Sociology 1020 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Structural Functionalism, Media Reform, Proletariat

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24 Mar 2016
a macro oriented paradigm
views society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and social change
division based on inequality
conflict is a society’s natural state
response to structural functionalist perspective
society is structured in ways to benefit a few at the expense of the majority
linked to unequal distribution of 3 scarce resources: wealth power and prestige
constrain or enable you to obtain scarce resources
dominant group vs minority group
incompatible interests
conflict theory- capitalism and alienation
workers experience this
alienation- having/perceiving no power; isolation resulting from your powerlessness
alienate workers in four specific ways
from the act of working (no say in production)
from the products of work (no sense of ownership)
from other workers (fear them as they may take your job)
from human potential
economic precesses/models of production determine all processes and social change
ownership over means of production is the basis for other forms of inequality
class a social category based on ownership and control over means of production
capitalists own the means of production
two classes
bourgeoise (owners of capital)
proletariat (workers sell labour)
classes have different interests, leads to class conflict
mode of production = economic system
economic institution = the base
social institutions - society’s subsystems organized to meet basic human needs
false consciousness explains social problems in an individual’s shortcomings
ideas and values of any society are the ideas of the elite class
family education government media justice religion are super structures set up to
benefit the system
social systems set up to support economic systems
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