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SOCI 203
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Introduction to society Exam review sheetLecture 1 In what sense is society strictly speaking a modern concept Michel Freitag presents society as an objective reality external to individuals This definition does not only typify the autonomy of this order but also the modern individuals relation to it Throughout history Man was subjected to another Man either in the form of despotism or single ruleThus Man could not identify himself within the spectrum of the larger community in the same manner that modernism allow us to but could only identify himself in his subordinate position to another Man Modernism brings forth a set of bureaucratized structures institutions and lifestyles social dimensions and the totality or the linkage of those structures is believed to define society itself Thus in abstract pragmatics we identify society as the overarching unity of all the modern structures that idealistically would veer its structures toward its sole legitimizing goal fulfilling the needs of the human beings that shape itSociety as it is defined could not have existed before modernism not only because the latter has put in place certain necessary structures which are then linked by the larger paradigm of society but also because it situated and gave importance to the individual within the paradigm of the socialThat being said one of the main characteristics of modern society is that it sees itself to be as selfproduced thus making a clear spatiotemporal distinction in its existence which can then be labelled as modern Historically selfproduction did occur through declarations revolutions and social acts most famously in the American and French revolutions which are narratives of inauguration that highlight physically the spatiotemporal distinction from which modernity is produced Society also goes against its imbeddedness in its own traditions as a way of accentuating even more its selfproduction a proof of its modernityRegarding such drastic reforms society finds its ultimate legitimacy in its focus on the individual Societys abstract existence and individualistic foundations allow for the perpetuation of societys hegemonic state as not only is it seen as selfproduced by individuals but it is also considered as an objective regulatory body embodied as such by the state whose objective would be to replicate societys individualistic foundations foundations that are based on societys selfproduction and thus modernism in the individuals lives This modern conception of what society really is clearly manifests itself in the different realms of society ranging from an individualization of the family and education insitutions towards a reform of the economic and governance systems modernizing them so that they fit modern societys individualistic foundations
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