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Lecture 8

Lecture 8 Notes.docx

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Ivanka Knezevic

SOCA01 – Intro to Sociology 1 November 8, 2012 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 labour)  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 labour or labour power (a worker’s total capacity for labour)?  Dominant ideology denies that employees care about their work (only owners care)  Goal of production: maximizing profits (surplus value), not producing use value  Domination of market and money as means of distribution Industrialisation  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 labour, therefore increasing use of unqualified, cheap labour: women and children  Increasing productivity of labour: 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”  Attempts to maximize profit cause anarchy of production, which causes periodic crises of hyperproduction  Free enterprise capitalism inevitably leads to concentration of ownership(monopolisation) 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 primary sector in Canada. Advantages and disadvantages? 2. Secondary:
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