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Theory Journal II.doc

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SOCI 3005
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Journal for SOCI 3005BContemporary Sociological TheoryPart IIErika Brisson100791597Justin PaulsonSOCI3005BKara BrissonBoivinReading 23 Norbert Elias The Retreat of Sociologists into the Present in Theory Culture and Society 4 1987 223247NotesElias argued that only categories derived from human experience can make sense at the end of the dayTeleological development towards a known end Class and power may connect now but they havent always necessarily done so Civilizations rise and fall based on one cause main theoryConstellations are similar to figurations If youre doing something you can never that it is built on the same authoritative structure because society can never be universal Different than hard sciences because they have universal rules Laws of society are always contingent sets of processes Everything is multicausal For Elias civilization does not exist We as a society are only part of the civilizing process Decivilizing process can also occur Distinctions between pacified and unpacified societies Four Basic Principles 1 Sociology is about people2 Figurations are constantly changing slowfast3 Long term developments tend to be unplanned and unforeseen 4 Human knowledge can only develop inside these figurations Past trends for the development of sociology became a dominant trend for the development of sociology after the second world war however this trend was unplanned Classical sociologists such as Marx and Weber focused on problems of human societies from the past and also from their own time because they had a large amount of knowledge about their own societies and other societies from the past The narrowing of the sociologists focus of attention and interest to the immediate present in some respects undoubtedly represents progress in the development of the discipline This is because of empirical sociological investigation and the use of statistical varieties The problem with empiricism within sociology however is that it undermines all other types of gaining knowledge The human population has undergone an unplanned process of growth in more than purely numerical terms and in spite of all fluctuations The way to control a group of thirty people is much different than the ways to control over a million people at any given time Norbert Elias mentioned how the understanding of human societies requires testable theoretical models which can help to determine and to explain the structure and direction of longterm social processes There are concepts that all societies in the world share that are integral to the development of humanity and the growth of each society Most sociologists aim to generalize their concepts that they find to all societies in the world In all societies that exists they all get together and agree that they must work together to do certain functions within society or else the society will not survive as a group There are four types of elementary functions that a society must fulfill if they want to survive as a group 1 economic function 2 control of violence 3 knowledge and 4 individual learning of a social pattern of selfrestraint or a civilizing process of sorts
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