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Lecture 1

SOC345H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Microsociology, Industrial Revolution, Embeddedness

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Kimde Laat

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Overview of econ. Soc thought
Sociolists were trying to make sense of capitalism an dits influence on society. Early 1900’s was
the height of capital industrialism. People from the country side were moving to cities in hopes
of finding work. The quality of working conditions- bad (before social regulations were instituded
– maternity leave..etc sick leave)
These thinkers were trying to make sense of the influence on capaitalizsm in society
Contemporary thinkers of soc used a variety of theoris. Their critical stance towards neo
Certain economics ideologies became forceful in north americ and the uk. Neoribalism wa
promoted by ,
Neoribalism is an economical theory that abbictes economic liberalization (private markets,
deregulation, decreasing size and role of government. Decreasing role of goevermnet meant
inscrease role of private sector.
Individualistic approach on how society should operate- neoribalism.
“there is no such thing a society” not the goverments to distribute wealth so that those that are
less unfortunate have a better life. There was no need for a larger role for the government to do
those things. Many academics were worried by this economic policy.
By leaving things to firms and coorperations, these firms would be maximizing profits and the
workers would be increasing quality of work. Academics were concerned with this idea.
The decade for neoribaim-would allow the rich to expand business and get more people.
(massive taz rates for the rich- more in the UK than Candada) cuts into social pensions and
The outcome was that only the rich benefitted. The top 10 percent American families increased
thir ag income by 16% top rich families incr by 25% rich people can thank Ragen for a
50percent increasein their income, thanks to tax rates.
Investigation must combine an analysys with an econimica intrest with a social relation.
Karl Marx
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-huge impact on sociology.
The economy was the driving force of social life, for Marx.
The economy according to Marx determines all other aspectsof life. We are defined and our life
is influenced by the fact that we need to work to live.
The economy determines the kind of work that is available to us. –there are diff historicl perios,
organzed by diff sytems of labour and production. These diff systems have radical affects on
Marx was concered with industrial capitalism- ppl working hard to earn little money.
His conclusion- the ways that labour was organized were fundamental determental to society
Industires have begun producing mass amounts. Large scale required human labour. Human
labour was not regulated – ppl working 6-7 days a week and children working. Mark saw these
unsafe deadly working conditions and see saw that it created 2 classes of ppl (working class
and bourgouise who owned means of production)
Labour was inherirnety social and felt like it was ignored by ecnomists. (economist- adam smith,
he championed the value of production lines and made repeaditive labour, he saw it as a
briallian innovation. The way that labour was organized was more efficient. By having everything
organized and having an indivisual responsible for one thing increases iffiencncy and made
better because each person is skilled in their part.)
For marx, this industrial production made class relations worse which he saw that would result
in major class relation conflict. – this wasnot awknowledged by economists.
Karl Marx gives primacy to economical…for economical change.
Max Weber
-concered with the origins of ccapitalism.
Weber expolored unintended consequences that can have on our ecominic society.
Weber- Modern capaitalism wasn’t fully intended. –there were other aspects of society that
couldn’t have happened but happened. Weber thought it was the prodestent work ethic that was
party responpsible for capitalism.
Why capitalism emerged in the west and not elsewhere. He thought that it was due to the
practice of a particular relgion (Calvinism) ppl that followed calvinism had a role in spreading
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