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Lecture 2

Sociology of Education: Lecture 2 Notes

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SOCI 3630
Alireza Asgharzadeh

September 19th, 2012 Sociology of Education Lecture 2 Conflict Theory, Theory of Knowledge and the Role of Education: Marx and Marxism Conflict Theory: - The idea that life is characterized by conflict rather than consensus - conflict: class, race, gender, sexual identity - Emerges in the 1960’s as an alternative to functionalism - Schools function in the interest of dominant groups - perspective of conflict theory - Power relations between dominant and subordinate groups structure society (Weber) - Includes: - Marx, Marxism - New Marxists - Pierre Bourdieu: cultural capital - Weber - Neo-Weberians -> Randall Collins: status group struggle, the rise of credentials Karl Marx (1818-1883) - A socio-historical context - known as founding figure of modern sociology; issues on poverty, capitalism, bourgeoisie vs. proletarian - His influence on sociology - Different variations of Marxism - structural - feminism - humanism - scientific - post-modern - Marxism: A member of Critical Theory - critical theory is not after chasing the social order, but changing the social order - not happy with existing order, or just explaining it; they are out there to change society in a positive way Influence of Frederick Engels (1820-1895) - Worked along with Marx - Scientific socialism - The start of a drift toward positivism and scientism - heavier emphasis on science - His famous book: the origin of the family, private property, and the state - males in society gained upper hand - how patriarchy developed Epicurus (341-270 B.C.E) - The first to see human freedom as coming from a fundamental indeterminism in the motion of atoms -> scientific approach to life in classical times as opposed to spiritual approach - A key figure in the development of science and the scientific method: nothing should be believed except that which is tested through direct observation and logical deduction - Laying the intellectual foundations for modern science and for secular individualism - All good and bad derive from the sensations of pleasure and pain - “Death is nothing to us,” When we exist death is not and when death exists we are not. All sensation and consciousness ends with death and therefore in death there is neither pleasure nor pain. - Karl Marx doctoral thesis: “The difference between the democritean and epicurean philosophy of nature” Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) - Hegelian Dialectics: - The form of historical movement is the result of conflicting opposites a. Thesis b. Antithesis c. Synthesis Example: being -> nothing -> becoming Idea -> Nature -> Spirit (the absolute) - When idea and nature are in conflict, the result is spirit - A conflict of opposites is a struggle between actual and potential worlds Some Key Concepts - False Consciousness: not aware of own class interest; do not believe in your class based interest - Class Consciousness: awareness of your class position in society (working class, middle class, upper-middle class, etcetera) - dominant classes are always aware of their class position; it is only the working class that lacks that awareness - Revolutionary Consciousness: once you gain real sense of awareness about your class society, you will try to change things because you’re aware of your exploitation in the system. once this happens you are part of revolutionary consciousness - Exchange Value: commodity value - Use Value: value of the labour force - The Bourgeoise: stands for dominant class (upper/upper-middle class) - The Proletariat: the working class who owns nothing but their labour - Petty Bourgeoise: small business owners - Commodification: process where everything (human thought/knowledge) becomes commodity by capitalists - Reification: turning everything into an object - Social Relations of Production: production of good services and relations among workers/ managers/employers/land owners/etcetera -- how commodity is transferred to market place - Material Circumstances: commodity is produced not in terms of thinking but in concrete practice (i.e. existence of land, factories, natural resources) - Means of Production: ways of producing goods in society - through what/which means (i.e. does worker work in factory/agricultural activity/mental labour/produced through education system - what kind of tools/technology is used?) - Mode of Production: overall method of producing goods and service in a society - Mean of Production: smaller ways of producing (i.e. how desk is produced) - Mode of Production: entire method of production, globally; built under capitalism Marx’s Theory of Knowledge “It is men, who is in developing their material intercourse, change, along with this their real existenc
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