SOCB42H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Labour Power, Dialectic, Feudalism

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20 Apr 2012
July 7, 2010
LECTURE # 8 - Marx’s anthropology; alienation
Historically specific form of organisation of production, contingent on the stage of development
of means of production
Forces of production: allow humans to transform nature in order to produce means of
subsistence: means of production + labour
Means of subsistence is everything you need to survive
Means of production: raw materials, building, tools, all the physical objects needed to transform
natural material into something that you need
Labour power: human capacity for labour
Labour power is everything that you know how to do
Marx says your employer has a right to your labour not your labour power
All the necessary tasks needed to complete the task is labour
Relationships of production: social relationships into which humans enter in the process of
production, distribution, exchange and consumption
Ownership over means of production is the most important, but not the only relationship of
production---the most important : it determines who has power over the organization; who
controls the mode of production
Owners own means of production; they can drive income from them without being engaged in
the production
Non owners have to engage in means of production; have to work on the terms of the owners
Control over means of production and the production process
Became obvious when ownership and management separated in the 20th c.
(bottom)Economic basis: all the production which goes on in a society
(middle) Social superstructure: all the social relationships necessary to maintain teh economic
(top) Cultural superstructure: it includes politics and culture ideology;
Relationships between basis and superstructure is mutually causal, with the ultimate causal
primacy of the basis
Cultural phenomena can be explained in ultima analisi (final analysis) by the processes and
conditions of the economic base
Ideology is a means of social control more efficient than violence
Ideology are common beliefs within a group; the function of ideology is to protct interests of a
particular group
Hegemonic dominant to all else
Systems of social relationships built on historically specific modes of production
Each enables optimal use and development of that mode of production
Eventually, development of forces of production outstrips the current system of social
relationships, which begin stifle it
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