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Lecture 4

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Sociology 2240E
Charles Levine

Wednesday October 10, 2012 Lecture 4 - Political, industrial revolutions coincide with when social theory begins - In Europe people had lived the same way for years and sudden social change occurred - In England we don’t really see the development of sociology, it was about the individual- the rights of the individual - In France, there is an emphasis on the individual and on the community and the tension between the two is what starts sociology - Sociology is a struggle between the individual and the group - The sociology of knowledge- how one thinks and what one thinks about - 1750 France- Triangle- economy based on agriculture, feudalism (culture, politics, agriculture) - Top of triangle- King, Queen, children - Next strata- clergy (around 100000)- bishops, priests (no taxes, no fiscal obligations- they were in total control of the cultural system of France- controlled through religion and the Catholic Church). They were used to legitimize the monarchy. - Next group- Nobility (around 400 000)- Lords - These three groups exists in terms of a strict code that is tied to religion which makes feudal society work smoothly - Next group- third estate or the bourgeoisie (About 1 million)- they come from the tradition of the free man, also come from immigration. They are merchants, money lenders, small industries, bring in spices, trade- the “other economy” in France. They live off the defined needs of the powerful. - Population of France at the time was 23 million - Peasants are the last group (about 20.5 million)- they were protected by their lords, and in return produced for them. - The problem with France at this time was the bourgeoisie- they are in touch with England, with industrialization, they see a future and want to get ahead. However, they are restrained by the feudal system. - In order for this to happen they need workers. - They are crippled because on a social level there are no workers, there are only peasants. - The biggest problem they face is feudalism. It is getting in the way of the Capitalist society they want to exist. They have to get rid of the social class of peasants - A group of people were starting to talk about equality, individualism, rights and freedom. They started to introduce this vocabulary. - The philosophes were talking about this, they began the Enlightenment - These ideas gave peasants new ideas- like the right to sell my labour for a wage - The Enlightenment was important to the bourgeoisie because it introduced vocabulary that was compatible with Business ideas - 1789- 1805- French Revolution- - Chaos for 15 years - The bourgeoisie get nervous because the peasants aren’t going to work but killing nobility - Then, the bourgeoisie wants to see a re-ordering of France - Napoleon- bourgeoisie supported them because France needed to be calmed down - There was a reaction to these ideas (philosophes- equality, individualism, rights, freedom)which is called romantic conservatism - The Enlightenment: - Enlightenment starts social thought and romantic conservatisms argue with their ideas - Idea 1. Human beings are potentially rational and reasonable- this is generally the case - Rational- the calculation of means and the use of them in order to obtain a goal - If the task is simple, you don’t need to think about it. The more complex the situation you do - Reason- is rationality, plus a normative ethical evaluation of the goal- reason is asking yourself whether or not you ought to do what you can do - If you’re a human you do both
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