Class Notes (839,092)
Canada (511,185)
History (3,264)
HIS242H1 (163)

HIS242H1 Lecture 2

4 Pages

Course Code
Deborah Barton

This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full 4 pages of the document.
HIS242H1S 14/01/14 2: MODERN SOCIETY AND THE CHALLENGE OF THE IRRATIONAL •Imperialism was woven into everyday life in Europe o Transformed the world •Imperialist revolution very violent •Classic imperialist critique by Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness) o Conrad was a critic (felt it was corrupting for people with boundless power) but criticized by people saying that he was being racist himself (Achebe essay in 1975) •Intellectual history o Connected to imperialism o Question of the role of ideas in human history • Do ideas drive events? Do they have transformative powers? Are they simply the results of the reflection of the material conditions? • The ideas are not mutually exclusive  Social Darwinism: did sScial Darwinism drive imperialism, or was it a result? (both - in itself a force, but also a justification) •Modernity and the irrational o 19th-20th c: dramatic rapid social changes: emergence of the modern world • Growth of population, urbanization, bureaucratization, centralization of power, industrialization (all grouped under MODERNIZATION) • Society of organization • Conditions that shaped intellectual responses; tried to share, understand, critique, and change the world (writers, artists, philosophers, scientists, etc.) o Flowering of social sciences in this period (sociology, anthropology, criminology, psychology) • Helped people cope to this new way of life • Ex: serfs freed in Russia in 1861 • Women now working in cities, factories, as maids and dancers, singers, and prostitutes o Intellectuals tried to understand the shift in society by adapting the mdoel of natural science & systematic analysis of observable social data •Sociology: how societies pull together under stresses and changes (viewed as both opportunities and dangers) o Created positive responses and opportunities, but also anxieties and disorientation o Comte • Scientific progress led to the idea that human development is always progressing (positivism) • Scientific discovery in 2 steps:  Metaphysical  Positive • Society like nature, development can be measured; accumulation of useful knowledge • Catholic church viewed humanities as unchanging o Durkheim • Modern life and urban growth had uprooted traditional values in a negative way (Growth of crime, alcoholism and prostitution) • Believed rapid uncontrollable growth of large cities destroyed morality that had bound them to traditional societies HIS242H1S 14/01/14 • Quantitative study on suicide: stresses and strains of modern life affecting more people • Social problems could be solved if they were studied in a systematic, scientific manner o Max Beiber • German father of modern social thought • Objective and value-free science society to guide the way to the future • Contemporary trends towards bureaucratization of the state, government, etc.  Believed these were victories; success of enlightenment rationalization  Social stratification • Worried that the advancing age would lead to state officials ignoring social ideas  The "Iron Cage of Modern Life" • Cultural attempts to depict, critique, understand and change the modern world o Revolution taking place in the modern world prior to WWI • Artistic movements growing, challenges coming from individual artists o Pissarro • French impressionist, known for depictions of the countryside • 1890s: began to depict urban scenes (crowded streets, bridges, etc.)  Theme that he took up was transformation & movement (embodied nervous energy and an uncontrollable crowd) • Art opened up new communication links with the audience o Kandinsky • Base
More Less
Unlock Document

Only page 1 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Unlock Document
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version

Unlock Document

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.