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Lecture 1

SOC231H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Scientific Revolution, Feudalism, Age Of Enlightenment

Course Code
Zaheer Baber

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SOC231 - Lecture 1; Introduction
“We continue to learn from Aristotle or Machiavelli (or Marx, Weber, Durkheim) without
having to become Aristotelians or Machiavellians (or Marxist, Weberian, Durkheimian)”
Key Concepts/Ideas
Social Structure” – “Ideology” - “Agency” = Social Change
Structure; natural (time-lapse of planet)
Agency; social protest - engaging in intentional human activity to change
social structure
Contemporary relevances; where do we come from, what are we, where are
we going?
“The Enlightenment”
Enlightenment movement; 18th century intellectual and social movement
To shed light of reason in society
Focus on reason and reject tradition
Using a formula that applied to the natural world and trying to apply it to the
social world
The Social Contract (intellectual contract)
12th - 18th century europe and the west; a series of ongoing crises
(Feudalism to Capitalism)
“Class”, “Gender”: “Society” not an organic unity
The Romantic-Conservative Reaction
I. The Social and Intellectual context
Sociology: “intellectual response to a crisis”
17-18th century Europe and the world, a series of ongoing “crises”: “Feudalism” to
“The world turned upside down”
The Scientific Revolution 1600’s
Industrial Revolution/Capitalism: 1750’s
1776: The American Revolution
1789- The French Revolution
Colonialism; Trans-Atlantic Slavery; the Anti-Slave Revolution in Haiti 1791-1804
(a) the discovery of “Society” distinct from “Nature”
(b) the individual-society relationship
(c) the discovery of “social change” versus “natural” change – tropical storms versus
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