SOC203H1 Lecture Notes - The German Ideology, Social Alienation, For Marx

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Published on 7 Feb 2013
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SOC LECTURE 3: (Solidarity difference Marx vs. Durkheim position paper)
**Test question on alienation, and
Alienation has individual and social dimensions.
Individual alienation denotes estrangement from the self in its creative
potentialities.
Social alienation denotes estrangement from other people.
The two are not necessarily linked: individual creativity can co-exist with social
alienation (example: cultural production in big cities such as New York, London, Los
Angeles).
Hence, Marx is wrong to assume that the end of alienation requires the end of
capitalism.
KARL MARX: THE GERMAN IDEOLOGY (1845-46)
1. The Premise (start) of historical materialism
- The approach of Karl Marx (Marxian) is historical materialistic approach
- Marx in argument with people who though history can be explained by
ideas
- Marx said in order to survive we have to meet basic physical needs
(central to human life) understand history we have to look at how society
is organized to meet these fundamental needs
- Depends on societies we find ourselves in
- Sociologist study connection between social structure and outcomes
- Agency society is not deterministic entirely, make sense of
environment and make choices given opportunities ex. Tocqueville
psychology of black slave
- FOR MARX the FUNDAMENTAL SOCIOL CATEGORY is CLASS
- How different societies organize to meet needs (hunter gatherers,
capitalist society etc.)
2. Implication for studying society: how society produces is fundamental
- Karl MarxLegal and Political structures base of society of how people
organize to meet needs, Laws are there to prop up mode of production
(capitalism), Politics don’t decide shape of economy but it is the economic
system which determines our laws and our state Religion props up
system of material relations
Basically “The mode of PRODUCTION of material life determines the
general character of the social, political and spiritual processes of life” –Marx
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Marx says the way people organized in society to meet out fundamental
needs condition ideas, legal systems NOT ideas that shape things so vice
versa
3. Division of Labour, Example: Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776)
- Claim by Marx that the way people organize, the division of labor
becomes increasingly complex
Example from Adam Smith: Making Pens
Dividing up labour increases humans’ productive power
Marx says division of labour…
1. Work becomes alienating, mindless
2. Sharpening of class divisions
Unequal distribution of the products of labour, greater gaps between classes
because between what Bourgeois’ pays proletarian, additional costs is the
profitCapitalist system makes gap increasing
3. State emerges as division of labour comesto hold the division of labour
in place for exploitation, laws and police are there to uphold capitalist society
Sociologist feminists claim that all inequalities are embedded in capitalism and
to achieve gender equality we would have to move to socialist government
4. Division of Labour, Consequences According to Marx
We have to organize society so people can rotate, do what they want to do.
What are conditions where less division can exist? Can it be reduced? (good
paper topic)
Division of Labour consequences: alienation
Alienation will always exist in a class capitalist society.
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