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Lecture

SOC 203- Jan 30th.docx

6 Pages
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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC203H1
Professor
J.Veugelers

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1/30/2012 7:38:00 PM Start with a quote: from Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) “VIOLENCE CAN ALWAYS DESTROY POWER”  Veugelers thinks she was talking about power based on coercion  If you’re a powerful person who’s threatening to use violence against someone, there is a paradox. You can only use this power if the person you are threatening is alive.  What is buried in this statement is the idea that the powerful must observe a certain restraint  Simmel is similarly looking at some of the paradoxes of power. o Weber talks about the power of being able to realize ones will despite the resistance of someone else o Power is a two way relationship- certain amount of negotiation (“negotiation” is a modern word to describe it) Subordinate and Superordinate - relational view of power - Weber is telling us we cant understand power relations without taking into account the capacity of those in -pg 181 Simmel: DOMINATION IS A FORM OF INTERACTION  the will of the subordinate person matters -this implies that the subordinate person has choice, even if limited -the behaviour of the powerful might have to be adjusted, based on the choices of the less powerful -language is abstract but paper is organized well in unit -power is rarely so complete as to rule out all personal freedom on the part of the subordinate -relating to Tocqueville:  he didn’t really understand slavery very well -Simmel’s point is to look at the relationship btwn more powerful and less powerful as a kind of a dance (the interaction is what interests him) -when reading this paper, think about times when you’ve been in both subordinate position and superordinate position -pg 181: the subordinate is not merely passive material to be acted upon  aka the subordinate has agency -pg. 183: Simmel describes to basis’s for authority: 1) personality or character or 2) positions of power held over us - pg. 185-6: HE makes a point that is outdated: he talks about how political leaders must lead the public in a given direction  today reading this passage we must re-adjust this. Many times leaders are in fact led by public opinion themselves. BISMARCK (1815-1898) - had a lot to do with the unification of Germany, the domination of its neighbours - powerful German politician DIALIECTICS and The Communist Manifesto 1) Dialectic reasoning: Plato, The Crito (about 399 BC)  about the conversation btwn Crito and Saukrates while he is waiting in prison to commit suicide  the idea being that truth emerges through a back and forth dialogue 2) Being is becoming: Marcus Aurelius. Meditations (170-180 AD) 3) Dialectical idealism: Hegel’s logic (not really Thesis, Antithesis. Synthesis) 4) Dialectical Materialism:  (a)Matter changes, not ideas  (b) The codification of Engels (1877-78): the Triadic principle o unity of opposites  the unity of opposites, class is in opposition of each other  to think dialectically we should never fall into the trap of thinking any social unit (e.g. church, family) we look at is a harmonious whole. Its composed of elements that are in opposition of each other  Marx says: there can be a multiplicity of social units in opposition with eachother. Capitalism makes classes
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