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SOCI 1001D Notes for Final Exam

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Carleton University
SOCI 1001

SOCI 1001D – Lecture 1 Introduction: Anatomy of a Riot Outline - 2011: year of discontent o Stanley Cup Riots, Vancouver, 15 June 2011 - Anatomy: o Hockey and subculture – violence/violent masculinity o Individual responsibility o The Black Bloc and anarchist subculture 2011 – The Year of Discontent - Arab Spring o Series of violent clashes between police and demonstrators  Over skyrocketing food prices and deteriorating economy  Suicide of Mohammed Bouazizi on Dec. 17, 2010 • He was a symbol/martyr for government discontent • Ignites protests in Tunisia  Brutal police crackdown fuels further protests  Jan. 14, President Ben Ali flees Tunisia for Saudi Arabia  “Jasmine Revolution” in Tunisia sent shockwaves across North Africa and the Middle East • Copy cat suicide of Bouazizi • Post shockwaves in Syria, border of Israel - #Occupy o ‘Adbusters’ (Canadian) asked readers to occupy Wall Street with swarm of people o Lack of recovery o Corporate receiving financial aid o “The people” are not receiving and are suffering o Across the US protests in large scales resulted  Oakland  Detroit  New York o UK – 2011  Protests escalated into riots after an unarmed man was killed  Encumbered London, Birmingham, Liverpool o Toronto – June 2010 - Stanley Cup Riots o Finals of Boston Bruins and Canucks o Festive, violent street parties o Young, male, blue/green/white - WHY? o Variable cause and effect  Opportunity  Group mentality • Loss of identity  A part of hockey subculture and violent masculinity • Allows and harbours this kind of behaviour • “Frontier justice” • Sanctions fighting • Within the subculture of hockey “being a man” is defined by the willingness and ability to commit acts of violence • Violence becomes central to the identity of the young men who participate in this subculture o Sports based subcultures produce violent notions of what it is to be a man o Alcohol + historic defeat = the potential o Robinson uses the word “violence” too broadly  Violence of man vs. man?  Man + man vs. object - INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY o Way of any explanation that attributed the rioters’ actions to anything beyond criminality of the individuals responsibility o Deeply suspicious of any explanation that suggests social, economic, or cultural factors - ANARCHIST SUBCULTURES o Blamed the G-20 Riots (Toronto) on organization of things, pro rioters, anarchist (Black Bloc)  Black Bloc becomes a scapegoat  Take advantage of the largely peaceful protests as cover for violent tactics SOCI 1001D – Lecture 2 Anomie and Alienation Anomie - Dr. Conway says: o Mainstream news media coverage failed to acknowledge the simple and inconvenient truth  Youth - Why did young people take to the streets? o Success of “We Are Canucks” and spectacles like Stanley Cup Playoffs are fuelled by our desperate need for solidarity  Especially among young people - Anomie: We are isolated from one another in our everyday lives and we crave genuine experiences of connectedness o Because of isolation we are attracted to “false communities”  i.e. subcultures  e.g. “Sens Army” - Popularity and youth of team’s subculture during the Stanley Cup might suggest that feelings of anomie are prevalent o Especially among young adults - People feel disconnected, alone - May provide people with emotional support - Anomie is not necessarily the result of poverty, exclusivity, on the outside - Anomie is produced by social isolation, disconnectedness from one’s community, lack of shared social norms/values - Manifested in despair, feelings of hopelessness and also rage - Isolation > Anomie > Hopelessness/Despair > Rage - Expectations and Reality o Created by a chasm between hopes, dreams, and expectations and the social and economic reality social groups encounter  E.g. youth (18-25) unemployment rate (14%) twice the national avg (7%) o Official unemployment figures underestimate “real” or “true” unemployment by at least half, according to public policy experts - Pop Culture Promises o Most young people have never been more optimistic about their prospects o Media saturates young people’s lives with images of fabulously entrepreneurs, actors, pro athletes, realty TV stars, socialites etc…  Settle into more realistic dream of study hard, volunteer, beef up resume - “Eating our Young” o Newly graduates are met with uncertainty, underemployment, unpaid internships, unemployment, student debt o Since the Industrial Revolution, it will be the first time that the youth will be met with worse off conditions than their parents o Big cities – soaring real estate prices! o A great disconnect between the promises society makes to its young people and the social and economic realty those young people encounter o Disconnect causes anomie Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) o Was a true sociologist o Organized the discipline o Gave theoretical basis o Shaped the sociological perspective o Suicide o Background info:  Serious and intimidating presence  Cold and logical arguments  Extremely influential in French Academy  Lectured on principles of education  Strove to install soci as a key discipline in the edu system of the French Republic - Organic analogy: societies are analogous to organisms - Each institution must perform a vital function for the whole society, as each organ performs a vital role in the life of a human organism - Conservative Assumptions? o Society is relatively uniform with a strong consensus on core values and norms o Arguing that institutions are “functional” so that they “work” for everyone - Dreyfus Affair o Symbolized a conflict in France between two opposed groups  The aristocrats and military regime vs liberals who wanted full-pledged democracy o Durkheim supported Dreyfus o Dreyfus was framed by his superior and was reinstated in the French army o Strengthened liberal movement - Context of the Dreyfus Affair o France humiliated in Franco-Prussian war (1870-71)  Unites Germany o Workers in the cities had briefly seized power of the city (Commune of 1871) o People were leaving countryside o Becoming more urban o Not transforming quick enough – not as fast as Germany o Elite in France pushing hard to change their own country  Colonialism abroad  Oppression of workers at home o France was getting torn in half - Durkheim’s Sociology o Often wrongly painted as a political conservative today o Strongly believed the ideas of the French Revolution: democracy, liberty, rights of man o Wanted to balance these ideals against greatly expanded public education  Produce moral and responsible citizens who were faithful to Republic ideals - Moral Individualism o Wanted to find a compromise o Golden Mean between selfish individualism of the commercial society growing up around him and the authoritarian, militarist society that the French elite wanted o Crisis facing France was moral o Needed a new science of moralist o Sociology could be this new science to bind people together - The problem of suicide th o End of the 19 century o More people had been taking their lives in modern France than ever  Seen as evidence of moral crisis in France - Durkheim’s theory of suicide o Did not use biological or psychological causes o Based on stats and differences in rates of suicide between groups  Findings: • Men commit suicide more than women o Even though women more likely to be diagnosed with neurasthenia • Unmarried more than married • Protestants more than Catholics Social Solidarity - The extent to which individuals are attached to the collective rules and ideals of a given society - Can refer to the extent to which individual’s passions are regulated by societal rules o Wants o Desires o Religious moral code, parents, education regulates behaviour - Society was bound by common values, ideal - Golden Mean of moral individualism *Egoistic Suicide - Occurred when people didn’t believe strongly enough in the collective rules and ideals of society o Patriotism o Meaningless o Purposeless o Retreat from social interaction and no strong attachment to social group o Existential crises: question every aspect of their own existence - E.g. o People working at repetitive jobs with little education o Students  Those dealing with stress o Low wage jobs  Those who lack social power o Artists  Those who lack social purpose - Durkheim thought those working in academia (profs) o Leads to questioning beliefs and their own beliefs o Work alone Altruistic Suicide - Believe too strongly in collective rules and ideals of their society - Unable to distinguish their own needs and interests - Social context of little personal autonomy - E.g. o Cults o Military  Soldiers  Samurai  Typically higher positions *Anomic Suicide - Society’s regulation of individuals’ impulses passions is too weak - Insufficient social limits imposed on people’s wants and desires - Market Society: regulation mostly economic, so people who experience sharp increase or decrease in wealth would be vulnerable - E.g. o Lottery winners o Inheritance o By circumstance, end up unfit for work o Tradespeople o Entrepreneurs  Finance  People “alone” o Pro-athletes o Divorcees Fatalistic Suicide - Not a form of suicide discussed by Durkheim in great detail - Individuals are over-regulated o Too extensively controlled by society or the state - Too little freedom, autonomy, and liberty - Thinking of quasi-police states - Persons living under despotic gov’ts or tyranny George Miller Beard (1839-1883) o Neurasthenia  Popular theory of rising suicide rates (nervous disorder) • Frayed nerves • Increased anxiety • Fatigue • Depression  Led to mental exhaustion o Five key factors that caused neurasthenia  Increase in steam power  Rise of the telegraph  Rise of the periodical press • E.g. newspapers  Expansion of scientific knowledge  Increased mental activity of women • Prohibiting women from exerting themselves both mentally and physically o Prescribed to be bedridden  Life is becoming closer because of technological advancements • Lead to anxiety • The speed is physically and mentality unhealthy o Modern equivalents?  Modern technology o Modernity: a society that is constantly changing and evolving  A state of flux  Certain political and economic institutions shaped the dynamism Karl Marx’s Theory of Alienation - Marx: religion is a prototypical form of alienation o Humans create God and then come to believe that God created them o We are fundamentally creative and social beings  Produce our needs and wants within nature by entering into relations with each other o Capitalism alienates human beings from their own powers of creating and imagination o Capitalism makes strange then essence of what it is to be human - Masses clung to religion o Prevents people from doing bad things, left people stupid, harmless, numb - Religion is the prototypical form of alienation o Divine religious beliefs are written by human beings o Humans’ own creations come to dominate them  Rather than people they themselves have facilitated God and God’s plan  Alienate themselves to their own creative powers • Shape history • Create culture - Human beings are made for work o In our bones, in our tissue o In a more primal sense o To apply brains to not only take from nature but to make from nature  Allowed the human species to cover the planet and thrive  Work is the defining characteristic of human beings  Differentiates us from other living species o Made by evolution to work o Work created man, not God Industrialisation, Work, Alienation - Private property separates people from the objects that they produce o Lose intimate connection between humans and the product of their work o Co-evolution of humanity and work means that the objects we create though work are a natural extension of us - The more complex division of labour means work is broken down into more simple tasks which require a mere fraction of our natural potential - Workers in a capitalist society don’t work to express themselves but rather exchange their labour for cash which is exchanged for commodities Three Unique Features Associated with Capitalism - Private property o Separates people from the objects they produce - Complex division of labour o Divides tasks which require a fraction of our natural potential - Workers in a capitalist society don’t express themselves but rather exchange their labour for cash and use that cash to purchase capitalist commodities Four Types of Alienation - Workers are alienated from the products of their own labour o Workers produce much greater surplus o They don’t own it o The harder a person works the more they empower their domination - Workers are alienated from their own labour o Work is just a means to the end: survival o Our work is a reflection of our hopes, dreams, values o Work becomes increasingly more devoid in meaning and becomes something we must survive and tolerate o Marx believed we are coerced into working o Sharp division between “free time” and work  We crave more of the former and dread the latter - Competition in the labour market alienates workers from each other o Capitalism doesn’t create the gender, age, and ethnic-based division of labour  However it exploits and worsens them  Reinforces these differences  Increase competition  Drive down the cost of labour of people o We lost sight of what truly makes human labour distinct  Cooperation - Workers are alienated from their “species being” o When we are encouraged to turn off out brains and just get through the day, we lose our humanity  Language  Consciousness  Creativity  Ability to imagine a plan and execute it Alienation Today - 2 key sources of alienation today to Erikson o Increasingly complex division of labour and the subdivision of tasks o Structures and machines  Limit the amount of control and autonomy people can exercise over the conditions in which they work SOCI 1001D – Lecture 3 Socialization: The Social Construction of Childhood - Socialization – the process of learning culture, it’s norms, values and roles o How we are to occupy, perform them - Humans need emotional attachment, human interaction, and people to learn from the imitate in order to unlock their natural potential o Builds on a biological foundation o An innate potential of communication/language - Critical period between birth and the age of 5 when the child must learn to use language or the brain will reorganize itself in way that makes language acquisition very difficult and less active o Manipulate symbols o Use originally and creatively o Abnormal socialization will make it much more difficult to continue the process of human development  Especially in this critical period - Socialization is a complicated and active process o Not passive, blank slates o Innate potential can realized when people actively participate o Learn by observing, interacting with and imitating people o 2 key dimensions  Active entering and disengagement with social roles • Roles are comprised of the behaviour expected of a person when they occupy a particular position in society o I.e. status  E.g. a father, a husband, an instructor  Socialization also involves developing an awareness and sense of oneself, or building and constructing an identity, through this active engagement with others Do Humans have instincts? - We tend to use the “instinct” frequently and figuratively in everyday speech o However it is a useful social scientific category for explaining human behaviour - Concluded that it is a mix of underlying biological needs and urges but no we do not have instincts - Native culture may feel like “second nature” - Humans are unique in that our infants are born utterly incapable of caring for themselves o Long term of dependency - We tend to conflate reflexes and instincts - Biological determinism is inconsistent with the norms of our society - Instincts vs. Reflexes o Baby Reflexes  Moro Reflex • Hold a baby and lower her to give her the sensation of falling • She will throw out her arms as though grasping for tree branches  Palmar and Plantar Reflex • Stroke the palm of a baby’s hand or the bottom of her feet and she will curl up her fingers and toes • Useful to hold onto mother’s fur  Rooting Reflex • Stroke a baby’s cheek with your finger and she will turn her head towards the sensation o Helps teach a baby to eat  All either disappear or turn into conscious acts during these early months o Instinct must fulfill four basic requirements  Relatively complex behaviour  Unlearned, innate and genetically transmitted  Species-wide and invariant  Manifest itself in full complexity the first time the stimulus is presented by the environment  The idea that we have instincts but repress them is a circular argument  Always in the interest of those who have power in society Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929) Our self-prophecy is a social phenomenon - We develop our self concept (identity) by reading and interpreting other’s reactions to us and our behaviour o Interpreting their interpretations – theory of the looking-glass self o We create a set of concepts, and perceptions of who we are  Positive reactions from people we respect leads to pride and competence  Negative reactions from figures of authority leads to mortification and humiliation o Cycle: people behave on the basis of their socially formed identity, positive or negative self concept is reinforced by evaluations of them by others  Stereotypes  Much less of background  Self-filling prophecy George Herbert Mead (1863-1931) - Elaborates Cooley’s theory - Asks: how is it that we are able to interpret the way other people are evaluating you? o Body language? o Gestures? o We are able to take the place of the “other” in order to interpret how they see us - This imagination of “the other” develops in 4 stages o Imitation  E.g. children learn to use symbols by imitating their parents  No manipulation/originality o Role play  E.g. play simple games  Take on the role of other people  Self involved  Others are objects of their imagination o Complex games  E.g. to play sports, child must know what to expect from a host of different players simultaneously o Generalized other  Awareness and ability to manage society’s diverse expectations of us  Learn and become aware of society’s expectations of us  Learn how to occupy those different statuses  Develop a coherent sense of who we are • Sense of self comes through this general awareness of how society sees and what they expect from us - Theory of “the Self” o The self is the ideas and attitudes you hold about who you are as a unique individual/person  Comparable to what we call “personality” or “character” o Sum of all those attributes, characteristics, tendencies, and features which define a person as a unique individual - “I”, “me”, and the “self” o We are not born with a sense of self o The “self” is a culmination of the four stages of development  Result in the concept of the “generalized other” o I  Is the biological foundation  The organic drives and needs  The sensory apparatus o Me  Made up of the culture we learn • Language • Norms • Values • Mores o Self  Is a product of the ongoing dialogue or interactions between the I and the me  Allows you to recognize yourself through these difference statuses and roles - Identity and the “self” as flexible o Did not see the self as flexible o Understanding of who you are changes to accommodate new experiences, ideas, circumstances o Debate over how much flexible self identity actually is o Broad consensus that child hood and teen stages are key moments in formation o Today young people have more freedom from mainstream expectations to negotiate subcultures and shape their own sense of self o Constraints  Less anchors for stables sense of self - Sociology focuses on our sense of self, identity and our awareness of others o Shaped by our relationships, experiences, institutions - Primary agents of Socialization o Shape a child’s early experiences  Family - Secondary agents of Socialization o Peer groups, schools and the mass media begin to exert greater influence over young people and their sense of self as they grow older - E.g. gender socialization and young women’s changing sense of self as they pass from primary to secondary agents o Parents exert more constraints over girls  A boy’s sense of self worth surpasses that of the girls during the critical period Social Change and the Construction of Childhood - Sociology: childhood is an idea or concept which is shaped by social, economic, and political circumstances - Our understanding of childhood changes our understanding of the thoughts, feelings, needs, behaviour who we define as children - Childhood is an idea with great practical significance o Control o Justify the control  The best interest of the child’s development - “Little People” – childhood during the Early Industrial Revolution o Thought as a small version of adults in full respect o Expected a quick conversion of these children to become adults  To fulfill adult obligations, married and start a family by the 15 - Social and economic upheaval in Europe and North America o High rates of infant mortality o Lowlife expectancy o Poor health, hygiene, nutrition - Result of social, economic, political changes o Brought out by the changes of the capitalist system o Today brought out by the expansion of OUR system - Childhood is a category of life and is a concept that we use to understand a group of people in a certain age group o Changed by cultural, economic and political factors o Depends on your social class  Wealthy – dependent  Not wealthy – parent dependency on the children • Needs the child to work - Childhood now understood as prolonged period in which young people do not engage in paid labour or take on adult responsibility - New reality of childhood reflected in the legal code o Laws preventing restricting child labour o Mandating children to attend schools and receive a formal education Material factors behind the rise of childhood - Capital investment, technology, steam power and later oil and electricity replace human sweat and muscle as key factors in material production o Man power declined  Old men were in competition with young boys for work - Increased social mobility and demand for workers with flexible skill sets - Capital intensive productions o Great source of profits o Harnessed by gov’ts - Life and life expectancy rose dramatically Two positions on childhood - Childhood and adolescence are expanding into and taking over young adulthood Entitlement Argument– Margaret Wente – Inside the Entitled Generation (Globe and Mail) o Young people feel entitled o Admit goal to succeed with the least amount of effort o Expectations o Less mature, independent o Less capable of succeeding in an adult world o Poorly raised and coddled and sheltered o Treated less like growing people and are treated more like consumers  Consumption of young pillar is one of the new pillars of our consumer’s society  Young people are no longer children but little consumers Entitlement Criticisms o Depends on your economic class o Lecture 2  Official unemployment (15-34 at 13%-14%) vs. Real unemployment (probably closer to 28%)  Economic refugees – attending university to escape the economy  Student debt  Rising tuition o Wente is well off  Maybe her friend’s children are spoiled o Not a sociological outlook Hyper-Parents and Coddled Kids o Parenting too much  Anxiety over a more competitive job market • Resume fillers  Growth of educational toys and consumer products, tutoring industry o Organizing too much of the kid’s leisure time and extracurricular activities  Lack the space where they find themselves, make their own decisions, take risks, discover interests, strengths and weaknesses, failures and stress o Without stimulation from self-driven exploration the child’s innate human potential may not be fully realized  Formation of self identity is delayed - Childhood and adolescence are disappearing o Increased role of the mass media as an agent of socialization  Advertising – little consumers  Media is not a benevolent or neutral force • To invade mental space and to change the patterns of consumption to spend more money on their products  Our identity is tied to how and what we consume o Decline in extracurricular activities  Rise in adult obligations and responsibilities o Decreasing amount of direct adult supervision - SOCI 1001D – Lecture 4 The Culture and Subcultures of Capitalism - How do you define culture? o Traditions o Values and norms o Food o Mannerisms o Language o A way of life - How do we use culture o Behaviour and attitudes o Multicultural o Religion - Sociological definition: culture is the way of life of a particular people, period, place, or group, or the way of life of humanity in general - Textbook: culture is essentially the complete way of life shared by a people, including both the material and non-material elements - Canadians life a capitalist way of life - More than half of the population of Canada lives in the corridor o The band of the most densely populated part of the country o Stretches from Quebec City to Windsor - 4 Elements of culture o Culture is learned rather than being the realization of inherited biological traits  Fluid and malleable rather than the result of some immutable human nature  Built on biological foundation o Culture is rooted in symbols  Physical  Vocal  Gestured  The most important symbol is language o Culture is shared  How people cooperate  Norms and values inform micro relationships (marriage) and macro (institutions) o Culture is integrated into a coherent whole  May be contradictory or opposed within a culture Capitalist Culture as a Way of Life - Culture can be examined at a range of scales - Global expansion of economic system known as capitalism has brought Canadian culture known as consumer culture or culture of capitalism - What people actually do - Important roles of subculture Marvin Harris: Materialism - A philosophical approach to explaining how the elements of culture are integrated and which have priority in shaping how a given culture takes shape - Economic considerations have priority - Argued that the materialistic approach to culture could avoid the error of reasoning known as ethnocentrism o The practice of judging other cultures as inferior based our own cultural standards, or failing to appreciate different cultures on their own terms Harris: Materialist Interpretation - Argues cow worship is perfectly rational when one considers forms of material production found in rural India - The symbolism and cooperation around the rituals of cow worship are a reflection of this material economic reality Marx’s Materialist Philosophy - Two assumptions o Humans unique in that they produce needs and wants o Social existence determines consciousness - Materialist study of human societies begins with how people address this most fundamental and basic problem of acquiring basic needs Adam Smith: Wealth of Nations - A treaty celebrating the Corn Laws o Free market for wheat - We live in a society that is driven by capitalism o Competition o Profit o Private award o Expansion and the importance of growth o Class system – working and ruling o Free market  Free movement of goods and services  Freedom for entrepreneurs and merchants  Provides a strong economic drive during times of scarcity • Increase and decrease of price based on supply and demand o Private ownership What is capitalism? - Free market system o Free movement of goods - Private enterprise o Private property o Entrepreneurs and corporations owned and controlled the property o Compete in free market - Profit motive o Competition motivated by the desire to realize a profit and profits accumulated privately by those who own the means of production o Created initiative - An economic system based on the private ownership of means of production and distribution of goods, characterized by a free market and motivated property o Capital is profit that has been reinvested into the process of production in order to expand production and realize greater profits  This logic of reinvestment is called “capital accumulation” and the accumulation is what separates capitalism from pre-capitalist systems - An economic system that relies on investment of capital in machines and technology that are used to increase production of marketable goods - Capitalism never solves it’s crisis problems o Cycles them geographically Capitalist Mode of Production - Forces of production (land, buildings, machinery) are not communally owned but privately owned by individuals and later legally created economic entities - Social relationships built on money and contracts replace the system of payment in kind, so that the owners of the means of production contract workers and pay them wages - Goods are not the property of the labourers who make them but rather than property of the people who own the forces of production - Forces of production are concentrated in fewer and fewer hands via competition, economies of scale, vertical integration - Competition between large capitalist enterprises combined with their control over the forces of production compels the owners to gradually lower wages and otherwise intensify exploitation - Drastic inequality is a main component of capitalist societies Logic of Capitalist Production - Growth or expansion oriented - Healthy economy is a growing economy o Profit motives drives the expansionary logic of capitalism - Capitalists are concerned with the rate of profit o The amount of return they get on their initial investment - Capitalist production is cyclical o Tends to expand o Creates problems Expansionary Logic of Capitalism - Economies of scale o Rate of profit rises as scope of production increases - Larger capital investment in technology - Debt - More political influence - Influence market price of goods and services Surplus Value of Labour - Extracted as profit by the owner of the means of production o i.e. the capitalist - The worker and the worker’s labour increases value - Owner takes the profit extracted from the worker/labour - Predicated on the value of the extraction of workers Is Surplus Extraction Exploitation? - Profit is created by workers who don’t benefit from it - Normative judgement of fairness o Wage o Scenario o Context o Conditions o Quality of life worker can provide with the wages earned Concentration and Centralization – Naiman pg 83 - Concentration: more capital comes to be owned and controlled by fewer capitalist enterprises - Centralization: capitalist economic system has spread to every corner of the globe o Control over capital is increasingly centered in a small number of financial hubs  Wall Street  City of London - Inequality o Top 8.2% of pop own 46.5% of all wealth in Canada  Top 20% own 70% o Bottom 20% have a negative net worth o Wealthiest 1% of world’s population owns 39% - Over-production and under-consumption o Entrepreneurs increase productivity and decrease wages o Workers cannot provide a market for the goods they made o Over abundance o Solved by labour laws, growth of the middle class, expansion of credit o Over accumulation – too much profit, too much capital that cannot be absorbed Over-accumulation - Caused by an absence of profitable “circuits” of investment - More of a problem in the wealthier core countries of the global capitalist system - Solved through war and imperialism, massive devaluation of stocks and bonds and bankruptcies or to speed up the pace of capital accumulation o Done by reorganizing the economy o Reorient the economy into services  Compress the process  Planned obsolescence • Consumerism tolerance for “junk” • Make goods wear out more quickly - Surplus capital can be invested in infrastructure and real estate or displace in time o i.e. debt The Culture of Capitalism in North America - Capitalists must increase consumption for profit and growth o Brands and advertising  Symbolize lifestyles, beauty, status, values, priorities  Exist in the mind  Immortal  Associations and connections  Invests profits in building their brand o Invest brands with meaning to maintain consumption o Line between advertising and culture is blurred Assignment #2 What are the sacred cows of the culture of capitalism? Use an object, not an ideal May not be a physical thing that I can touch but it should be an object What do we worship? Can it be explained in materialist terms? Max Weber (1864-1920) - Critical of Marxism’s economic determinism - Capitalists tended to be Protestant in Germany and the working class was predominantly Catholic - Argued that Protestant denomination and Calvinism encouraged the skills and mindset that lends itself to success in a capitalist society o Material success was one of the signs that a devoted Protestant was “chosen” o Invested their money into mandatory public education - Explains capitalism through ideas o Calvinism The Calling: The Ethic Today - Ties religion together with capitalist culture - Defined as a strong urge or compulsion to follow a particular line of work or type of career - Destiny - SOCI 1001D – Lecture 5 Social Interactions: Skinheads, Goths, and Symbolic Interactionism Weber, Protestant Ethic, and the Culture of Capitalism - Protestant theology gradually translated into common sense by self-help industry, motivational speakers, and “self-actualization” experts o Especially in the US o Largely in the beginning because lack of competition against Protestantism o Quasi-Protestant intellectual figures  Eg. Benjamin Franklin, Herman Kane, Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil o Preaches a secular Protestantism on actual self-help organization - Many confuse Franklin’s maxims with Bible verse o “God helps those who help themselves”  Don’t originate with the Bible, but with the popular seculars like Franklin - Over time – Protestant Ethic = common sense in society’s that adopt capitalist economic system Weber: Secular Protestantism and the Culture of Capitalism - Weber argued that maybe notion of a calling and the wider doctrine of Protestantism were appropriate for poor farmers eking out an existence on marginal land with harsh climate - However, the ethic has since been stripped of its spiritual content and become secular belief system which justifies pursuit of and accumulation of wealth - US “the pursuit of wealth takes on the character of sport” o No longer a duty but a competition o Not for salvation but for materialistic motives - Modern people haunted by dead religious doctrine: unshakable compulsion to chase after wealth, Protestant “guilt”, and materialistic definition of happiness o Shame originates in the distant struggles on the 16 century farmers Counterculture and the “Rise of Cool” - Argument in the introduction to Cool Capitalism – Jim McGuigan - 1960’s unique period of rebellion: young formed countercultures o Civil Rights movement, second-wave feminism and the women’s movement, environment movement, pacifism, and the anti-war movement (Vietnam), widespread counterculture of hippies  Hippies embraced many of the above movements  Supported an ethic of hedonism or self-indulgence, pleasure seeking, and the pursuit of happiness • Sexual Revolution  Opposed dominant norms and ideals of post-Great Depression and post- WWII North America, which were self-denial, accumulation of wealth, and conformity Effects of 60’s Counterculture on Mainstream - Legal basis of Jim Crow-era segregation between Black and White Americans overturned by Civil Rights movement - Acceptance of cultural and religious diversity o E.g. Multiculturalism Act - War is much more difficult for Western governments to declare - No institution of mandatory drafts - Capitlism is reinforced by countercultures o Brought about the rise of “cool”  Highly consistent with the needs of the capitalist system  Helped a culture of consumption flourish o Progressive social change (positive) Three Elements of “Cool” - Composure, confidence, self-regard or self-assuredness o Originates in Africa, coastal regions of Nigeria o Travels to North America through slavery o During a period of economic exploitation, racial discrimination, political oppression which followed slavery  Cool gradually came to mean sustaining one’s dignity in the face of pressure, cruelty, and injustice o Organized around personal appearance, posture, and how a person walked, talked because economic exploitation denied many other avenues of self- expression - Ironic detachment o Portraying an attitude of indifference o Distancing oneself from institutions of authority rather than directly confronting them  E.g. Disgust at political system, not voting o Humour  Becomes less vulnerable, hiding behind a shield of humour o Hate-Watching  Watching popularity shows be reversing dramatic intent and laughing at unintentional humour • E.g. Daily Show, Colbert o Ironic and detached manner - Hedonism o Pleasure seeking o Belief that pleasure and happiness or the highest good and most noble pursuit o General pursuit of gratification for one’s desires without consideration of long- term consequences or obligations to wider community  Binge drinking, drug use o Reverses Protestant Ethic of asceticism Counterculture, Rise of Cool, Reinvigorates Capitalism - Reinvigorates capitalism - Values, norms of hippies and social movements of 60’s were absorbed by and incorporated into the culture of capitalism, revitalizing capitalism - Corporate America learned how to exploit youthful rebellion, hedonism and notions of “cool” =in order to generate more sales and increase consumption - Counterculture of the 60’s big movements were fractured into different subcultures in the 70’s o Main producers of the notions of cool “The Conquest of Cool” - Concept of cool used to encourage feelings of dissatisfaction and disgust with the array of consumer products we currently possess o Always someone else that is cool o Find ourselves inadequate, uncool - Pushes us to find new and better goods - Taken from subcultures of the inner-city, from the working class or the poor and from ethnic or racial minorities - Durkheim’s theory of anomie relates to a “disconnection” of oneself o Disaffection creates fertile ground for new and unique subcultures o Dress o Music o Electronics o Criminal behaviour - Aura of rebellion – makes them feel cool o Offers self uniqueness, rejection of mainstream - Not closely integrated into the mainstream because lack of economic resources or face discrimination or both - These subcultures produce new and unique expressions of rebellion Frank’s “Perpetual Motion Machine” - Poor or working class youth have enough distance from mainstream to channel their disaffection into the construction of unique subcultures which tend to oppose or counter dominant culture - New image of cool is use to increase dissatisfaction and encourage more consumption o E.g. Commercialization of Hip Hop  Pride of one’s origins  Glorifying the ghetto  Glorifying resistance against policemen  Pride in neighbourhood  Served as hedonism (Sub)cultures as freedom and constraint - Source of freedom but also force which constrains us - Negative and positive forces in our lives o Provide young people with a way of defending themselves, asserting composure and self-confidence under pressure  Economic struggles  Racial discrimination  i.e. Cool o Provide an outlet for expressing their hopes and fears and their critical ideas about the world around them o Idea of cool which dominant our subcultures is nihilistic  Sentiment that there is nothing greater than one’s own self o Idea of cool is individualistic o Hedonism involves a rejection of mainstream values and norms  Useful as a source of rebellion  Doesn’t replace them with a code of responsibilities or obligations to the people around you • Can be hard on families  Validates selfishness, narcissism  Ironic detachment can shield people but also encourages cynicism and lack of engagement in actually working for progressive changes Subculture: Definition - Subculture is a broad concept encompassing a diversity of social groups - Not static - Constantly evolving, changing, fracturing - Constantly commercialized and exploited by which large corporations which tend to dominate the culture of capitalism - A subculture is “a social subgroup distinguishable from mainstream culture bu its values, beliefs, symbols, activities, and often in the case of youth, its style and music CCCS – Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies - British Cultural Studies - Most influential intellectual in Britain - Founds BCS with Williams and Hoggart runs the CCCS and leads the New Left movement - Context: Birmingham o 1960’s/70’s steep economic decline o Influx of new immigrants o Turbulent social change and not unlike the circumstances in which Chicago School emerged - The Argument o Mostly made up of young men challenging economic oppression, hopelessness, despair o Attempts at resistance o Based on the class structure Social Class: Definition - Economic standing in a given society - Income, wealth, economic opportunities and prospects which are influence by socialization and education - Cultural and symbolic aspects of class o Taste in music, food, clothing, postures, gait, dialect Symbolism of the Middle Class - Closely tied to professions, government, tied to post-secondary education - Most important symbol of middle class existence and Canada has the most accessible post-secondary education - Home ownership (i.e. mortgage) is more important symbol of middle class existence than wealth, assets, stock, or capital o Certain level of consumption associated with the middle class - Mass media promotes cultural dominance of middle class values while mocking working class - Economic foundation of working class identification has been eroded by deindustrialization and free trade o Unionized jobs (working class identity) has been destroyed o Specifically Ontario, generally Canada Working Class Thesis - Youth subcultures that emerged in 1960’s Birmingham glorified an ideal of working class identity as it disappeared around them - Lacking working class job prospects these young people poured their energy to cultivating elaborate styles o Punks, mods, rockers, skinheads - Made use of the new products now offered by new consumer-based society rising up all around them o Clothes o Music - Attempts at resistance were futile and symbolic - Rather than effecting real change in the world, membership in these subcultures merely insured that theses working class kinds would get jobs at the lowest rungs of the new economic hierarchy - Subcultures reinforced the economic oppression and social marginalization of working class youths o Real sense of belonging o False sense of empowerment Paul Willis: Anti-School Subcultures Question: How do tough working-class kids in England negotiate school’s demand for conformity and obedience? Answer: They create and form counter-cool subcultures. - Direct working class kids to the lower rungs of the economic ladder - Not passive dupes - Realistic o Understand their fate better than most of their teachers - PW is sympathetic - A creative and doomed effort at resistance - Create relationships with the people who are in the trades and not learning the facts learned in post-secondary - Comprised of a sense of style - Collective resistance to the authority and mainstream Britain - Sense of superiority: subculture of resistance provide marginalized youths with a way to feel better than their more privileged peers o Self confident, assured o Because they feel more free o Do what they want to do when they want to do it - This freedom is demonstrated in many ways o Pursuit of women o Embracing the four great commodities of any great capitalism  Fashion • Tendency towards the extreme • Maximize distraction and contrast with mainstream style  Smoking • More important to be seen to smoke than to actually be a smoker • Ongoing guerrilla war between school admin and smokers – rebellion • A close relation to the working-class culture  Alcohol • Strong ties to traditional working class culture • Entrance into informal networks of trades, craftsmen, and skilled workers is found in the pubs  Laziness • Managing school’s expectations • Minimize work Skinheads – History - Complicated - Traced back to the Jamaican immigration to England - Moved to urban centres in Britain as the country de-industrialized and faced facial discrimination - A response to despair and viable economic opportunities - Jamaicans created “rude boy” subculture o Later, powerfully influence punk, metal, skinheads - Very much a class based social phenomenon CCCS – Skinheads - Meant to glamourize a kind of nostalgic vision of traditional working class dress - Extreme form of the counter-school culture o Reinforced by an explicitly racist and xenophobic ideology - A reactionary subculture to the disappearance of secure factory jobs, the comfortable standard of living, and other hallmarks of working class culture Social Interaction – Definition - Symbolic interactionism - All verbal and nonverbal communication o Paperwork, virtual mediums  Internet  Smart phones - Sociologists ten to concentrate on o How the medium shapes social interaction o Nonverbal communication (body language) because their influence is unappreciated Nonverbal Communication - We are better at censoring what we say than how we act/non verbal queues - The language of eyes o Conscious use of the eyes to communicate  Winks  Squints  Widening  Winks o Tacit but learned use of the eyes to communicate  Eye contact o Reflexive response of the eye
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