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Lesson 1-4

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Darryl Burgwin

SY203 Lesson 1 Main Themes  Changing social conditions that influenced the development of modern sociology took place in political and economic, and social forms o Political changes after the revolution in France in the 18 century  New system of political rights and freedoms  New modern state o Development and dominance of capitalism  Led to Marx’s work on capitalism and economics  Impact on social life as a result o Rise and Influence of Scientific rationalism  Attempt to attain mastery over nature and social life o Debate between individual freedom and social regulation Streams of Social Thought  Greek Classical Philosophy o Socrates & Plato 420 BC o first systematic thinking about society o Rapid unregulated shifts during periods of change create hardship and lead to conflict o Want to create “ideal state”  Purpose:  Provide human needs  Provide basic political standards o Socrates: The Republic  Wanted to create a society whose purpose was to realize the social ideal of equality and justice o Contradicted the view that society is governed by gods o Discovery that the parts of society could be broken down into discrete and separate functions  European Social investigation o Comte, Marx, Durkheim, Weber 19 century  Comte coin term Sociology  Define subject matter  Methods to accomplish social investigation  Shift from philosophy to science : Positivism o Scientific movement whose aim was to place all the speculative sciences on the same level as others o Observation of the senses, no ultimate truth, facts  laws  Marx and Weber direct contrast  Devise analytical techniques and theories to understand social changes taking place  Critical of society and understanding of the new laws od economic development  \ Lesson 2 Political and Economic Changes  France o 1780’s o Feudalism influence in politics and law  Rural economy  Manors and social order o Corvee system of labour rights  Legal privilege of land owner over serfs o 1789  Call for reform due to economic difficulty  Revolution  Civil unrest  Declaration of the rights of man o All ppl equal o Affirmation to the absolute power of the people  Reforms into law to dissolve previous society th  England 19 century o Feudalism not replace by revolution by slow capitalist development over 100 years o Transition from living of land to working for wage o Created working poor class without means of production o Obligatory links replaced by legal ones o Economic competition and antagonistic nature of society Lesson 3 Development of Consensus Theory  Society is held together by a social consensus around basic rules and beliefs, when violated use sanction to restore rules  Assumes o Society is orderly because we agree on shared beliefs and values o Common rules for cooperation o Enforce adherence to pattern social activity o Help us understand why social life is ordered o Look at how social institutions perform functions of social regulation and integration Durkheim and the Division of Labour  Thesis o Fundamental social links which tie individuals to society o The system of social links changes as society is subject to variations in the division of labour  Social Solidarity o System of social relations linking individuals to each other and society o Mechanical  People are linked to society through points of attachment that bind everyone to the common conscience  Usually religion in nature, taking over the individual o Organic  Link to individuals more than society, need each other to perform functions self can’t  Common/collective Conscience o Body of beliefs, practices and collective sentiments which are held in common by all members of a society, that define their mutual relationship to each other in the form of binding obligations o Volume  Pervasiveness of the collective beliefs and extent to which these beliefs be distributed. Ability to envelope a person o Intensity  Degree of leverage collective values and beliefs have over people  More intense more likeness between people o Determinateness  Degree of resistance collective beliefs offer up and how willingly they give way to the degree of resistance it offers, willingness to give way to change o Content  Religious or secular  System of Law o The way society punishes offences is a clue to it’s system of solidarity o Penal Law  Impose harm and punishment and suffering  Reduce social honour with loss  Deprivation of life/freedom  Repressive sanctions  Mechanical solidarity  Violent act and offence common conscience  Punishment matches the severity of the crime  Tendency to enlist the collective force of society as a means of carrying out punishment for acts  Origin in religion o Contractual/Procedural  Restore the damage by recreating the state which existed before the offence  Restuitive  For specific individuals and orgs  Industrial societies whose social cohesion is organic  Specialized institutions  Functions through agencies such as courts etc  Authority of legal rule exercised throught functionaries such as judges  Sanctions reflect the change in DoL  Only when division of labour is advanced Lesson 4 The Rules of Sociological Method  Nature of sociological subject matter o Facts o Collective representations  Rules to be used in observing  Criteria for making judgements about healthy/unhealthy societies  System for classifying societies according to their structure and complexity o Social morphology . First, utilitarian theory was a doctrine of action whose central assertions were that individuals act on their free will, are completely autonomous and self-determined. As a result, utilitarians tended to believe that human disposition was the springboard of all action. Second, utilitarians put forward a theory of human motivation which held that individuals had common motives impelling them to maximize their self interest by private economic gain. On this view, human satisfaction was to be found in rational interchanges with society, but beyond this the individual owed nothing to society. To the extent that each individual was autonomous, owed nothing to society, and entered into exchanges with it only on the basis of rational self interest, utilitarian theory completely overlooked the existence of the larger system of social rules which acted as restraints on individuals.  Social Facts o They present the noteworthy property of existing outside the individual o Their existence is prior to the individual and as such they precede the individual historically o Characteristics  They are external to the individual in the sense precede individuals historiacally  Recognize by the power of external coercion Exert constraints backed by social sanctions o Observations  Considered things  Distinct and separate from consciously formed impressions  Never be looked at as if products of individual wills, but as determining individual will from without, capable of shaping actions by coercion  Collective Representations o Any subject matter in which the collective ideas of society have been condensed so that they represent the collective values and beliefs  Religious doctrines, legal rules, myths, legends, proverbs, customs, o Reflect reality different than individual o Investigated in their own right o Arise from group life Characteristics of their own which are autonomous o Exercise coercion SY203 Lesson 5 Intro The major thrust of Durkheim's argument was that individuals take their own lives not because
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