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Lecture 5

SOC231H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Structural Analysis, Social Progress, Group Marriage


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC231H5
Professor
Zaheer Baber
Lecture
5

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SOC231 Lecture 5
Class Conflict
Many responses (IDEOLOGY AND AGENCY) to class-conflict, strikes, recessions
and depressions
Workers: Strikes, Unionization etc.
Capitalists: lobbying reduction of taxes, automation, assembly-line production to
squeeze more labour etc.
Two General Outcomes;
1. Fordism: high pay and benefits for workers in the past; Present day Japan,
Sweden, Denmark etc. (Nick Hanaeur clip)
2. “Globalization” via outsourcing: cheaper labour = global capitalism –
unemployment – mass-incarceration, jail
Marx on Globalization;
“….the need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the
bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle
everywhere, establish connections everywhere ... the bourgeoisie has through its
exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and
consumption in every country…” (1848) (David Harvey RSA ANIMATE)
The Reality, Relevance and Consequences of “Class” for Social Inequality
Power, Domination and access to resources – the “culture” of class – entitlement,
privilege etc.
Social Mobility – upward BUT also DOWN
Denial of the reality of “class” – the self-made individual; “rags to riches” stories
US: 400: 1 (CEO vs. Worker) Japan 25:1 Can: 150:1
CONCEPT OF CULTURAL CAPITAL: the different cultural backgrounds of different
classes; socialization into “elite” status, sense of entitlement etc. (CLIP: 56 UP
Trailer)
Marx on ‘The State’
The STATE: a committee for managing the affairs of the capitalist class/bourgeoisie
On “behalf” or on the “behest” of capitalists
Capitalists pressure state for policies to favour them eg. Lower corporate taxes, lower
wages – but could destroy the economy – social inequality/ capital/wage labour
struggle
“High levels of inequality are a problem—messing up economic incentives, tilting
democracies in favor of powerful interests.. Capitalism does not self-correct toward
greater equality—that is, excess wealth concentration can have a snowball effect if
left unchecked.” Bill Gates. (Nick Hanaeur Ted Talk Clip; Inequality for All Trailer)
Marx on the Environment
The ONLY classical thinker to see this coming (Clip: Chris Hedges Bill Moyers, if
time!)
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