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Dan Silver (15)

Lecture 4

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Dan Silver

SOCC40 LECTURE 4 FASCISM SYSTEMS THEORY AGIL INTERCHANGE EVOLUTION FASCISM • Writing period of mid 30’S/40’S – period of fascism • Liberal democratic society was taken for granted by many • Anti-liberal movements (communism or fascism); normal for people to think of this happening • Liberal democracy led to worldwide depression in 30s that was supposed to bring prosperity; a global war- was supposed to bring peace • Current idea that liberal democracy was a failed dreamed was terrifying to Parsons; was a complete defender of that ideal • Tried to understand where the threats to the values of liberal democracy were coming from and how he would organize our social world so we wouldn’t be subject to those threats -General • Analysis of social strains that all societies are subject to • Anywhere has to deal with these issues • 1. Rapid social change -experience in moments of modern change (industrialization, etc) -urbanization; massive amounts of people moving away from rural farms and small towns; interacting with thousands of people who don’t know your name -cultural and religious change; experimenting with forms of art, introduction of science, radical poetry with topics of Satanism -all happening very quickly -when that happens so quickly it can be disorienting because people don’t have time to adjust to that +creates free-floating aggression -people are angry and don’t know who to blame -anytihng that promises to provide some sense of stability and sense of belonging can inspire high levels of emotional commitment; something that offers an easy way out -dangerous -in Germany most of this rapid social change happened from the outside because they lost WWI; which made them blame outsiders -in 30s and 40s Germany was dominated by group called Junker which were a land- holding class • 2. Rationalization -more people working in democracy, less personal connections at work -rationalizing attack on all traditional conservative ways of life; priests, fathers being head of household, etc. +happens at different rates within the same society -some parts of the population that are more free and emancipated than others -in smaller towns and countryside’s people wish for the good old days -social conflict between the places that its happening faster and in the places it isn’t +leads to caricature and extremism -free people stack attacking every tradition; will say religious people are stupid, or traditional ways of working have no value -fundamentalist; absolute total adherence to old ways without room for change; will lump everything that seems modern together and say its bad and remain secular from it • 3. Romanticism -all of the above generates a widespread tendency towards romanticism -what a psychologist would call projection, where people have all sorts of ideals and ideas that can’t be realized in their world, so they begin to imagine a more beautiful, pure world that doesn’t exist but that they wished they lived in; start to live in that world -tendency toward escapist romanticism in modern society -if you start to have people being more romantic, they start to withdraw their allegiance and cathexis from existing institutions in world; political system, parents, school, church, work, etc -start fantasizing of the past and trying to snap your fingers and make it all go back -detaches large parts of society from reality; makes them more susceptible to extremist proposals; rule our particular class or ethnicity to make things better becomes good idea -Particular • German generals were most likely to attack all aspects of modern society • 1. Romanticization of politics -all of those free floating wishes detached from reality and funneled into politics -in particular, nationalism +anglo-saxon romanticism 1. Utopianism -people wanted to draw map of perfect society and then try to implement it -basis of a lot of moral commune 2. Personal success -emotional charge with getting ahead in the business; poor boy makes it big -can be unreal but attaching emotion to that attaches people to existing emotional system; even knowing that you won’t make it but you should work hard makes a lot of people work harder -lack of titles in ango-saxon context allows people to believe there is more fluidity and can pour energy into poor boy making it big 3. Romantic love -thrill of courtship, dating and marriage -if you look out at the world and your job sucks, that’s okay because maybe work isn’t where the thrill of life is; it’s the date you are going on after work -love is the most exciting thing in life -as escapist as it might be, it doesn’t tend to lead to political radicalism -makes people support basic institutions like marriage and family -or leads people to find meaning and purpose in their life in their private sphere -people concerned with love and dating won’t go to rally; won’t be outlet for your emotions • Examp
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