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Marx 2

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Western University
Sociology 2240E
Brendan Murphy

Marx Lecture 4 The Material for Marxists - The natural world, and social structures o The natural world: food, shelter, wood, resources, climate, etc. o Social structures (material relations): economic relations (wage, labour, rent paying), relations of force (police, army) - Countered against the ideological o Schooling, religion, legal, political - You can change whatever thoughts you have in your head without repercussions - Changing material world is a lot more difficult Stubbornness of the Material - You can change thoughts relatively easy (ideologies) - Cannot change your need for physical things (food, shelter, clothing) o Need food - Cannot opt out of pre-formed social relations (you are in the society you are in) o State has control on society (must pay taxes, rent etc.)  Can’t just become an anarchist Society for Marx - Society is a joining of natural and social structures creates material relations - Gives rise to a wider more flexible set of political and legal relations that give form to our social consciousness - To understand society we have to identify these relations and chart their interactions o Having technology that advances  having highways that deliver food nice and quick - People said how society was “oh yeah, our society is pretty great”  yeah but you kind of have slaves o So to properly judge a society you need to judge their actions o Their material relations help us do that Mode of Production - Forces of production and relations of production create the mode of production - No the consciousness of people that determines being, but the social being that determines their consciousness Foundation and superstructure - Economic Foundation: definite relations indispensable and independent of human will - Superstructure: legal, political, and conscious thought o Economic foundation is like the base of a house o The superstructure is thrown over top of the base-foundation o The foundation is the skeleton which forms the body of the superstructure (everything from muscles to those sweet threads yeah) “…” of Production - “Means” (forces)  The tools/implements used to produce life and goods - “Relations”  the social roles Means of Production - Particular productive forces used by people to reproduce themselves and society - Depending on the time period, your means have changed (basic agriculture, small-scale craft work, industrial machinery) - A key distinction comes in the ownership and control of the means of production Relations of Production Key questions to determine the relations for each epoch: - Who has ownership of the means of production? - What are the ways the groups interact with each other? Mode of Production: the combination of both means and relations - We could say means + relations = mode Types of Modes of Production Primitive Communism - Small tribal communities - Simple hunter gather societies - Division of labour is very small - Patriarchal relations are most common - Everyone is interchangeable o No specialists - Means: simple, handmade tools, some animals - Relations: communal ownership, no private property Asiatic - Rise of agriculture promotes need for water and irrigation systems o Redirect water to wh
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