Class Notes (837,351)
Canada (510,237)
Sociology (2,430)
SOCA01H3 (591)


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Ivanka Knezevic

Work and the economy Capitalism • Based on private ownership of the means of production (land, raw materials, factories, machines). • Capitalists and workers are involved in relationships of unequal, legally free but economically coercive exchange (capitalists control the means of production, workers have no choice but to sell their labor). • Workers are paid as little as possible and capitalists try to extract the most amount of work possible in a working-day. • Do capitalists buy and workers sell contractually specified labor or labor power (a worker’s total capacity for labor) • Dominant ideology denies that employees care about their work (only owner’s care). • Goal of production: maximizing profits (surplus value), not producing use value. • Domination of market and money as means of distribution Industrialization • Dominant form of production in capitalism • Use of new forms of energy: water, steam, internal combustion, nuclear (manufactory production uses only human and animal energy). • Machine technology • Large-scale (mass) production. • Increasingly detailed division of labor, therefore increasing use of unqualified, cheap labor: women and children. • Increasing productivity of labor: the amount of goods a worker produces in a unit of time. Early capitalism • Sugiman: family capitalism • Naiman: free enterprise/ laissez-faire capitalism (state intervention limits the activity of enterprises only minimally) • A large number of small to medium firms compete in a market • No buyer or seller can significantly influence prices by withdrawing from the market. • “Honesty is the best policy” only true in early capitalism and only true in small markets, since there will be constant communication, good reputation for many generations. You can’t fool/ lie to anyone since the people know everything about you anyways. • Attempts to maximize profit cause anarchy of production, which causes periodic crisis of hyper production. • Free enterprise capitalism inevitably leads to concentration of ownership (monopolization). Corporate capitalism • Naiman: monopoly capitalism • A corporation is a legal entity (Naiman: legal fiction) distinct from the people who own or control it. Invented for protection of owners from poor economic performance. • Concentration of ownership continues: increased size and decreased number of enterprises. Financialisation. • Monopoly: a sole seller of a commodity in a market • Oligopoly: several sellers of a commodity • Monopsony: a sole buyer of a commodity • Oligopsony: several buyers of a commodity • Monopoly rent: increase in price an enterprise can charge because of its monopolistic position. • Transnational corporations (TNCs) force a “race to the bottom” in a globalized economy. Sectors of the economy 1. Primary: resource industry • Unusually high proportion of the p
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