Marx - alienation o workers alienated from things they create in capitalism - materialism o not ideas but tangible things that shape history Ideology 1. Foundations of ideas lie in the world o to survive we must eat, and we must produce o mode of production o concrete ways we produce things determines consciousness 2. Social history not evolutionary o dialectical materialism  thesis – antithesis – synthesis o revolutionary, not evolutionary – product of a struggle  change is not gradual (evolutionary), but dramatic and large scale (revolutionary) 3. Materialist Conception of History o division of labour  struggle to own the means of production o society is not a consensus – continued conflict o bourgeois (ruling class) and the proletariat (working class) in our epoch Law to M
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