Study Guides (248,396)
Canada (121,508)
Sociology (272)
SOCY 122 (91)


22 Pages
Unlock Document

SOCY 122
Rob Beamish

THINKING SOCIOLOGICALLY PART 1 Main Topics - foundational issues to human like and human knowledge - issues of Metatheory - the “Orthodox Consensus” of post-War sociology - Science, Sociology, and Discourse Foundational Issues to consider - what is the ultimate foundation to social life? - What is the foundation to scientific knowledge - What is the foundation to knowledge about social life Metatheory - sociology as a science - science as an art - the role of language in science - elements of an integrated sociological conception of social like (micro/macro; structure/agency; relational nature of social reality; reflexivity) Frye Human beings engage with the world at 3 different levels 1. contemplative (like this) 2. active (I don’t like this) 3. imaginative (this is not how I imagined this) - the mind (intellect and emotions) is involved at each level - intellect is basis to science - emotions become basis to the arts - Science and the Arts not completely divergent - A highly developed science and a highly develop art are very close together Science - stems from the intellect - emphasis on observation and classification - grasps regularities - progresses in accuracy and utility - draws upon creativity of emotions and imagination - language is a critical dimension of science The Arts - stem from the emotions - limitless potential - comparative standards of excellence - employs aspects of reality and like experience with imagination Sociology, Science and The Arts - like science, sociology is commited to analysis and comprehension of relative enduring reality - like science and the arts, language and creativity are critical to sociology’s comprehension of complex social world - the “domain” of sociology is the level of “action” (identified by Frye) where intellect and emotions combine (the humanization of the world) Thomas Kuhn - rejected “development-by-accumulation” explanation for the scientific process - science (natural and social) progresses as conceptual frameworks (paradigms or disciplinary matrices) are refined, rethought, reimagined Michael Foucault - humankind creates order to its world (the intellect begins with some principles of order to observe and classify - an episteme is “a fundamental code of a culture” – allows us to order observations - all areas of knowledge (the arts and sciences) produce/perceive order on the basis of the same episteme - The modern episteme is rooted in process, action and change (the Enlightenment) Consensus - Nautral sciences: dominated by paradigms - Sociology: no single paradigm has dominated - Late 40s-‘60s “Orthodox Consensus” – structural-functionalism and naturalism - Key person is Talcott parsons Talcott Parsons - substantive reasons - time and place - a scientific approach to social phenomena - Structure of Social Action and The Social System addressed full ragnge of human action - Emphasis shifted to the social system Criticism: - Over-emphasis of order – Conflict Theory challenges structural-functional emphasis; neglected conflict, tension and power - Over-emphasis of social integration – various subject-centered (or micro) theories challenge “over-socialization” of individual. There were critical micro elelments missing from macro theory - Metatheory: the systematic study of sociological theory - Structure & ageny, micro macro - Sociology is a science by different from the natural sciences in two key ways:  The “objects” of study differ fundamentally (do not exist independently of human action; a product of action) – every “object” or term simultaneously identifies and is evaluative;  Due to contested nature of “objects: and terms, full theoretical agreement unlikely Sociological Theory as Discourse - due to nature of “objects” studied sociological theory is a “discourse” - discourse: focus on process of reasoning; seeks persuation through argument; persuasion based on logical coherence, expansiveness of scope, interpretive insight, value relevance, rhetorical force, beauty, texture of argument - sociology as science and art THINKING SOCIOLOGICALLY PART II Main Topics - Micro/macro - Structure/agency  structuration theory  Bourdieusian theory - Relational natural of social world - Reflexivity The Micro/Macro Conundrum - Latour: Concrete/abstract; micro/macro - Alexander & Giesen: Actors/order - Munch & Smelser: varying meaning - Munch & Smelser  Micro - encounters and patterened interaction among individuals (communications, exchange, cooperation, and conflict)  Macro – structures in society (groups, organizations, insitiutions, cultureal productions) sustained (imperfectly) by mechanisms of social control and constituting opportunities and constraints on individual behaviour and interactions - micro/macro in discourse of an integrated conception of society  distinctive/convergent (dialectical relationship)  represent multi-dimensional relationships  conceptual diversity significant  science and art in terms and conceptual grasp  may be separated analytically to be synthetically integrated again  this is a goal like any other, but in the macro level, it is the most important goal, the Canadian good vs. the soviet evil,  micro/macro = individuals/structures  Micro/macro and agency/structure: similar issues by different Gidden’s Theory of Structuration - social practices are ordered across space and time - social action is a “continuous flow of conduct” - social activities, like some self-reproducing items in nature, are recursive - from the myriad of ways of acting – social action is recursive practices – recur, reoccur - social actions are “not brought into being” each time - social actions are continually produced and reproduced Knowledgeable actions - individuals highly sophisticated, knowledgeable agents - discursive consciousness (explain their actions) and practical consciousness (simply “know” how to go on) - knowledge is not contingent upon actions (not after the fact) – it “structures,” “shapes,” “constitutes” actions (exists before the act) - knowledgeable “enables” and “constrains” action - “duality of structure” Duality of Structure - enable and constrain - formulated rules (shallow, discursive, formalized, strongly sanctioned) - non-formulated (informal) rules (intensive, tacit, informal and weakly sanctioned rules) - “reflexively monitor” action “Reflexively monitor” action - reflexive- a reflex (unconscious, automatic, chronic process) - monitor own conduct; actions of others; physical spaces - intended and unintended concequences of action - recursive practices produce and reproduce formal and informal rules but not always exact reproduction - we have intended action, as we act recursively, it is not always what we intended and external factors may act in ways we do not expect Bourdieu’s Sociology - constructivist structuralism; structuralist constructivism - key concepts:  field  capital  habitus  doxa Field - delimited area - players with different abilities - hierarchical arrangement - use capital competing for advantage, power, recognition, distinction, ranking - inseperable from habitus - “structural” aspect of conceptualization - TBBT: field of art (comic books) cultural capital of being high ranking in this field is extensive, players in the field are constantly competing for higher ranking in the field. Field of gender relationships Types of Capital  Economic  Social – social connections  Cultural – knowledge, status, distinction  Symbolic – images and presentation of self - means for playing in a field - measure of ranking in a field - different types critical to different fields (economy, politics, science, art) Habitus - a system of dispositions (practical, skilled, unconscious sense of how to go on) - embodied in each player - strategy generating - transposable to other situations - “structured structures predisposed to function as structuring structures) - feel at home in the field; never ask why or how (doxa) Doxa - unreflective acceptance of everyday lives - field and habitus seem normal, natural, inevitable - demystify and expose doxa (give individuals the tools to examine that which is taken for granted) Relational Reality - words like bats – both birds and mice - terms that capture integrated nature of social life and social processes Structuration Theory - social action: a continuous flow of conduct - social action  recursive practices  discursive and practical consciousness  reflexive knowledgeablility  duality of structure Refexivity - reflexive monitoring of social action - reflexive knowledge  “objectivizing” of the social world  “objectivize” sociologists themselves  “objectivize” sociology SOCIOLOGY OF WORK PART I Main themes - work matters - labour as the ontology of human life and social life - authenticity and alienation Work Matters - at a personal level - shaped by historical circumstance - involves human lives – there is a moral context - Labour as the ontology of human like and social life - natural order and human order - labour, action, creativity Authenticity and alienation - philosophical inspiration - Empirical inspiration - the nature of alienated existence - language, concepts, discourse Perceptions of work - in antiquity - in genesis - within industrializing Europe - perceptions of work have changed dramatically - 1945-1973: economic growth – the post-indistrial society - 1973-1980: stagflation – shift from Keynesian to neo-liberal economic policies - 1980-2008: post- Fordism - 2008-2013: the future of paid work? Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations - smith is a moral philosopher - father of capitalist ideas - puts wealth production within larger moral framework - wealth creation becomes focal point for 19 century readers - “invisible hand” of the market – laissez-faire economy - division of labout to increase productivity Natural Material Order; The Human Order - humankind is an organism of nature; it is part of the natural order - the material order of nature is direct, concrete, and thingly - humankind also is part of the human order - the human order stands separated or alienated from the material order - the human order is concurrently immediate and mediate, ceoncrete and abstract, and objective and subjective - part of humankind’s natural being is its mediated relation to the external world - through the coming into being of nature for humanity, humankind has the irrefutable proof of its birth through itself, through its own process of creation Ontological nature of labour for the human order - through the externalization and objectification of ideas in the labour process, humans learn about themselves, nature and what humankind can and cannot achieve - without action, nothing changes (Frye) - action is preceded by knowledge (practical and discursive) - dispositions of habitus precede action - through labour, humankind produces articles which are consumed, shared or exchanged, creating the material foundation for ongoing social relationships and the knowledge required for the control and use of various physical and social resources - through labour (action) humankind produces “non-material” knowledge (from theories in science to artistic creations of all types) - non-material knowledge begins in thought but must be converted to action – must be “externalized” and given “existence” to be more than imaginative engagement with the world 1. at the level of action – labour – humankind engages with and changes the world and itself (its practical and discursive knowledge; its habitus) 2. contemporary discourses order/understand the ontology of human life through an episteme of change 3. sociology of work draws upon images of what is imaginable and possible relying on language (scientific discourses) which must grasp the complexity of the humankind/nature relation Alienated Existence (Philosophically inspired) - four aspects of Hegel’s philosophy critical to Marx’s conception of alienation  progress through history  the creativity of human action  overcoming an historically imposed state of alienation  the conception of totality - Hegel: humankind must overcome naïve understanding of the world – progress to Absolute Knowledge - Subject/Predicate – active element vs. acted upon - Natural/Humankind – reactive, not the active, subject - the self-creation of humankind as a process - objectification as opposition - objectification as alienation - the overcoming of alienation - grasps the essense of labour to preserve objective human kind as the result of its own labour - poorer the more wealth he/she creates - production increases in power and magnitude - devaluation of the human world - direct proportion to increase in value of the world of things Marx - the object which labour produces, its product, stand opposite it as an alien being - as an independent power from the producer - the product of labour is work, fixed in an object, made thingly - is the objectification of labour - marx created a vocabulary that allowed alienation to be a sociological theme - reference point for moral work in contemporary society Four Dimensions to Alienated Existence 1. separated from and opposed by the object or product of work 2. separated from and opposed by the workd process 3. separated from and opposed by “Species Being” of humankind 4. separated from and opposed by “humanity” SOCIOLOGY OF WORK PART II Main Themes - the employer-labour process-employee relationship - the “culture” of work  disciplinary society, technologies of power, docile bodies  taylorism - mass production  Fordism  “Toyota production”  Employee-Employer Relationship - employees bring desirable traits to their work - dynamic tensions between employee/employer - market reinforces the - the culture of work is fundamentally different - market forces maximize labour while minimizing cost Foucault - compliance is achieve through “different technologies of power” that are implemented in institutions like school, church, etc. - creating “docile bodies” through “technologies of power” - the table system - making the body more obedient and thus more useful; more useful because it is more obedient - increases productive forces in the body; decreases resistant forces - power and aptitude increased while self-determination ad self-realization reduced Taylor’s Scientific Management - “natural soldiering” and “systematic soldiering” - fair day’s wage for a “fair day’s work” - skilled workers and planning process - split production and planning - the “task idea” – workers’ tasks clearly specified and how to carry them out - Outcomes:  Reduced size of workforce (efficiency and technology)  Process of “deskilling” – head and hand labour separated, planning consolidated in management  Increased white collar work force Fordism - focus on improving labour process, minimize costs, maximize efficiency - standardized, interchangeable goods - changed an entire social structure - more than 60 million cars produced globally in 2012 - from scientific management to the fordist assembly line - From the Model A to the Model T - Less skilled workers needed to put together standardized parts - Mass Production: a mass of standardized goods - Massive assembly lines configured for one product – no variation - Standardized quality of product Alfred Sloan GM - integrated corporation - “by the numbers” assessment - multi-layered corporation – advancement through upward mobility (promotion for employees; reward system of discipline and hard work) - five model product range – Chevy to Cadillac – car reflected the unique period in social history Toyota’s Lean Production - mass production – eliminate the skilled worker - machines set to one specific task - mass production – no variability - inexpensive consumer durable - Toyota system was very different – the opposite of mass production is “lean production” - Explanations for Japanese success attributed to “national culture” better technology, greater self-discipline, etc. - Post-WWII economic reconstruction - First phase: export inexpensive product produced by inexpensive labour force - Domestic car market very small - Investment in mass production machinery not economical - Technology must be flexible - Teams of workers - Greater team responsibility for production process and product quality 1. allows for greater worker satisfaction, based on employee disciple and social expectations 2. all of the changes in lean production shaped by post-war era combined to create a different system than America did with Fordism 3. lean production is imported into America, its north American development will depend on the historical factors in the employee-eomplyer process SOCIAL INEQUALITY Main Themes - two logical of collective action - social inequlity and meritocracy - profile of income inequality in Canada - explaining inequality  Marx’s class theory  Weber’s class, status and power Changing face of Unionized Workers - for female workers as a whole, median hourly wage 34% higher for unionized workers; averae is 26% higher - for male workers as a while, median hourly wage 22% high for unionized workers; average is 14% higher - same age, gender, education, industry and occupation constant – 14% difference between union and non-union - why is that figure so small?: Power and The Logic of Collective Action Inputs: - employer  primary organizer of labour force  capital exists as a fuild resource - employees  union is secondary organizer f labour force  history of worker association  human/labour power is inseparable  entire spectrum of needs/wants  can’t reduce fundamental needs Key Questions: - employer  costs of meeting demands vs. cost of a lockout  willingness to pay - employees  costs of strike vs. management offer  willingness to pay  willingness to act Dynamics: - employers  fluidity of capital  cost of work stoppage - employees  cost of accepting offer vs/ cost of no income  diverse membership; different interests; wants and needs  consensus building via negotiation  mobilization and maintaining a strike Ontological Nature of Labour and The Logic of Collective Action - social organization of work creates conditions of power within societies - power is balanced between employers and employees - the balance of power is not equal - social conditions play some part, market conditions play a larger one - a functioning economy is critical to every society- capital holds critical resources - two logics of collective action disadvantaged employees - the globablization of the economy makes employment increasingly precarious Meritocracy - achievement principle - ascribed vs, achieved status - object of inequality - equality of opportunity - equality of condition Canadian income inequality profile - presence of income inequality is consistent with meritocracy - greater income inequality now - top 1% more wealthy, an increasing share of Canadian income - why the growing divide  2 recessions – forced entrants to workforce to take lower paying jobs  outsourcing of work; deskilling of white collar jobs  minimum wage sets wage floor  falling unionization Marx’s Theory of Class Inequality - two-class model - particular social relationship – the ownership of the means of production (social relation of production) - relations of inequality are social – an internal dynamic - followed classical political economy – key emphasis on production and mechanisms for the allocation of social wealth - recognized ongoing struggle and dynamic over unequal sharing of wealth - aware of complex structure of inequality - critique of classical liberalism and its individualism focus - “associated of free men” – a radically democratic conception of overcoming inequality Weber’s class, status and party - maintained fundamental impact of economy; - joint stock companies - increased complexity in labour force; - formerly dominant classes held power; - status gave some classes power - firms run by Boards of Directions, managers, divisional managers; - cold, rational calculation; - parliamentary procedures – universal criteria and applicability; - bureaucratization of business and government - political parties respond to workers’ demands; - growth of white collar work force; - different forms of power  traditional  charismatic  bureaucratic, legal-rational - economy created fundam
More Less

Related notes for SOCY 122

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.