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SOCA01H3 (591)
Lecture 8

Sociology Lecture 8 notes

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Ivanka Knezevic

Work & 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 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 for of production in capitalism ∙ Use of new forms of energy: water, steam, internal combustion, nuclear (“manufactory production” uses only human and animals 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 if 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. Financi
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