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Lecture 3

SOC231H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Class Consciousness, Social Change, Friedrich Engels

Course Code
Zaheer Baber

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SOC231 Lecture 3 – September 23
Bratton and Denham: Chapter 6
Karl Marx & Frederick Engels: Classes, Class-Struggle and Social Change
Calhoun: Marx and Engels “Manifesto of the Communist Party”
Marx “Wage, Labour and Capital”
Marx, “Classes”
Historical Materialism
a) Method/Perspective for understanding SOCIAL CHANGE
-Not a formula for predicting the future
Marx (1859): “The mode of production of material life determines the general
character of the social, political and spiritual processes of life. It is not the
consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social
being determines their consciousness. At a certain stage of their development, the
material forces of production in society come in conflict with the existing relations of
production. From forms to development of the forces of production these relations turn
into their fetters. Then occurs a period of social revolution.”
- speaks about theory and social change by the perspective of Marx
- Social consciousness and empirical reality..
- He is FOR capitalism because it gives freedom to people but AGAINST bc it is a
barrier to change (he is mostly FOR it, though)
- “class consciousness” – High class thinks of certain social mannerisms and
typical events etc, whereas middle class will think of a different set of social
manners, etc.
- Some things are just not possible, ex from prof – He cannot become the queen
because 1. He is not a female, 2. He was not born in a royal family
Key Concepts:
-Mode of Production: Ancient, Tribal, Asiatic Feudalism, Capitalism
-Forces of Production (means of production): land, capital, technology, tools,
-Relations of production: social relationships; who owns or does not own the
forces/means of production?
-Class: Relationships to the “forces/means of production”
-Lords vs. Peasants; Capitalist Class vs. Working Class, etc.
-Historical materialism is NOT a Teleological evolutionary formula predicting
social change
-Social change is NOT “pre-determined” by “goals”
-It does not focus ONLY on the Forces of Procuction and Relations of
Production contradiction
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