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Lecture 7

Sociology Part 2 Lecture 7.docx

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Sheldon Ungar

Sociology Part 2 Lecture 7  Economies – An historical View – Market produces all sorts of benefits- but it must be controlled  Economic crash:  What institution is most affecting our lives?  Global free market – matters the most  Won a total victory – virtually unchallenged –  End of communism – socialism? – it didn’t fail as badly, still exist in few Europian nation but problematic.  Era of “globalization” – market adjustment. Pollution shares – put it on the market and sell it – pollute. Companies that can produce product with less pollution they can sell it well.  Positive effects of free market- most productivity and wealth ever.  The rich society- rich to poor , they run to stay in rich society but not move to poor societies.  Wealthy is better – think of examples. Better for environment, health, family, longer life.  Market linked democracy – politically democratic, the best of all the worse systems.  Costs of the market – its good but the market cant be free- need control  Must be controlled or runs amok and destroys society.  Globalization brings ‘ savage’ capitalism – downsizing, workers remain working harder. - or roulette capitalism . China – jobs are leaving nations and are going into poor nation. Mexico – wages are lower  Communism – Never produce enough surplus to have a crash, a failure  Pre-market societies – hence market not universal  Exchange based on moral economies – sharing, potlatch, gift giving, fair price.  Easy to understand. – markets supply in demands  Key motivator: status in the group. For us it is money . wealth  Types of exchanges – Sharing  Small scale. Everything is shared within the society. They organize the society  By virtue of membership in community. – food, accommodation  People within the society worked to fulfill the social obligations. There was nothing to distribute, that’s why no one worked on communist society because they couldn’t buy anything . They weren’t allowed to buy western goods.  Examples of this today ? – health care – not complete health care, for welfare you get drugs free, may have a drug plan if you earn well enough. Education is free up to university. In Germany, university education is free but not that great of a standard. Public goods, The commons- have to share, can be within the society or broader. E.g. the ocean – global common, air – global common, some people tend to privatize the common. How can you privatize air? There were small scale, tribal, poor but the notion of share is there  Gift0giving (Potlatch) – the native population – more than one and the Indians are heavily involved with Potlatch. The ceremonies requires the gift- giving, people were ranker, higher the status the more you get potlatch. If you throw a potlatch you’re supposed to repay it. Valuable oil- burning up the oil they needed. Had slaves. The economy is based on ceremonies but they are often accompanied by drugs of some sort.  Give to attain status – may or may not imply reciprocity – hard to get back more than you give  Destroy good- most of us want more, we get tired of old things and tend to get thing that are newer or latest  Current examples – charity – give as much as possible until it hurts – only minority would do it. Most of us would give a fair amount.  Giving to your children – give them fair amount, send them to school, law school and all  Engagement ring – spend as much as you can. Parties – bring your own booze. Potlatch parties used to be okay but now people bring Tim Hortons donuts.  Agriculture – destroying crops, animals because the prices are going high.  Fair price exchanges  Fixed price – critical items – tradition, magistrates.  Foods riots if violate exchanges expectations.  Economy embedded in social life – society – economy  Society runs the economy. If you’re destroying your wealth its not the economy but you’re status  Social obligations are what matters – production and wealth  What is the market? – exchanges controlled by market forces – “invisible hand” – supply in demand are supposed to balanced each others. You got many suppliers and demanders then no one can control. Be aware of oligarchy- they can collude.  Enter freely and equally into exchanges – freedom. Doesn’t work that way ever.  Everything treated as a commodity – land, labour. Commodity is both and sold to the market. In Pre-market society land was never commodity. Labour was not for sell but later became. This is buying and selling human time.  Market theory – based on the idea of possessive individualism – are inherently greedy. Seek to accumulate as much as possible. We can create greed but are not born with it. Your status is largely filtered to the economy. It varies. But modern societies do move in the direction.  Inevitable, universal and rational – becoming universal now. We need to acknowledge history. Its not totally rational.  Dance of commodities creates an ecological castastrophe  Peasant (etc.) fight to keep market at arms length – restrict and limit it to the outsider, when they could do it , the goods that could be sold. But land couldn’t be sold. , low status of merchants – market didn’t like, now we don’t mind it as much but back then people did. Taking away the wealth from the merchants.  Most common thing was good riots – keeping constant price is critical, it can go up – may have problems or leeway that leads to food riots. People resisted the market  Look at social consequences of the free market – runs amok, need to control it (not easy). The market runs amok and you need control.  E.g. Depression (1929). Is the thing that underlies as the real concern. In North America people were unemployed and fear that communism would take over. They had to do something about the high employment rate.  Social life embedded in Economy . Economy  society.  Society is secondary, economy is what matters.  Contradictions: labour as commodity is a fiction.  Price labour falls below subsistence – this happened in England The market corrects. Market labour low – no food or jobs. They get sick and start dying. Women have less children. The supply and demand works – more people are dying, fewer people are born, - more jobs.  Reserve army labour – common thing , se
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