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SY203 Notes.docx

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Richard Christy

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SY203 Notes September 13 , 2012 *Read pages 1-6 - If we live in a period of great transformation (starting 1960) what are some of the changes? Write 2 paragraphs about cultural change - The great transformation is a term that is used to describe massive change in Europe from 1750-1920; predominantly France, Germany, England - Great Transformation includes changes in culture, social organization and social change (revolution not evolution) - Was said to be a period of rapid and systematic change as opposed to a period of gradual evolution (Canada: colony to statehood) September 18 , 2012 - Cultural change is related to the broad concept of culture 1. Values (generalized aims and goals which are considered right, in and of themselves) 2. Laws 3. Mores/ Folkways (Mores = bad/taboos, Folkways = rules – how you should behave) - Organization is often understood in two parts 1. Roles – pattern of behavior, considered appropriate for your social position 2. Status – position which you hold or ranking, hierarchal - Culture and organization are two key concepts related to sociology - Post-modernization (where we are now) o Urbanization o Heterogeneity/Homogeneity (mixing of cultures) o Diversity o Secularization (A decline in religious participation or the increased use of science and reason) o Globalization - Prime minister of a nation state passed a law that states it is no longer necessary to curtsey or bow when first meeting the Queen o Law affects the level of an individual’s status th September 20 , 2012 Characteristics of Social Theorists - Ironic detachment - Durkheim, Marx and Weber saw their societies in such a way that they highlighted the characteristics, of culture and social organization, in such a way that others took for granted (every society is different, don’t assume yours is the only way) 1. Imagination and hard work – 10% imagination, 90% hard work 2. Capable of logic and reason – they show skill at justification using the rules of logical reasoning 3. Scientific analysis – they were able to take data and move beyond it to sociological theory, they could make high abstract theory then use data to back it up and vice versa 4. Vocation or “calling” – sociology is not a job a. To be a sociologist there is no such thing as dogma (a systematic way to go about thinking), in science a dogma gives way to the question b. Two dichotomies have emerged, consensus vs. conflict and structure vs. process Consensus vs. Conflict - Consensus (Durkheim): what holds society together? How do individuals create order? Emphasis on the persistence of culture and social organization, social change comes slowly - Conflict (Marx): what pulls society apart? What makes for rapid social change starts with the assumption that conflict and potential conflict is at the very core of social life, even when there is stability the conflict theorists argue that there is potential conflict beneath the surface. Change is rapid and depends upon revolution and large scale social development - Nobody should rely on one train of thought, these two sides maintain the social order through a balance Structure vs. Process - Structure (Durkheim): Part/whole theory – emphasizes the components of society, especially social roles, social status, social class and social initiations that come together to create a whole society. The critics of this model argue that the “human being” is being forgotten as the vital unit of society. - Process (Weber): emphasizes the individual or individuals as the heart of a research project. Therefore the social situation only has meaning according to an individual’s meaning or interpretation. All action is social action, which means the individual interprets what takes place September 27 , 2012 * Read: Discovery of society, pg 26 + Morrison pg 1-3 - Queen was part of a political structure that Weber referred to as Traditional authority - Legal-rational system was developed – government rules/regulation, bureaucracy - The role of a sociologist is difficult, challenge is to move from being a private citizen to being a sociologist, and we have culture and social organization around us and IN us. We belong to families, we’re in education, government policy affects us, economics affects us – a sociologist must use objectivity in analyzing; objectivity is the first step in a sociology vocation, the challenge is to look at the cultural and social organization with outside eyes, keeping an open mind, taking you from participant to analyst - Sociology is not to be defined as value free because value are the starting point for the analysis of culture, values are often at the heart of social organization and structure - Harold Falding – “The sociological task” o Argues that sociologists need to understand two types of values, characterizing value judgments (reporting, recording, describing) and appraising value judgments (evaluation of the rightness or wrongness) - You are engaged in sociology when you use characterizing value judgments; you are participating in society (being a concerned citizen) October 2 , 2012 * Read Morrison pg 8-26 - The economy has an impact on what socioeconomic status you enjoy - Why did the editors call this article “sociology of the underground”? Why was Marx known as the “great angry man” of the 19 century? Discuss with illustrations why Marx is considered to be the most controversial of all modern thinkers. What is Marx’ greatest contribution to sociology? Discuss with detail Marx’ personal, education and employment history that may account for his social problem. What did he learn from Hegel? What did he learn on his visit to Paris? What major document did Marx and Engle write about communist? What are its key phrases? Discuss Marx’ concepts in class and class conflict. Outline the key elements of Marx’ thinking as it relates to capitalism, socialism, labor and profit. Why does Marx expect the final collapse of capitalism? What does he mean by alienation? What is Marx’ legacy as it relates to sociology? - What is the central idea in Engle’s work on gender Stratification? Outline the characteristics of what he calls “primitive communism”. Discuss with examples Engle’s change in the family system. What was the role of “love” in family life? What are considered to be the theoretical positions of Engle on the family? - Outline the Marxian debate on feminism and Capitalism. - Engle – no private property existed (Primitive communism) o Communism reigned in the sexual realm (incest prohibitions) women and men were not exclusive sexual partners o Gender equality – women had a respected position in society o Matriarchy works everything else does not o Sexual domination came with the rise of the economic change. By a series of events this created the idea of submissive, docile women o Patrilineal society developed with the ide of monogamy. Women became consigned to household work, segregated from the public economic sphere o Love was excluded from the family system, the main concert was property. Women were regarded as instruments used to propagate their property and their lineage o Engle sees “family” as a cult of perpetual private property - Marx o Abolish private property, no longer need to pass private property down to children – women would enter the labor force with men – society would take over raising children – at the end of capitalism, sexual freedom would reappear in life and would be similar to “primitive communism” o Women are exploited by capitalism without being directly employed by it. Theory of the unpaid labor of the housewife o Was known as the sociology in the underground because he spoke of the harsh reality that was left discussed due to it’s “unpleasant” nature th o Known as the angry man of the 19 century due to his indignation at the hypocrisy and blindness of those who covered it up o Marx was seen as controversial due to the nature of his writings, his writings have been the handbook of revolutionists o Marx’ greatest contribution to sociology was opening up the analysis of economic classes and economic conflict, and in proposing that they have central place in the theory of how societies operate o Controversial family background (went through prejudice in a small town)  Went to uni with intent on becoming a professor  Became a young Hegelian (believing and following George Hegel’s works)  Followed Hegel’s work and was deeply invested in his philosophy (idealist) o In Paris, he learned the idea of progress, and the image of industrial society breaking out of the bonds of fundamentalism, and he encountered the advocates of utopian socialist communities o Marx and Engle wrote “The Communist Manifests” o “Working men of all countries, unite!” October 4 , 2012 - You’re doing sociology when you’re recording, reporting and describing your society and its related social structure. Concerned citizens make appraisal value judgments (decising the rights and wrongs of social norms) - Revolutions in France, Germany and England between 1750 and 1920, this led Marx, Durkheim and Weber to make sense of three of the biggest changes of that era: - Abolishment of the feudal system, people wanted equality; free values emerged - Slogans of the French Revolution: Liberty. Equality. Fraternity. - The French Revolution fundamentally changed the way people thought economically and politically. Power no longer resided in the monarchy, but in the people - Hegel’s philosophy focused on individual freedom and self realization - Hegel believed that history was marked by distinct stages of development, these were distinct patterns of historic development o Marx and Engle began to consolidate some of Hegel’s ideas in their writing in 1884. Critical elements of Hegel’s philosophy were turned by Marx and Engle were distinctly into social theory o Industrial Revolution in England and then secondly took place throughout the rest of Europe. England became known as the workshop of the world. With the old economy leading to the rapid development in commerce, science and industry o Adam Smith, British political economist, began to study the foundations of Capitalism and laid the foundation for what is known as political economy o Social statics and social dynamics  Social order = social statics: what holds society together  Social change = social dynamics: study of social change Political Change - Defines Feudalism as a system of land holding used primarily for agricultural production. An estate owned by an aristocrat, was a political and legal entity which included a parish, a village and many branches of the rural economy - The revolution in France challenged all of this - There were 4 distinct bonds that could be observed in Feudalism o A series of economic obligations imposed upon the serfs by the lords o Serfs were legitimately subservient to the lords through a system of legal and social distinctions o Feudal society was a system of economic extractions in the form of taxes, dues and fees imposed by the lords serfs o Feudal society was characterized by a fixed social hierarchy and a system of social distinctions - Individual property ownership did not exist in Feudal society. The use of the land was temporary and conditional. Because of this system, work was devalued due to the need for peasants to work October 8 , 2012 Central Subject Matter of the Social Theory - Took power and authority from the monarchy, Feudal system was changed - Economic changes in the development of capitalism - The Republic of France, replaced the aristocracy - First appeared in England then spread throughout Europe - Economic development throughout the 18 and 19 century had a drastic impact and transformed the economic and political structures of society. Middle of the 16 century, there were signs of the change of the Feudal economy o Gradual enclosure of estate levels which led to the removal of peasants from common holdings (started to define private property from common land, restricting movement and removal of rights for some) o Emergence of town economies which began to replace the agrarian economy of an earlier era, this was in part because individuals migrated from rural communities into urban centers o The decline of the trade guilds and the expansion of the Capitalist enterprise  Trade guilds existed in various sectors of society to regulate the quality of a good and to restrict the participation in the manufacturing of some goods o Wide ranging economic and social effect helped the capitalist economy with the introduction of a system with exchanges; what occurred in medieval society was now replaced by an exchange of goods and services for cash The Rise of Individualism and Industrialization (pg 22) - Feudal society was community oriented, everyone needed each other - The individual relationships to society as a whole and to its collective unity became a concern of the sociologist; this led to the development of social theory and is called individualism. The term “individualism” grew out of European social thought during the enlightenment and the French Revolution; historically in Europe individuals were thought to participate in society and to participate in social life only as part of a larger group. Individuals were known and rooted in the social order o Nowadays you’re on your own, whereas in a different time is was communal and a matter of “who you were or knew” whereas it’s now “what you can do” - After the French Revolution, the legal rights assigned to individuals began to dissolve all groups as the estate and the guilds were abolished and assigned th as legal entitlements to individuals; later in the 19 century the term “egoism” and autonomy were used instead of individualism - Adam Smith brought the term individualism to the floor in 1840 in his book “The Wealth of Nations” when he wrote that by pursuing self interest, the individual promotes greater goods of society by contributing to its wealth. It was work such as Adam Smith that made individualism a highly regarded social goal - There major events led to the works of Marx, Durkheim and Weber o Karl Marx – “German ideology”, “Capital” o Emile Durkheim – “The division of labour” “ Suicide” o Max Weber – “The protestant ethic and spirit of capitalism” th October 11 , 2012 * The Last Gentleman pg 48 - Modern social theory formed as a discipline by understanding the study of the changes that were taking place in the structure and social institutions during the transition from Feudal to industrial society - Concept: You don’t know sociology until you know the concepts introduced by key sociologists such as Marx, Durkheim and Weber Why we need concepts - Sociology can be seen as a science - Sociology can be defined as an occupation, craft or calling; but as the discipline natured, there are those who claimed sociology is a science with no place for sloppy thinking - The theoretical thinking and the methodology for sociology has to be as rigorous as possible, therefore the science of sociology must be concerned with the general objectives as they apply to other scientific disciplines, and there are two major objectives of all sciences of which there is some general agreement: o A science exists to describe specific phenomena o A science exists to describe general principles by which to explain the world - Hans Zetterberg “On theory and verification in Sociology” o To ask for an explanation is to ask for a theory o Zetterberg sees science as a two-edged sword  A system of general explanation: we need sociologists to develop concepts  A system of general explanation: we use propositions - Sociology builds concepts as unit ideas related to the events, relationships and diversity of ideas found within a given social era. Sociology used imagination to make manageable units by which to
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