lecture

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Published on 16 Jun 2011
School
UTSC
Department
Sociology
Course
SOCB42H3
Professor
Week TwoSeptember 21, 2010
Classic Sociological Theory I-SOCB42-Lecture 2
Biography
-The life of Adam Smith:
-Born in 1723 in Scotland, died in 1790
-Influenced by the Scottish enlightenment
-Went to oxford university
-Suffered from anxiety and nervousness
-Became a full professor of moral philosophy at the age of 28
-Gave lectures in English instead of Latin
-In 1759 wrote a book the theory of moral sentiments about a general account of the
moral forces that influence human interaction
-He then became a tutor for the children of the baron
-Wrote the wealth of nations out of boredom
-Published in 1776, the book is revolutionary
-The book became one of the most influential books ever written
General Themes and Agenda
-What is the book about?
-Title: Inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nation
- Nature: what does it mean for one country to be rich?
-Its natural resources
-Stored treasure-cash
-Smith rejects both of these, he proposes something new-GNP per capita
-You determine by asking how much a typical person can consume
-A place may not have a lot of natural resources or a lot of cash but if the
people who are living there are able to get everything they need by
producing a little that makes the country a rich place
-Wealth is created through a social process, how the country arranges its labour
so it can be as productive as possible
-Causes: what mechanisms increase the wealth of nations?
-If wealth consists in natural resources, what is the best way to increase the
wealth of your country?
-Take the wealth, get the resources needed
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-Military strength
-If wealth consists in stored treasure
-If wealth consists of gold and you want it
-Merantilism -> exports are good and, imports are bad
-If we want the boats or gold we have to trade and you can either have a
lot of gold or not a lot of gold
-Smith believes that this way of causing wealth makes countries poorer
-Wealth has to do with the productivity of the population as a whole
-Causes”
-Conditions:
-1 type of condition is : Universal Conditions
-Increase the productivity of labour i.e the division of
labour -> which increases productivity
-2nd way : increase the portion of the population that is actually doing something
-Capital Accumulation -> increases percents of productive workers
“Historical Causes”
-the specific conditions in any given country in any given time that would assume that,
that country has some high productivity for some work
-Why does one country vs another country have more productive work force and put
more of the population into work
1. Manufacturing and Commerce vs Agriculture
-This will tell you how prosperous a country is
-Agriculture is the basis for developing the labour force in a country to its fullest
potential
-Large scale economic developments took place in europe first in the cities and
only later in the country side where agriculture was going on
-Because of this development it took 1000 years for europe to get out of the dark
ages
2. Prevailing theories of different countries at different times
-Theories are historically powerful - if a lot of people believe in certain theories
have direct affect on their actions
-A bad theory that can make a country rich can make them poor instead
Nations”
-Wealth of the nation is included in the Title
-What is the unit of the analysis? - the unit is the country as a whole
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Document Summary

Born in 1723 in scotland, died in 1790. Became a full professor of moral philosophy at the age of 28. Gave lectures in english instead of latin. In 1759 wrote a book the theory of moral sentiments about a general account of the moral forces that influence human interaction. He then became a tutor for the children of the baron. Wrote the wealth of nations out of boredom. Published in 1776, the book is revolutionary. The book became one of the most influential books ever written. Title: inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nation. Smith rejects both of these, he proposes something new-gnp per capita. You determine by asking how much a typical person can consume. Wealth is created through a social process, how the country arranges its labour so it can be as productive as possible. Take the wealth, get the resources needed www. notesolution. com. If wealth consists of gold and you want it.