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York University
SOCI 3410
Hira Singh

Functionalism, Liberalism, Racism September-17-13 4:59 PM  There is a sense of ambiguity and inconsistency when it comes to talking about social inequality. The subordination of a person is not natural, but rather social-historical.  There is no natural inequality between man and woman or slave and slave-master.  Rousseau‟s problem was he did not justify any form of inequality. The problem is that Rousseau said that what is wrong with social inequality is that there is no just correspondence. He believed in inequality in a state of nature.  Gandhi supported the system of the Varna as natural and just. Gandhi‟s idea is inconsistent as the Varna system is not natural. It does not take into idea the position of women. Women were subordinate to men and only known by their fathers, brothers, sons, or husbands, etc… MEN.  Capitalism – Inequality  The idea of inequality and equality in the Western world is barely visible. The transition of feudalism to capitalism blurred the lines of inequality and equality. Capitalism draws on the idea of natural inequality.  The dominant ideology of capitalism is that there is no restrictions on mobility within class, rank, job sector, etc. In feudalism, there was a restriction. That is, if you were born into a peasant family, you would be a peasant for all your life. The ideology of capitalism was to challenge the idea of natural inequality. That does not mean that capitalism has no equality or no inequality. The idea of feudalism was that inequalities are natural. With the transition from feudalism to capitalism, the natural inequalities disappeared and became unnatural inequalities or equalities within capitalism.  Under capitalism, what are the various ways to justify the existing inequalities?  The whole idea of the English and French Revolutions were to end the rule of the Landlord class. The kings were considered gods.  Did the capitalism create equality? Some would say that the greatest inequalities in human history exists today within our capitalist world. The Idea of Inequality within Capitalism and how it exists today  There are 3 main perspectives on social equality and inequality under capitalism: LIBERALISM, FUNCTIONALISM, RACIST 1. Liberalism – Durkheim is an example. His main contribution to sociological theory is anomic division of labour. Division of labour has been presented as a very powerful justification of social inequality. No known human society is without division of labour.  The first contribution of Durkheim was the division of labour and equality and inequality under capitalism.  Durkheim‟s theory of division of labour – he divided society into two systems: organic and mechanical. He attributed mechanical to primitive societies who use each other. A main question was, “How do people integrate? How do people bond?” Important to these societies was some kind of social bond. Solidarity is the main concern. Modern capitalist society lacks integration. The difference between capitalist and pre-capitalist society is that there is two different forms of solidarity. Capitalism has a high form of solidarity. The solidarity or integration that existed in pre-capitalist societies is organic.  Organic and mechanical solidarity are a result of the division of labor. They represent two different forms of the division of labour. Organic and mechanical solidarity are two different forms of equality and inequality.  The most important distinction between mechanical and organic solidarity is the question of choice. In organic solidarity, individuals did not have a choice. They were societies based on ascription. In mechanical solidarity, individuals can achieve their position in society.  The division of labour was really elementary. There were more opportunities created by the advancement of capitalism. Capitalism got rid of the idea of anyone being born with natural qualifications or natural disqualifications.  The difference between mechanical and organic solidarity is that it‟s not light of integration because it offers individuals much more than pre-capitalist societies. Organic solidarity, you have a choice.  Do individuals in capitalism have a choice in the existing division of labour? In reality, no. The real division of labor under capitalism is not organic, says Durkheim. It is an anomic division of labour, which implies lack of moral regulations and is a deviation from the norm. The idea of capitalism is that every individual has a choice, but Durkheim says that not everyone has a choice.  MECHANICAL = NO CHOICE / ORGANIC = CHOICE  The starting point is not equal, but it should be. It is not equal because of inheritance. Some people inherit wealth, while others do not. Those who inherit wealth dictate the division of labour. That is anomic division of labour. If the division of labour is anomic, it is because of the inheritance of wealth.  Durkheim came up with a solution to the above. He said that prison is the old is dying (naturally dying) and the new is being born (naturally born). It is transition from old to new. With the old being dead, inheritance can be abolished and the state can take it to protect people‟s interests.  Private property in the means of production brought up the need for the “state”. When land became the private property of owners – in order to protect the rights of this class, the state emerged. The main function of the state is the protection of private property. The state is an agent of enforcing inequality by protecting a certain class of people who possess a certain type of private property. Durkheim said the state will abolish inheritance and when state abolished inheritance, everybody will have equal starting points. What is wrong with Durkheim‟s theory is the understanding of the state. Understanding of the state is one of the most controversial problems in the social sciences. The idea of abolishing inheritance is an idiocy because the main function of the state is to protect private property (including inheritance).  Pre-capitalist communities were isolated wholes and self-sufficient. They were small republics. People produce what they need for themselves. The kind of integration that existed in these communities is mechanical. If you look at this society as whole, you find a collection of self-sufficient societies. Agriculture was the dominant road of production.  Capitalist communities thrive on interdependence. What happens with capitalism is that isolation breaks down. Capitalism rises from inception. It aims towards globalization.  No individual or community is actually self-sufficient. We rely on the trades and commodities of others. For example, getting up in the morning and your daily routine – it involves relying on the work of others to complete it. For example, sugar on your cereal – you do not have a sugar plantation. This type of interdependence did not occur in pre- capitalist society. Kings and Queens ate what the lower class people produced, but the lower class people did not have much access beyond their own things.  Durkheim said that the previous mode of relations was mechanical and people did not have much choice. PRE-CAPITALIST SOCIETY = MECHANICAL = NO CHOICE. CAPITALIST SOCIETY = ORGANIC = CHOICE.  The ideology of capitalism is not equality.  Capitalism claims to be a system of equality. How are inequalities rationalized under capitalism? 3 main perspectives cont‟d: 1. Functionalism – Functionalist theory relies on structure and function. Society has a structure made of various parts of society. Society is alike to a human body. All these parts come together to make the society whole. Society = an organism. Every organ within this organism has a function. Everything that exists within society is necessary.  A problem with this: Is inequality universal? What is the function of social inequality? What is the function it performs by the individual? By the society?  The function of social inequality is that society has different needs. Society is made up of individuals who have particular talents. Society has particular needs. A particular talent is required to fulfil a particular need of society. The society must have a system of rewards, which are dictated according to the talent and value of the function that it produces. Some functions are more or less important than others so the rewards function is there to encourage the production of talents.  However, even with talents there still may be other factors standing in someone‟s way. For example: race, gender, orientation, age, etc.  For example, doctors earn more than nurses because they have studied longer and invest more time than nurses. Also, doctors occur in the healthcare system, saving lives.  In human life, there is nothing that is natural.  This whole system of reward and talent is socially created. They are external integrations.  Functionalist theory is weak. 2. Racism – Racist theory of social inequality was talked about by Huxley (in reading).  Huxley‟s first assumption was opposite of what Rousseau and Locke said. Equality is sanctioned neither by signs, nature, or philosophy. He says that equality is unnatural and inequality is natural. Rousseau and Locke say inequality is unjust and unnatural, while Huxley says equality is natural and unjust.  Inequality of property rights is a natural inequality. Those with greater natural ability and intelligence acquired private property.  The idea here is that the starting point of humanity was like a private property and those with greater natural ability and intelligence had the most rights to these private properties.  Social inequalities justly correspond to natural inequalities, according to Huxley.  Same thing goes for Galton.  Social inequality depends on your hereditary genius. Hereditary genius was deemed natural and divine.  There applies Darwin‟s theory of evolution. Social Darwinism held the idea of racial superiority. It was the right of the superior race to dominate the inferior race.  Important question: If social inequalities are not natural, why are social inequalities presented as natural? If they are social and historical, why are they presented as natural? Who presents them as natural and why? Those who benefit from social inequalities (eg the upper class) will justify it as natural. Dominant ideology = subjective. Ideology is neither true nor false. It is half truth and half masks the real truth. It is not only truth. Ideology masks half of the truth. The goal of ideology is to uncover and remove that mask. To present social inequality as natural is ideology. It is a half truth. Symbolic and Material Boundaries September-24-13 5:02 PM  Symbolic and material boundaries are inequalities.  Marcel Mauss – was a French social scientist and sociologist who said that the domain of social life is essentially a domain of difference. Social life is about difference. Therefore, human society is not homogeneous. Instead, it is made of social groups which are separated by their beliefs, practices, and institutions. Some examples: The Israelis do not eat lamb cooked in the milk of its mother. Not only that but they detest those who do anything like that.Another example , there is a group of people, the Touareg, who consume only the milk of the female camel. They find the cow milk repulsive. There idea is that cow milk is for the cow baby. They will eat the baby, but not drink the cow milk. Other people find this repulsive, while these people find cow milk repulsive. Another example , Brahmins will detest cow meat but love cow milk. They will kill themselves instead of killing a cow. In Hindu world, cow milk is essentially sacred. They do not eat beef. On the other hand, beef- eating is common in many parts of the world. During colonization, there was the belief that the British were a superior race in theory due to the quality of their beef. In theory, eating beef made your race superior, made you stronger, smarter, etc. Yet, Hindus believed eating beef would send you straight to hell.  The subjective truth - the people who believe in these ideas are more important than the objective truth.  Another example , circumcision may be a sign of purity for some while for others, it may be seen as an act of violence.  The point here that is being made: these practices are material practices, but their main function is symbolic. These symbolic implications create boundaries across cultures. The question of boundaries is important because social inequalities are about boundaries and the boundaries are drawn to include or exclude people.  Two very important criteria to understanding boundaries: 1) what is the meaning of boundaries? What are symbolic boundaries? Material boundaries? 2) what is the connection between material and symbolic boundaries?  Symbolic is an object representative of something else. Symbol is a signifier (Sign/symbol). However, there is a difference between a sign and a symbol. Symbols are defined as signifying something with no connection to its material.  Difference between signs and symbols – with a sign, there is some kind of intrinsic cause- effect relationship. For example, smoke = fire. The problem with symbol is that there is no such connection. For example, a flag is made of cloth which can be used to make other material. A symbol may be a material object, but what it is symbolizing cannot be inferred. Ie, the material of the object has no connection to its meaning. For example, the cross is Christianity is a symbol as the material and the symbol are not intrinsically connected. It carries a meaning and that meaning is not affected by the object.  Culture/Society gives meaning to symbols. The correlation of those meanings can have social implications or consequences.  What is the social function of symbolic boundaries? They create distinction. Those who do not believe in those ideas do not share in the practices associated. It is the difference between the us and the other. So they create distinctions. Symbols are an expression of the group‟s desire to separate itself from others. In other words, symbols create boundaries. Those who are not included are considered different and ultimately put in an unequal stance. These boundaries must have some sort of justification. Two questions: How do we create boundaries? & What are the social consequences of creating boundaries?  There are 3 factors important to answering this question: How do we create boundaries? cognitive, communicative, and political-economic. Behind each perspective, there is some kind of theoretical understanding.  Cognitive – how are symbols thought of? What is the reason behind not eating beef for Hindus for example? Symbols must have some cognitive base.  Communicative – how are symbols communicated? Symbols must be communicated.  Politic-Economic – Symbols are always enforced by political-economic sanctions.  These three are connected. They answer how symbolic boundaries are created and enforced.  Symbolic boundaries have a very important social function which is inclusive and exclusive.  Durkheim’s theory of religion – main concern was with how society achieves integration. What creates the human bond? Religion is the bond. Durkheim‟s problem was how to understand religion in sociology.  Durkheim divided the social human worth into two domains: Sacred and Profane Sacred is not something that involves material value and cannot be understood in terms of scientific worth. It is something symbolic. It is not day-to-day activities. Sacred is symbolic. With sacred, there is a sense of fear and respect. It is more important for society than material things. Profane is not symbolic. It refers to day-to-day activities.  Ideas are related to practices. Every idea involves a set of beliefs/rituals and practices. Durkheim said that those who believe in these things create a church, meaning a community of common beliefs and rituals related to the sacred. The idea of sacred come from society and culture. We are reminded of something bigger than us, something that exists outside our minds that we internalize.  Symbolic is the basis of human bond. It is the basis of integration. The basis of integration is actually a symbol that‟s sacred to society. Social bonds are sacred.  Human beings have a tendency to draw boundaries and create labels.  Symbols/boundaries become evidence of a system of domination/control. All symbolic boundaries are the basis for control. It creates an Us-Other division. Us is part of the dominating group, while Other is dominated.  Symbolic boundaries are about , which is not true or false but a presentation of the Ideology half-truth. Symbolic boundaries are arbitrary in that it has no object connection. It is not arbitrary in that it carries a systemic function or social sanction. In that sense, it is true across all people of societies. Symbolic boundaries create limits of inclusion and exclusion. They are marvels of distinction.  Bourdieu – Social life is based on the logic of distinction, that people distinguish themselves from others. The logic of distinction brings people together and segregates them from one another. In a differentiated society, individuals of different social classes cannot escape this. Boundaries that we create are symbolic and political because boundaries determine advantages and disadvantages.  Symbolic boundaries are arbitrary but real. Example: In India, the sacred thread (Janeoo). Lower class cannot make this sacred thread. Only upper class.  What is the relation between material boundaries and symbolic boundaries? Symbolic boundaries are reflections of material boundaries.  Symbolic boundaries are not consensual. They are essentially coercive. There is no consensus. Every form of social inequality is created and enforced. People are coerced into these symbolic boundaries. Social boundaries are not always consensual (controversial point).  Material boundaries are inequalities. Social inequalities are always presented by the dominant group as natural. No form of inequality is an accident because every form of inequality has been challenged.  Human beings have culture/symbols/language/interaction, thus making them different from animals.  In order to survive, we have to rely on others for our resources. Thus, we group together and create divisions of labour. Nature in its natural form is unnatural to human needs. We modify nature to fit our needs. Everything is born in the process of production. We do not produce biologically.  Is the basis of inequality material or symbolic or both? Included in material boundaries are natural resources, labor, etc Labor is not symbolic as symbolic refers to meaning, not objects.  Sacred thread symbolized control of the caste (Brahman…)  Symbolic boundaries are reflections of material boundaries? Symbols are associated with particular classes. High Culture and Low Culture  In modern, democratic societies, the gap between high culture and low culture is disappearing.  Examples of low culture becoming high culture: certain street drugs, baggy jeans, etc. It is fluid.  Is the gap between high and low culture disappearing? The media blurs the gap between high and low culture. In American and European culture, there is no gap. Illusions survive because they can pass for ideology. Capitalism allows the gap between high and low culture to disappear.  Ideology is a half truth.  Boundaries within high culture and low cultures are disappearing or they are only appearing to be disappearing?  Are social inequalities eternal? They are universal and historical in a sense that they constantly appear throughout human history. Egalitarian Societies October-01-13 5:04 PM  Inequalities are not universal/eternal. Inequalities are developed under specific historical conditions and they can disappear if those conditions are eliminated. This view of social inequality is historical.  The idea that social inequality is universal is more or less a common theme in sociology.  Dahrendorf (1969) said that questions concerning social inequality are among men. The questions concerning social inequality among men were historically the very first questions about social inequality by sociologists.  The main cause of social inequality is found in property. There is something missing from this. The notion of property is that property exists in every form of society – EARLY --- LATE. The idea of property exists in every form of society, but inequality does not exist in every form of society.  Rousseau – Private Property is the basis of inequality. In the state of nature, there is no inequality. Inequality is founded in the establishment of property and legitimization (laws/rules/regulations) of such.  Abolition of property [private property in the means of production] did not lead to equality. Private property is not central to social inequality.  1917-1991 – Berlin Wall marks the end of socialism in the Soviet Union. (not important)  According to Dahrendorf: 1. Inequality is universal 2. Inequality is necessary because every society must have norms and the existence of norms create inequality. Norms require authority. There is no society that can function without authority, which means unequal distribution of power. (Absurd logic). Authority creates some sort of inequality. Inequality is a very basic requirement of any kind of society because most societies cannot exist without norms.  Inequality is a natural condition of every kind of social order.  Argument according to Dahrendorf – society is a bundle of relationships with positions of power. Therefore, it must be unequal. If this is true, then a major part of human history did not have society. The problem is that there are no human beings outside society. In other words, human beings living in traditional society are not human beings at all.  In terms of material conditions, there are two types of society: (1) immediate return in which there are no inequalities & (2) delayed return in which there is inequality.  In immediate return system, there is immediate access to food and other resources (not including fast food). This means that everyone has guaranteed access to food and other resources. Access rights are not formally allocated. They are taken for granted. Access to material resources/intellectual resources is linked to personal/individual autonomy. No guaranteed subsistence (one important characteristic of capitalism). No matter where you are, there is a very small minority which controls the resources.  Restriction on accumulation occurs within delayed return system. This is the capitalist mode of production. There is the obligation to share. *Property rights exist in these societies, but they do not create dependency/inequality because these societies are characterized by disengaged property(?). Property, without giving up individual autonomy/equality – everyone has equal share in property.  As a resulted of delayed return societies , people are known for what they own. There is a difference in ownership. There is an inequality of ownership. In other words, property is used to create distinction. Those symbolic boundaries are a creation of private property. In modern capitalist society, people are known for what they own. Private property is the root cause of inequality as that is an example of using property to create distinction. Private property is the reference point for individuals.  In terms of non-material conditions, there are two types of society:  Material and non-material are intrinsically connected. This equality in material conditions must be reflected in equality or inequality of non-material conditions. These societies are not without norms and values, but the norms and values existing in these societies are in fact different. It is a positive ideology of equal access. In theory, everyone has equal access but in reality, everyone has unequal access.  Immediate return societies are equal in wealth, power, and status. These 3 are interrelated.  Equality is actively promoted. Inequality is discouraged. Those who go against the norms of equality are socially ostracized. Inequality is delegitimized.  Some people think property is the basis of inequality. Social systems did not abolish inequality. In other words, property is not the basis of social inequality. Inequality have worsened throughout human societies because it is a necessary component of society. Norms are created by authority and authority creates inequality.  2 types of society: immediate return and delayed return.  What is important here is the bases of social inequality. Private Property (PP) [in the means of production] as a basis of inequality was recognized a long time ago.  In order to show the goal of private property in the means of production, we must understand societies of immediate and delayed return.  Societies of immediate return are characterized by absence of private property. Every individual has equal access to resources. Nobody has more or less than another.  James Woodburn – Right to property + Ideology. Inequality requires unequal access to property and a culture of ideology that propose and relegates unequal access. In egalitarian societies, there is equal access to property. The ideology or culture legitimizes that; it encourages equality, discourages inequality.  Egalitarian societies are equal in wealth, power, and status. Equality is actively promoted and inequality is actively resisted. Inequality is unacceptable and dangerous. Hence, those who go against the norm of equality are discarded, rejected, or ostracised. So the idea that norms create inequality – Dahrendorf – has no basis in history. It is not proven true by history or society.  3 Main mechanisms to create equality : direct, open, uncontrolled access to material and nonmaterial resources. Class and Modes of Production October-08-13 5:05 PM Social Inequality Lecture – Marxism, Class and Modes of Production  Class is central to all social life. An understanding of class is one of the most important things of this course. The concept of class. A lack of understanding of class is at the core of sociology.  Do all societies have class? NO. Why don‟t they have class? Those who do not have class have no means of production nor privatized property.  We will look at class from a Marxist point of view and from a Weber point of view.  Most sociologists use Weber‟s definition of class  DEFINING CLASS (MARXIST VIEW) – The basic concepts of political economy are the basic tools for defining class.  Sociology has no definition of class. The definition of class is inadequate because sociology does not have the basic concepts to define class. Class can only be defined in terms of the basic concepts which are used only in political economy.  How do classes come into existence? What is that process? Class is historical and social. It develops in the process of production. Society itself develops in the process of production. If some societies do not/did not have class and other do/did – what has to happen in the process of production to give rise to class?  In societies where means of production or communally owned, class arises. Communal production of the means of production means NO CLASS . This is the starting point.  Classes do not exist in all kinds of society. In egalitarian societies, there are no classes because the means of production are communally owned, controlled, and used. It is used in the interest of the society as a group, not the individual or a private group.  Society itself develops in the process of production. It is that starting point of development of the private property in the means of production.  CLASS A RELATIONAL CONCEPT: Class is a relational concept in the sense that a class does not exist in isolation by itself. A class exists in relation to other class(es). There must be two or more classes. There cannot be one single class.  Capitalist society is a class society that exists in inequality. In contrast to feudalism, there is room for upward/downward mobility. That is, everyone can become a capitalist but not everyone can be a capitalist because there is a need for a working class in order for the capitalist class to exist.  The idea of class as a relation means the need for the working class to maintain the capitalist class. In that sense, class is a relational concept.  The key concept/starting point of political economy - 1) The mode of production – In order to see the process of production, you see the mode of production. The first mode of production had no class (PMP – Pre- Mode of Production). Then the class doubles up, which is the AMP (Agricultural Mode of Production). This leads to the Feudal Mode of Production (FMP) and then the Capitalist Mode of Production (CMP). PMP, AMP, FMP, CMP  How to identify classes in a mode of production – In order to find classes in the mode of production, we look for Relations Production (Classes are identified in terms of relation of production. It is a social relation of productionClass : Social relation of production (simple Marxist definition).  According to Marx, everyone is a Laborer/Owner. But the division - Owner/Not-Laborer and Laborer/Not Owner - gives rise to class relations. This is the fundamental basis of class. From that point of view, everyone has the right to the means of production and to what is produced in a non-class society. In those non-class societies, rights are balanced in such a way that everybody has to labor. In class societies, not everybody is obliged to labor.  AMP – The first example of a class society occurred in AMP with the class relation of slave-master. In this society, the slaves had no right to own anything. A slave experienced total deprivation. He did not even have right to his own labor. It was a relationship to the means of production in which slaves had no right to. They were totally dispossessed of their own labor. Before slavery, it was an egalitarian society which had different states. In egalitarian societies, every human being was treated as an individual. There was equality in those structures. But the introduction of slavery was considered the starting point of civilization. Those who labored and produced for everyone were considered uncivilized, lesser human beings who were compared to animals. The only difference between these slaves and animals was that slaves were considered “speaking” modes of production. Thus, in having no rights to their labor, slaves lost their humanity. The logic of social relations - Your humanity relies on your right in the means of production. An ancient mode of production was between slave and master. nd  FMP - When slavery ended, the 2 mode of production was the feudal mode of production which was divided between serfs/peasants and landlord. The king was divine and owned every piece of land. He was the biggest landowner. Their relationship to the means of production – peasants had access to their own mode of production. The serf had the right to possess a piece of land and a house/cottage, which was landlord‟s property, in return for labor/performing obligations. Serf also possessed family (unlike the slave who was stripped of such). In feudalism, the serf has right to his labor so long as he is working on his own piece of land, but when working on the land that is landlords land, he has to work for free. Landlord gives serf land in return for free labor. Landlord never touched the plow as he would be considered inferior (tied to symbolic and material boundaries).  CMP – Next was CMP. The classes were divided between the proletariat (worker) and bourgeoisie (owner). In order to remain an owner, the capitalist must have the working class. The worker in capitalism is free in the sense that the capitalist has no legal authority or political power to force the worker to work. Worker under capitalism is worse than slave in some sense – the slave was insured of his work because if he did not receive his work, he would die. But under capitalism, there is no need to keep this. The only way you receive this is if working under capitalist system. The capitalist system has no obligation to employ your labor. Workers are insured of their relationship to the means of production.  Thus, 2 types of class society before capitalism : slave societies and feudal societies.  Classes are made in terms of relationship to means of production.  Is class an economic concept? Class is both economic and political. Political class refers to the power structure/state – power that is institutionalized. The source of political power are those who own the means of production (the monopoly of the ownership of the means of production). The relationship is not accidental. It is intrinsic. What is meant by the power structure that is the state is the monopoly of legitimate power (i.e. law, courts, prison, army, etc.). It is a coercive apparatus. The class that owns the means of production also owns and controls the means of power. Thus, economic class cannot be controlled without political class, which is the power structure.  Cultural/Ideological = Legitimation of the class that owns and the class that labors. There relations must be justified and rationalized. That relation is maintained by the dominant ideology. In egalitarian society, the dominant ideology is that there are no inequality in terms of control and the means of production. In class society, the dominant ideology justifies inequality. The main purpose of the state is to protect that.  DEFINITION - Class is essentially a social relation between the owners of the means of production and the labourers. It is a social relation between two classes. It is a social relation that has an economic, political, ideological/cultural component. All of these components are not separated, but rather interrelated in class. In that sense, class is not purely economic.  Sociological aspects of class – 1. Class is RELATIONAL. 2. Class relations are inevitably and necessarily exploited. (EXPLOITATION). 3. CLASS INTERESTS ARE CONTRADICTORY. 4. CLASS STRUGGLE. Max Weber October-17-13 5:07 PM Social Inequality: WEBER  Contradictions of class interests [do not] inevitably lead to class struggle. Pseudo-scientific.  Class is infallible about its [class] interests.  Serf and slave societies were not class societies, but status societies.  Max Weber does not use the term social inequality. Rather, he refers to social stratification. Stratification varies. The layers of social stratification do not have a clear relationship.  Strata vs Class structure  Class relations refers to the relationship within the means of production. The relationship is determined by their relationship with each other. Class relations mean that one class cannot exist without another class.  The term stratification does not have a sense of exploitation (class contradiction) or inequality. These elements are missing from stratification.  Different strata exists side by side without necessarily coming into conflict.  Max Weber disagreement with Marx idea of class.  Class is a pure aggregation, according to Marx.  There is not only one kind of power – economic, cultural, social powers  Max Weber introduced the idea of the status group ] in order to distinguish from class (which is based on economic power). For example, slave-master, serf-landlord. According to Marx, status is social honor which is not based on economic power.  The idea of power is a relational concept. Those who have power may dictate economic conditions and relations to those who may not have economic power. The problem is with two economically unequal groups meeting and imposing their power.  STATUS = SOCIAL HONOR  Property is not always recognized as a status qualification, but in the long run, it is. This means that those who have property become a status group. Both propertied and propertyless may belong to the same status group. This equality of status may become precarious in the long run.  Status Honor is associated with a style of life that is expected of those who wish to belong to the status group. There are restrictions on social intercourse, which is not determined by economic functions or interests. Social intercourse may include belonging to a club, marriage, etc.  Restriction on social intercourse means restricting the symbolic boundaries – endogamy. Strictly within the group – characteristic of a real status group. The status honor is a matter of usurpation, meaning the members of the status group set themselves apart by drawing various boundaries. The status groups reserves its honor by drawing these various kinds of boundaries.  Caste and Ethnic groups – Ethnic groups are based on ethnic segregation and caste. A fully developed status group is a closed caste, which means that the status distinctions are expressed.  According to Weber, caste distinctions are not only secular but ritual [religiously sanctioned]. Any contact with lower caste is ritually polluting. In caste societies, any kind of physical contact between lower caste and upper caste society was polluted. Upper caste loses status as a result.  Castes are ethnic communities. Ethnic – Blood relation… Blood relation is important because they restrict marriage outside the blood group. Restriction on marriage = restriction on social intercourse – based on belief of blood relations.  Ethnic distinctions – vertically stratified – each caste is given a profession in which members of another caste may not have access to. Caste distinctions become professional distinctions. These professional distinctions are closed – with no upward mobility whatsoever. Ethnic distinctions become functional divisions by being vertically stratified.  Status Privileges – stratification of status goes hand in hand with the monopolization of ideal and material opportunities. How is this different from control of the means of production? Certain groups become the object of monopolization by status groups of entailed estates. „Entailed Estates‟ – property of landlords in feudal times; possession of serfs. The basis of holding serfs?  Monopolization can be positive or negative. Lord-Serf, Positive-Negative  Privileged Status Groups – Manual labor is a disqualification from these groups. Privileged Status Groups live off others manual labor.  Old America – Esteem for Labor? Weber says that the disqualification of manual labor as privileged status group is setting America against the esteem for labor.  Weber important contribution to sociology – Very frequently rational economic action – enterprise. Any kind of enterprise is a disqualification for status. Bourgeosie is then a negative status group.  Market is restricted – you cannot „buy‟ the privileges of status groups.  Higgling (Bargaining) is Anti-status behavior. Production – class. Consumption – status.  Status is dominant - When the basis of acquisition and distribution of groups is relatively stable, status predominates. Peasants and Landlords October-24-13 5:08 PM  The landlords own the means of production. The peasants and landlords are related based off land relations. Land relations are economic, political, and cultural.  Not possible to discuss a class situation in relation to one class. One class requires the presence of another class to exist. No single class society.  Capitalists cannot exist without the working class.  Peasants had rights to possess land. They were creatures of land. This means they could cultivate it and use the produce from that land for their livelihood.  Two kinds of possession rights: permanent/hereditary vs temporary. Permanent was not really permanent – moreso they were not denied this land. They could be given from crop to crop or on a contract of a selected number of years.  Rights of Possession means that so long as they meet their terms and conditions, they could possess land.  The terms and conditions under which peasants were allowed to possess lands (3 MAIN OBLIGATIONS): 1. RENT: Obligation to pay rent (feudal). Rent paid to the landlord. Rent came in the form of labour rent, rent in kind, or rent in cash. In kind means that it was presented through produce such as wheat, chicken, cotton, etc. The landlord had the right to extract rent from the peasant because the landlord owned the land that the peasant possessed. Relationship: Landlord was owner of the land, peasant relied on landlord for land. ECONOMIC side of this relationship. 2. CESS: Cess can be understood as a part of tribute. Tribute was more or less arbitrary in character. For example, if peasant‟s or landlord‟s daughter/son was getting married, peasants had to pay tribute. The peasant could not move, marry, or die without paying to the landlord. Landlords had tremendous arbitrary power which they could impose on peasants. Peasants had to pay a number of tributes per year. 3. FORCED LABOR: Peasants had to provide labor that was forced in a sense that they had no right to refuse such labor. They had to perform labour for landlord‟s household needs, religious holidays and festivals, assistance hunting for landlord.  The landlords had the right toextra-economic coercion for the extraction of rent, tribute (cess), and forced labour. This included the right to beat them, put them in jail, torture them, etc. They would use instruments of medieval torture against peasants and their dependents in case they did not fulfill any of their obligations. KATHI – an instrument which peasant‟s legs are stretched out so that they could not move or sit. They had to stand there in the sun for a few hours. Sun = hot in India over 2 hours.  Landlords had superior economic, juridical power, and political power. Every landlord was practically a ruler within his territory. Every landlord was also the judge – had judicial powers. The peasant was dependent on the landlord.  The rule of landholding in pre-capitalist times was that organic unity of economy and polity – economic power and landlord‟s economic power married with it the right to rule.  Inequality between landlord (superior) and peasant (inferior) was economic, political, legal, and juridical.  Culturally, the landlord‟s worth the most honor in terms of social honor. Highest social honor in their territory. In terms of status, peasant was lower than the landlord. PEASANT = SERVILE STATUS  In order to understand the servile status of the peasant – TERMS OF ADDRESS FOR THE LANDLORD USED BY PEASANTS: 4. MAI-BAP – MOTHER/FATHER 5. MALIK MAS–ER 6. ANN DATTA – GRANDFATHER  These terms of address were significant of the servile status of peasants. Peasants used these for terms of address for landlord‟s wife and children as well. The landlord‟s wife and children had to refer to the landlord the same way as peasants.  Common between peasant, landlord wives, and landlord‟s son(s): they are all dependent on the landlord who had exclusive control of land. = dependents.  CHAUMASI – “4 months” – if a landlord died, for a particular period which could extend up to 4 months, the peasants, particularly peasant women, had to wear the garb of widows. The idea was that if the landlord died, the whole territory of peasants had become widowed in the sense of losing their master. They also had to fast.  Economic power of the landlord was supported by the political, juridical, and cultural power. Landlord has highest social honor.  Social Division of Labour –  Landlords had a function. They were warriors/knights. The main division of labor in these societies was the sword and the plough. The hand the holds the sword will never hold the plough. Otherwise, they will lose their status. The hand that holds the plough will never be allowed to hold the sword. Landlords obligated to military service by the ruler in order to keep their land. PLOUGH = lower honour; SWORD = higher honour.  Distribution of social honour, according to Weber, is that the status group never engages in manual labour in their lives.  Class or status group? The starting point of the distinction between the two groups is that one group is based on the distribution of economic power (class) and another group is based on the distribution of social honor (status). Economic power and social honor are two separate points. One constitutes the class group (Marx – economic power), one constitutes the status group (Weber – social honor).  The relationship between landlords and peasants was exploited in the sense that landlords were exploiting the peasants – they were not getting return from the labor. Landlords were taking a big part of the produce without paying them. This is a relationship between class groups as they are being exploited. The interests of peasants and landlords were contradictory. There was a class struggle (Marx). To maintain contradictory and exploited relations, a monopoly of coercive power was used (Weber).  The idea of status group is that it is something distinct from class. Class appears in the market situation and does not operate outside of this. Status group is based on a system of social honour. Caste System November-05-13 5:09 PM Social Inequality: CASTE  The basis of class formation is the social relations of production and its relationship with the political structure and ideology.  The distinction between status and class by Max Weber – Question discussed whether landlords and peasants could be called a class or a status. Answer: Both.  Is the basis of abstaining from manual labour the basis of social honour or the basis of social structure?  These groups control and monopolize all the resources, which is a status phenomenon. The other group is dependent on the group for its livelihood, which is a class phenomenon.  The whole legal system is controlled by those who control land which is the main source for resources. Political and economic power of the landlord is the greatest power.  Between landlords and peasants, there were material boundaries. Landlords = monopolization of land, Peasants = possession of land. What separated them was their differential access to the means of production. This was also expressed in the symbolic thread.  India was under the control of Indian chiefs, Princes, and Rulers.  Symbolically, the life of the landlord and the peasant were separate.  In India, no peasant was ever allowed to ride or own an elephant. Nor were they allowed to own a brick house. (SYMBOLIC BOUNDARIES).  Questions of class and status very relevant to landlords and peasants. CASTE SYSTEM  Caste is an unusual institution – Caste has been enigmatized by mainstream sociologists and anthropologists.  Caste sociology is very Weberian. Caste excludes class – so goes the argument.  Caste = Unique. Indian Society = Caste Society. Indian Society = Unique. No other society has caste.  Instead of seeing caste as product of human society in history, Indian society is tied down to caste.  This Indian exceptionalism is very much part of caste sociology.  Varna vs Caste – Varna was a division of labour in the earlier states of Indian society and history (2500-1500BC). Those people who were dominant in India, they descended from this group of Aryans, who are from Central Asia. Two Varnas: (1)Aryans (came from outside). (2)Indigineous population that was there). Aryans came and conquered this population and became the dominant ones in India. Dasas – Slaves/servants.  Three Varnas then came from this: ARYANS & NON-ARYANS - (1) Priest/Brahman, (2)Warrior/Kshatriya, and (3)Those who engaged in economic activities/Vaishyas (including pastoralism and horticulturalism).  Then pre-societies passed from pastoralism to agriculture. Then came a 3-fold division turned into 4-fold division: Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishyas, & Shudras (those who engaged in labor such as agricultural service and possessed nothing).  This is the origin and the evolution of the varna system.  The relationship between varna and caste is that at some point the division of labour became more complex. Occupational and professional groups came into existence and division of labour expanded. Thus, the difference between them is that varna can be used in two senses: Varna means color & Varna means choice. Varna means the difference between people on the basis of color and choice. Indigenous people living in Indian were darker than the Aryans who were of fair/lighter complexion. The three-fold Varna division implied that it was based on choice.  Our term for caste is JATI, meaning “by birth”. The cen
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