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Dan Silver (151)

Week 12 Lecture

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Dan Silver

Forms of Association Domination -Simmel’s words: super-ordination (who’s above) – sub-ordination (who’s beneath) -in schools (people in charge of schools), business (boss), politics (leaders, subjects) -these are common forms of association that we can pull out 1. under a single individual  one boss, one political leader, one principal  a group subordinated under a single individual tends to be highly unified that can happen in a few ways: • if have one single God/king in charge, they can provide unitary expression of group’s ideals, express what we all share as single point • can be expression of underlying pre-existing community • also create community where it isn’t there before, e.g. emergence of monotheistic religions – bring all sort of backgrounds from different communities/towns/occupations, everyone starts serving one single leader • through opposition to leader, we all hate that person, we’re all stuck under the thumb of that person; the more active the hatred is, the more we feel ourselves unified 2. under a plurality  a council of leaders (2,3,4 people who are equally the leaders)  can have country ruled by parliament with multiple leaders, classroom with two professors  one thing that tends to happen is downplay their individual feeling and tenderness for their subordinates and express subjective personal standards  another thing that tends to happen: leaders become more meaner and more violent sometimes  because more likely to take responsibility for what you do  aggression and meanness when you have plurality of people in charge 3. under a principle  Weber: legal/rational authority  it’s the rule of law, we don’t do what multiple people say, we do what the law says  relationship between leader and subordinates tends to go down; depersonal relationship  leaves a lot of room for subordinates to have individuality and freedom (agree to contract and do whatever you want after) Sociability -a form to itself, a form of interaction, society on its own -getting together at a party, purpose is to be there with other people -being in interaction with other people for its own sake -the pure essences of association (bring basic forms of interaction): 1. autonomous  they are separate from life and rest  operates under own rules 2. artificial  you construct separate world from real world and rest of life  you have money and have to find a mate and all other importance of life drops out  at a party, you are not supposed to know who is richer, more prestige, etc.  everybody’s supposed to be equally interesting  artificial world where all people are equal  is artifice but is interaction 3. playful  the play form of interaction where you take serious concerns out of daily life and take a gain of it  is social play, e.g. monopoly, you can play with forms of interaction  you take something from rest of world like capitalism and turn it into a game  taking something very serious like war (battleship) and having fun  flirting – most significant sociological thing where you have back and forth conversation  people start to play with guys back and forth, so transfer the way of finding a mate to a playful interaction Individualism -Durkheim: cult of division of labour -Weber: linked individuality to working in vocation -Tocqueville: individualism linked to rise in democracy, positive and negative consequences -Simmel: made this his central theme! -tries to distinguish different types of individualism -he assumes that the middle ages did not promote individuality pretty much so that people were not absorbed, not much room for people to discover themselves -but this started to change during Renaissance (classical culture that emerged in Italy) -individualism = one type being you are like everyone else, or one type being you are differe from everyone else Types/History 1. conspicuous individualism  look how brave I am in the world, I have the best house/painting/fashion in the world  talks about how tailors make unique suits  “I’m the very best around and look at me”  few great figures emerging and valuing their individuality against social background that was restricted (education, etiquette, social class…) 2. egalitarian individualism  links values of freedom and equality togetherth  there are very great cultural movements in 18 century from Newton and on  were in many ways dedicated to reducing the power and constraints  people had aspiration to live free from world, but they are constrained everywhere in residence, class, nation, etc.  egalitarian = if we can just throw all that off, there is space of pure freedom  beyond those arbitrary differences, there is universal common humanity that defines us more deeply and truly of other things  very deep cultural movement, natural laws that apply to al places and is linked to universalistic morality = everybody everywhere is subject to same rules  equality and individuality are all linked  “anything that divides me is not me, what is me is throwing those things off”  your purest individualistic personality by seeing what you share, linked to equality  linked to idea of free market idealism – everybody is all the same, so compete! 3. qualitative individualism 
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