Jan 3.doc

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25 Mar 2012
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SOC231
Jan 3rd
Introduction
-why classical theory?
-contemporary relevance of classical theory
owhat is the relationship between the individual and society – social structure
-social structure – network of relationships
-agency – individual
owe have intentions, we can do things, and we can undo things, and within the
same context, we can do things differently – makes us individuals
-social change – dramatic/not so dramatic
oseemingly polar opposite terms – layers that connect social structure and agency
othose layers could be culture or ideology
-culture – ideology
**Key Concepts/Ideas
1. The Enlightenment
o18th century intellectual and social movement to ‘shed light’ of ‘reason’ on
‘society’
orise of a ‘school’ of philosophy
oNewtonian scientific method to understand society – application of reason
oevery sphere of society, including religion, was subjected to rational scientific
scrutiny
ogiven social conditions and institutions not unchangeable facts of nature
othe ‘is’ and ‘ought’ connection
what ‘ought’ to be has to be driven by reason, not religion or divine
intervention or tradition
how are you to know what ‘ought’ to be? – how can it be thought of
scientifically?
othings were not thought about in such an organized fashion
2. Positivism
oJean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
coined the term ‘society’ – how is society possible?
comes with the concept of the “social contract”
oThomas Hobbes vs. Rousseau
oHobbes: the natural state – war of each against all
humans were like animals in another state – a situation where there is
no society is a situation of war
osociety: possible due to a social contract for an absolutist authority, the
Leviathan
, that prevents all out conflict
oRousseau’s rebuttal: state of nature – humans are isolated indifferent to each
other
no ‘society’, ‘language’, or ‘culture’
population growth and division of labour etc. – rise of social inequality
private property/hierarchy
struggle, war occurs after the emergence of society
believes that war wasn’t before society but proceeded it
othe social contract – to prevent internal conflict
oreason to criticize existing childrearing and educational practises
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