1: 1 Life experiences and expectations
fears of middle class about retirement and healthcare
Radio, TV, videos and CD’s all condensed to the computer
Globalization and multiculturalism: politically correct
Small,close-knit families Technology Political values Education/info processing
Life planned and closely monitored, tiGrew up with E-culture War and terrorism Fewer life experiences
management issues, rely heavily on aduUse hypermedia, not just print 911, oppression of Al-Quaeda Weak sense of history,but less
for self-worth Cyberspace, Cell-phone, social mediaMedia messages consistent, politicaracist/sexist
Individualism, self-entitlement, diffimulti-tasking stance self-evident Hypermedia + tight schedule,
be self-critical Access to too much info-politically Believe in heroism, shape destiny superficial way of info-processing
Conflicting self-images: “you’re speciaware but less cynical irrespective of the conditions they
one’s special” inherit.
Pressure to serve community
1:2 The Millennials and the Education system
disengaged students. Why?
reluctant intellectuals pushed into uni by social expectations
unused to delayed gratification
difficulty determining real ambitions
1:2:1 E-culture vs Print culture
Students grow up with E-culture, uni still tied to print culture.
This is a serious problem, as illustrated by the phrases coined by Marshall McLuhan:
Hot Media: Cold Media
Films, TV, E-culture etc Comics, books, print culture
Highly structural, passive recipient Interactive, active audience controls pace completely
Media mainly creates message Consumer constructs message
Hot because Cold because:
Sophisticated construction: Can be manipulated—recipient can be interpretive,
highly packaged, tightly scripted, large passive constructive and interactive to grasp meaning
consumption e.g editing, photoshopping
e.g. Youtube ○Allows recipient to be creative
McLuhan: “The media is the message” ○Frustrating because of infinite scope of info.
Adjusting to print culture will enable students to to take full advantage of E-culture because:
Print=labour-intensive, time-consuming, devote years to understand
*people in danger of being dominated by digital system Old School, New School, Re-Schooling Both
E-culture and Print Culture Keeping mode of education Students need to adjust to print
co-exist: up-to-date: culture:
Print enables students to use Incorporating digital culture Slow down, control pace,
e-better, can make students more discipline
e-makes print more widely emotionally engaged Helps develop commitments
available Print no longer the only stable and fully-self-conscious values
source of knowledge.
1:2:2 The Debate over Higher Education
Future of uni-education debatable:
Global pressure and competition, secure, high-paying job hard to get
Students need to assess where future lies
Allan Bloom: The controversy:
The closing of the American Mind: High Education has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students
Liberal Education Endangered because
Higher education fails to maintain liberal education
Long and short social pressure make liberal education atrophy
University curriculum marginalize liberal education
Rather than having diverse liberal education as a requirement, students choose classes closest to their experiences and their
experiences are narrowed by mass media.
Purpose of liberal education:
Prepare students for life.
human completeness, intellectual and spiritual life
someone with liberal question asks: “Who are you?” ”What are you angry about?” “What is humankind”?
and address these “permanent concerns of mankind and the identity of each generation”
Broadly educated people see world better, and resist easy and predictable answers.
*Bloom draws idea from Greek philosophy and Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold: sweetness and light
Culture and Anarchy: An Essay in Political and Social Criticism (1868)
Shouldn’t be elitist—should be for everyone. Important because it eliminates prejudices and inspire people to seek greatness in selves and a better
.Why “sweetness and light”?
Book and music (high culture)=sweet experience. Best that has been said and thought in this world.
Industrialization (strong individualism and materialism) disintegrate culture
We can have everyone follow a common notion (mass culture), OR re-establish culture
*However, neither Bloom or Arnold Gives us a framework to assess mass culture. Also Arnold does not tell us how social
change can be achieved, or how to understand the world critically. Encyclopedia: Important concepts:
What is the “natural attitude”?
Egocentric perspective that we are biologically engineered to adopt
However, sociology is NOT egocentric
What are “everyday stocks of knowledge?”
Not systematic knowledge- common sense, what people learn by absorption.
Sociology is NOT common sense. It integrates and challenges “stocks of knowledge”
People are sophisticated social agents and sociology is a systematic knowledge
What is meant by “mass culture”?
Everyday stock of knowledge constitutes mass society, which then constructs mass culture
General social pressure to conform
How is it linked to totalitarian society?
Weimar Republic: tremendous influx of new art and sexual liberation (Arnold’s high culture)
Notion of mass culture starts with German mass media.
Hitler and Goebbel realize the importance of propaganda (radio, films and posters)
Well-packaged through powerful medium
What is everyday life?
Interpretation changes depending on context
In industrial society, we create a world that isolates us. Life is filled with routine no intrinsic fulfillment (feeling alienation,
engulfed by mass culture, no creativity)
Feminist view by Dorothy Smith: everyday life starts with inside household/private sphere
Reading (if you have time)
The required readings for this week are:
“Introduction” (pp. xiii-xxi) to The Promise of Sociology: The Classical Tradition and Contemporary Sociological Thinking;
“Introduction” (pp. xiv-xvii) to The Concise Encyclopedia of Sociology
the entries “Theory,” “Sociology,” and “Society,” (pp. 646-7, 599-600, 592-4).
“Preface” in The Promise of Sociology: The Classical Tradition and Contemporary Sociological Thinking. The Sociological Imagination
2:1 Thinking sociologically
Everyday stocks of knowledge=: rich, sophisticated, but NOT systematic
Natural attitude (termed by Alfred Schutz 1973) =egocentric, restricted and misleading world view.
Individuals belong to webs of social relations. In order to understand this complexity, one needs to use the sociological
Mill’s Sociological Imagination (1959):
“Men often feel that their private lives are a series of traps”
Understanding the world=change and empowerment
Classical tradition=better than quantitative, survey-based, piecemeal analysis of structural functional perspective
Comprehensive and multidisciplinary
Instill the sociological imagination in the consciousness of North Americans.
Mill’s “quality of mind”—sociological imagination
Imagination=creative mental process, comprehensive integration of micro-macro, biography and history
Unlike everyday stocks of knowledge, it is much more complex than passively relying on or taken for granted ideas. It requires
attention to historical over personal details (as shown in following charts):
Mill’s Three Key Questions
This is a dynamic conception of society:
○ What: Social Structure? ○Where: Location in history? ○ Who prevails: human agents?
essential components? Mechanics of change? Different social agents affected?
Different from other societies? Place and meaning for the “human nature” revealed in character
Meaning of particular feature for its development of human race? of society?
continuity and change? How does specific feature affect/is Who is in power?
affected by the period?
How is this period different?
Personal trouble vs public issues
Personal trouble of milieu: Public issues of social structure:
Immediate relations Beyond local, organization o f many personal milieux
Solution within self Extends to institutions and structures of society
Private matter, undeserving of sociological attention Public matter
Personal trouble of many remain a “general malaise” until right timing and historical location makes it a public issue
Public issues indicate an overlap of personal milieu and social structure/institutions
“false consciousness”: naïve and distorted perception of actual life shaped by social circumstances that prevent critical
thinking. Intellectual Craftsmanship
To possess sociological imagination, you need intellectual craftsmanship
- Integration of life and work: use individual life experience to reflect critically upon intellectual work. Nimbleness ofmind backed by a drive to
make sense of the world—integration of biography and social structure (shifting perspectives)
- Commitment to learning (active, creative reading)
- Applying critical reasoning to empirically informed analysis
“fact disciplines reason”, “reason is the advanced guard in any field of learning”
- Dissemination of one’s research and commitment to public scrutiny.
- Take good notes
Mill takes two types of notes:
○ States author’s line of argument and details
○ Integrate author’s argument into own developing position
What is Critical theory/Frankfurt School?
Comprehensive, multi-disciplinary study gives apparent unity to the complex social/political concerns. Connect economic
conditions of life, individual-psychic development and change in the cultural sphere to critique the domination of instrumental
rationality in the modern world.
Mills fused American pragmatist philosophy and European Social theory into a parallel to Frankfurt School.
Mills, C. Wright
“The Sociological Imagination” (pp. 29‐62) in The Promise of Sociology
“Mills, C. Wright,” and “Sociological Imagination,” (pp. 406 and 598‐99) in The Concise Encyclopedia of Sociology
Suggested Supplementary Reading:
C. Wright Mills, “The Promise.” Pp. 3‐24 in The Sociological Imagination. New York: Oxford University Press, 1959;
pp. 1‐12 in Intersections Readings in Sociology’s Task and Promise, edited by Rob Beamish, Boston: Pearson Press, 2005 (on
reserve in Stauffer Library)
C. Wright Mills, “Chapter One: The Promise.”
C. Wright Mills, “On Intellectual Craftsmanship.” Pp. 195‐226 in The Sociological Imagination. New York: Oxford University
“Critical Theory/The Frankfurt School,” (pp. 102‐4) in The Concise Encyclopedia of Sociology. Karl Marx
From Enlightenment to Contemporary Society
Enlightenment Spirit: control own lives—freedom, mastery, progress (18 century)
Growth of empirical, experimental science
Rather than being subjects of nature, we take advantage of it
Notion of progress creates better society
Background: 3 different sociological traditions
Gallic tradition German tradition British Political Economy
Dominant in pre-1950s NA Interpretive humanities Hume, Ferguson, Smith, Locke,
Quantitative, somewhat Welhem Dilthey, Heinrich Richert, Stewart, Mills
a-historical Simmel, Weber, Kant, Hegel
Rousseau, Comte, Durkheim
3:1 Two Major Influences on Marx:
1) Classical British Political Economy
This tradition provides Marx with the political-economic concerns. Analysis of society based on economy:
Smith, Ferguson, Locke etc can be seen as early sociologists economic change has huge social impact on Britain.
Natural social bond threatened by capitalist economic relations
Division of labour and simplification of tasks hinder intellectual development
Humans have natural propensity to trade—laissez faire.
Pursuit of individual interest leads to common interest
HOWEVER, Industrialization eliminates spirit of working class=erode national fibre of England
He’s a moral philosopher: wealth of nation should be used to benefit the nation as a whole
Introduced analysis of society and proposed social changes: e.g. formal education system
2) German Idealism
This tradition provides Marx with the desire for comprehensive understanding (absolute reason) of capitalism, and the means
to achieve it—Hegel’s dialectics Empirical observation combined with process of human reason.
Kant: We use mind to study empirical world, mind filters perceptions. But even though we don’t have perfect knowledge,
practical reason will make us think and act more rationally.
Fichte, Schelling and Hegel:
Objective knowledge guides social and political decisions and conduct
Hegel: Ultimately, human reason can develop perfect knowledge (bolder than Kant!)
Freedom comes from philosophical mastery of natural & social world
Mastery depends on Absolute Reason
Socratic dialectical thought: through contradiction, ideas and knowledge reason
*active side of human mind explored. Unfinished, Dynamic, Unstable, Dialectical Whole
Unfinished dynamic: Authors risk misrepresenting /simplifying Marx because Marx’s understanding of capitalist society
changes as society changes. Context. Capture the dynamics of capitalist society.
Whole Marx intends to develop a comprehensive analysis of capitalism as a social formation
Dialectical dynamic: from simple knowledge to all encompassing absolute reason. Tension, contradiction.
Unstable: contradictions create tension and change in social formations.
Materialist, NOT German idealist (breaks from Hegel):
Idealists focus on the role of the human mind/consciousness to create and interpret social world. Marx focuses on real,
practical everyday lives of workers instead of abstract ideas.
Goal is drastic social change through changes in social relations.
3:2 1959 Preface of The Critique of Political Economy aka Basics of Marx’s Ideas
Production is the basis of societies: social forms (modes of production) come into existence, develop, and are destroyed
by internal contradictions and give way to new social formations.
Particular sets of social relations predate individuals. Social existence (living within society) determines
consciousness, not the other way around. Understanding of micro- (personal life) presupposes understanding of macro
structure (larger social structure).
Mode of production: how people meet their basic needs. e.g. slavery/ feudalism/ capitalism/socialism/communism.
Involves social relations of production and material forces of production
A change form one mode of production happens when productive forces chance, thus changing the social relations of
production. Thus the mode of production moves history.
Social relations of production: e.g. slave-master, worker-factory owner. Owners control forces of production. Legal
(Material) forces of production:
a) means of production (tools, raw material, machinery)
b) spaces of production (factory)
c) labour-power (workers with mental and physical ability).
Considers/reflects on/ accommodates
aka how commodities are produced
aka how we think to meet basic needs
- legal and political economicinfrastructure/mode
- determinateforms of
consciousness 1. social relations of production
- social, political and intellectual
2. material forces of producdtion
processesof life overall a) means b) space c) WORKERS
(consciousnessof workers incuded)
Contradictions and Revolutionary change: contradictions between productive forces and relations leads to social change. Ideas
are not motor force of history—superstructure is only a reflection of base. Analysis of base-superstructure: 3 levels of sophistication
1) Technological determinism:
Machinery plays a role in forming the dynamic tension/contradiction within capitalism
necessary for revolutionary change. As technology advances, society advances. Increased Orthodox Marxism:
efficiency in competitive market.
2) Economic determinism: and economic determinism
tend to be reductionist.
It’s not technology, but economy as a whole that shapes contradictions for revolutionary
change: They suggest history would
follow certain “objective
Laissez-faire profit driven technology spreads competitioncheaper goodstendency
for rate of profit to fall (Mass of profit increased by selling more goods at smaller marginal laws”—laws dependent solely
upon the “objective
incentive to use more technology for more productivityreplaces workers conditions of production”.
unemployment dampens consumer market over production
The role of the “revolutionary
Reserve Army of Labour/surplus workers compete for jobwages even lowereven
less consumer power subject” is reduced, removed
National depression OR find new market! or made dependent.
Unsold goodsprofits not realizednew market
Buys time, but same dynamic happens again
3) Labour power, consciousness, Political action
Significance of class consciousness
Labour power is the sole source of SURPLUS VALUE , and workers should be aware of exploitation/subsistence wages from
Alienation: humans are separated from direct enjoyment of ownership over their labour and the products of their labour.
Work done to make profit for boss is always alienated work.
Workers are conceptual beings—reflect on their work condition political consciousness!!
Political force (important body of workers in Britain)
Legislations that favour workers (superstructure) change global norm of working process (base)
Workers are part of superstructure as well, so this share of power changes social, legal, intellectual processes of life overall!
Marx’s fundamental concerns:
Freedom from exploitation, greater equality of social resources, full expression of human potential. Get rid of false
consciousness—the idea that division between bosses and workers is right, natural, inevitable.
Fundamental change lies in political economy
Marx’s analysis of civil society:
Inequality/exploitation is due to property relations. Through reflections on everyday activities, people will gain new
consciousness and seek change.
Legacy: Intersection of personal and intellectual biography with history of social structure enabled Mark to capture the
dynamics of modern society.
Without labour, raw materials remain unprocessed and you can’t sell them for a higher price. But once they are processed their values inflate,
and you make more profits by underpaying workers. 3:3 Communist Manifesto
Bourgeoisie & Proletariat = two hostile camps
Marx simplified the nature of social change as oppressors and the oppressed.
Manifesto gained significant political profile form 1877 on. Captures the imagery of modernity
Spur workers into action through class consciousness
However, a compromise of competing views. Result of biographies (Marx Engels Hess etc); history of social structure (Br Fr and Ger industrialization)
and the types of men, women prevailing (League of the Just, aka former Communist League)
Class struggles either end in a revolutionary reconstruction of society, or in the common ruin of the contending
The Bourgeoisie (capital) The Proletarians (labour)
Replaced feudal order Capital vs. wage labour=growing antagonism
Revolutionized means of production (society as a whole): cash Enslaved by machines, embittered
nexus, everyone=paid labourers Consciousness, grow into unified political power
Uncertainty, agitation, continuous innovation without which Spaces of production provide place for individuals to grow
Bourgeoisie cannot exist into unified, powerful class.
Undermined by 2 forces Legislations and change
- Economic relations (see economic determinism) End in the consolidation of power of working class:
capitalismsocialismcommunism: collective ownership of means of
- Social relations (proletariat)
production (machinery, raw material, etc)
Religious ideologies that tell workers that they will receive their reward in heaven are referred to as the
OPIATE OF THE MASSES. Workers of the world unite!
“Class Struggle” (Klassenkampf): Significance
1) Social changes are within masses not individuals
2) Masses/groups pushing for change are within particular objective social relations (class, etc)
3) Subjective element to social change: class consciousness
4) Social formations are dynamic, unstable, contradictory, dialectic wholes (how are social formations dialectic??)
5) There are different forms of “kampfs” depending on time, social conditions and objectives
6) Complex and integrated conceptualization of capitalist society including human agency.
7) Embodies enlightenment, freedom, mastery, progressequality
How is Manifesto Related to Sociology?
To study social formations, should examine real, material social relations, not just philosophize and speculate
Economic infrastructure has a determining role
Class struggle/ subjective side (human agents) is a major force of history
Freedom, Mastery, Progress.
Marx and Mills Comparison
Mill: intersection of biography with history of social structure
Marx: intersection of biography of social classes (individual social background) with history of social classes
Holistic thinkers: objective (social relations) + subjective (human agents)
Wrote from vantage point of their own societies
Employed sociological vocabulary that enhanced intellectual craftsmanship and SI. Encyclopedia Entries
Economic Sociology: Classical Political Economic Perspectives
Required / Recommended Reading
“Marx and the Dialectic of Dynamic, Unstable Social Formatiin The Promise of Sociology;
the entries“Marx, Karl,”“Engels, Friedrich,”“Hegel, GWF,”“Dialectic,”“Feuerbach, Ludwig,”“Smith, Adam,”
“Political Economy,” “Base and Superstructure,” and “Marxism and Sociology” (pp. 371‐3, 186‐7, 281, 147
‐8, 231, 553, 445‐6, 24‐5, and 374‐5) in The Concise Encyclopedia of Sociology.
the entries “Economic Determinism,” “Economic Development,” and “Economic Sociology: Classical Political
Economic Perspectives,”“Bourgeoisie and Proletariat,”“Capitalism,”“Communism,”“Socialism,”“Industrial
Revolution,” “Capitalism, Social Institutions of,” “Industrialization,” and “Modernity” (pp. 168‐9, 169‐ 70,
170‐1, 41, 47‐8, 73‐4, 585‐6, 316‐17, 48‐9, 317, 169‐70, 408‐9) in The Concise Encyclopedia of Sociology.
Suggested Supplementary Readings:
Karl Marx, “Preface,” A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. Retrieved September 1, 2011
Karl Marx, ‘Preface’, Towards the Critique of Political Economy.” Pp. 55‐66 in Intersections Readings in Sociology’s
Task and Promise, edited by Rob Beamish. Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2005 (on reserve in Stauffer Library).
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, “Preamble,” and “Bourgeoisie and Proletarians” in Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels,
Manifesto of the Communist Party. Retrieved September 1, 2011
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels,“Manifesto of the Communist Party.”Pp. 67‐79 in Intersections Readings in Sociology’
s Task and Promise, edited by Rob Beamish. Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2005 (on reserve in Stauffer Library). Émile Durkheim
4 4:1 Four major influences on Durkheim
1) Descartes, 2) Montesquieu, 3) Saint-Simon, 4) Auguste Comte
4:1:1 Descartes: Scientific worldview and Radical Doubt
Background: the Age of Reason, late 1500s to early 1700s, from Galileo to Leibniz to Isaac Newton. France more advanced than England.
Methodological skepticism—doubting anything that is not clearly true.
Discourse on Method
Four Rules Groundbreaking aspects:
1) Accept nothing, reject prejudice From metaphysics to observation
2) Divide questions into simplest parts Radical doubt challenged established “truths”
3) Begin with most simple to most complex Supported emerging inductive (observationally based)
4) Review thoroughly. sciences
Critique/criticism and confirmation central to scholarship
* eliminate knowledge based on prejudice, tradition, or and knowledge
religious precepts. *divided philosophical thought from scientific, empirical
4:1:2 Montesquieu: Observation, “Spirit of the Laws” and Holism
Background: the Enlightenment
French philosophes, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Hume, Smith, FeMontesquieu=landowner and philosophe, world of letters
Varietyof interests—scientifmedicinalphilosophicalliterary analysis of 18century France in “Persian Letters”. Discussed
(emerging sociological). Perfectibility of humankind, progress through government, current issue in salons.
science, dispel erroneous system of thought Widely travelled, defended emerging scientific worldview
Compared different social formations
1 sociologist with sociological approach, mainly concerned with forms of governments.
Durkheim’s collective conscience is based on “spirit” and repressive vs. restitutive laws analysis is based on Montesquieu’s
“nature of societies” or “spirit of the Laws” idea.
Spirit of the Laws:
Government action determines prosperity. Government must reflect the “spirit” of the people
Observation based, specific “principles” predict direction of society.
Social type “nature”/those in power “principles”/ spirit that animate those who govern
Despotisms Despot Fear
Monarchies Kings Honour
Republics Legislative body Virtue
Although arguments are hard to accept, it has
Empiricism: importance of observation—“nature of things”.
Society broken to constituent parts—key focus on social “spirit”–holism, whole is greater than sum:
Law governing society is part of larger system (“spirit” or underlying laws)
Moral causes=major: “spirit”—laws, mores, customs, styles of thought, “atmosphere in the court”
Physical causes=secondary: terrain, climate, population. 4:1:3 Saint-Simon: “Science of societies” and the Stage Theory
Background: Industrialization (emerging 1816-1825). concerned about the question of social order in an era of change.
Committed to scientific method (though incomplete)
Empiricism or “social physics”: sought to establish an empirically based science of society (like Descartes, break from
All societies have a:
Functional Hierarchy: 3 levels and 3 stages (Stage Theory)
Believed industrial society is the most advanced. It can eliminate war and poverty, because of all the scientific guidance
and knowledge—leads to collective bargaining.
It is not regime change, but the economy, that changes fundamental social formation.
Stage of history Classical Greece and Medieval Industrial
Functional Hierarchy Rome
Spiritual Elite Polytheistic ideology Roman Catholic theology Science as dominant
The governing/ Monolithic states Ruling nobility Scientists, artists and
temporal elite men of letters provide
The productive classes Slave economy Feudal economy Industrial economy
*holistic science of society, organic conception of society as a complex and functional whole with the stage theory.
Focus on industrialization and economy for social analysis coincides with Marx, Aron, Bell and Dahsendorf.
4:1:4 Auguste Comte: Positivist Sociology, 3 Stages of Knowledge and Social Statistics/Dynamics
Comte follows Saint-Simon’s idea but takes it further:
1) Coined phrase “sociology”—positivist study of sciences.
Wanted to promote positivism as the supreme methodology for all forms of knowledge—treat social phenomenon as
Definition of positivism: a system of knowledge based exclusively on the methodology of the natural sciences.
Central importance of observation.
Relative truths, NOT absolute—gradualism, progressively better understanding
Comte’s Three Stages of Knowledge
Stage 1 The theoretical or fictitious Seeking first and final causes
Stage 2 The metaphysical or abstract Replaces supernatural forces with abstract
Stage 3 The scientific or positive Combines reason and observation to find
actual laws that govern behaviour
2) Concerned with social stability and social change:
Order and progress through science, NO revolution because it doesn’t work!!
Gradualism or relative truth
Rational prediction leads to reform.
Positive sociology=science of: social statistics: focus on societies at given moment, exact image
Social dynamics: reforms lead to evolutionary development 4:2 Durkheim’s The Division of Labour in Society (1893)
Background: Durkheim’s time was characterized by great transition from agrarian to industrial society. There was great fear of
1) Question of social solidarity (order): “A study of the Organization of Advanced Societies”
Types of social solidarity: a “natural social order” for each social formation. Every social formation would integrate people
to create stability.
2) Question of methodology:
- To treat the facts of moral life according to positive sciences—needs empirical evidence.
- Contrasts with German approach (Tonnies, Schaffle, Lilienfeld—focus on conceptual analysis)
- Empirical indicator of moral life—collective conscience indicated in laws!!
Conscience Collective: the totality of beliefs and sentiments common to average citizens of the same society forms a
determinate system which has its own life; one may call it the collective or common conscience. it connects successive
generations. Conscience collective can be ambiguous and needs indicators:
Law as indicator of conscience collective
Legal system tells us what’s right and what’s wrong in a given society.
Primitive/Feudal/Rural Society Industrial/Urbanized Society
Face-to-face societies. Increased division of labour, people individualized.
Repressive law Restitutive law
Occurs when ideas and tendencies common to all Presumes that people think differently. Division of
members of the society are significantly more labour makes skill sets more complex, and people are
dominant than individual ideas. Stealing a sheep is sin interdependent for bare necessities. So you want to
against sovereign—public spectacle and execution. re-integrate people into society rather than make
Designed to repress people them suffer. Return things to the way they were.
Mechanical Solidarity Organic Solidarity
Solidarity which comes from likeness. Collective Like human body, made up of complex structures that
conscience completely envelops our whole conscience function together. Advanced societies—on-going
and coincides with all points with it. process.
*Durkheim: Modern societies are not an aberration. It also has a natural social solidarity—one that doesn’t need to be
imposed by a powerful central state. Division of labour results in interdependency, resulting not only restitutive laws, but also
non-contractual laws, which forms part of conscience collective.
3) Sociology as a positive science (echoing Comte—basis for emerging sociology)
Sociology is relationship between individual and social whole (Mills: S.I.)—rejects all individualist theories (economy,
Division of labour has not only economic but social and moral dimensions
Division of labour has fundamental role laying basis for social cohesion/moral integration 4.3 The Rules of Sociological Method: Social Facts
Social facts :
- Possess elements of human consciousness and social institutions. Distinct from biological facts.
- Involve cognitive processes OUTSIDE the individual (like Montesquieu, laws, mores, “spirit), not inside. Distinct from
Social facts are “ways of acting, thinking and feelings, external to the individual and endowed with a power
of coercion, by reasons of which they control him”
- Social facts are group habits, generalized patterns of action, traditions, mores—even formalized into laws.
- Societies predate us, sui generi
- Coercive external circumstances (social facts) internalized by individual and determine his/her behaviour.
- Deviant individuals are subject to resistance—shunning, gossip, ridicule, economic, political, legal, force.--> societies tend
to replicate themselves in this process of internalization.
- Berger: we are located in concentric circles.
- Durkheim: all social actions fundamentally entail social control. Human beings are not totally free.
The Rules of Sociological Method
Social facts = objective elements, exact determination or identification and measurement—no different from natural sciences.
Comparison between Natural Sciences and Social Sciences:
Dependent variable Independent Variables
Natural: Heart attack Weight, body fat, diet, cholesterol, etc.
Social: Social Integration Gender, age, location, family, friends, media, language,
commerce, education, religion, history
4.4 Study of Suicide--Example of Scientific Method
Background: Durkheim looked at mortality rates in Paris. Protestants had significantly high suicide rate than Catholics.
Religion becomes part of who we are—internalized. Catholicism and Protestantism=different collective representations:
- Catholicism: confessional religion with firm authority.
- Protestantism: individual problem solving, hence more ego vulnerability. Without the safety net of religious authority,
you’re more likely to commit egoistic suicidesame explanatory, predictive capacity exists in sociology as well as in
Other factors affecting collective representations (mini conscience collective): gender, marital status, family size, social
circumstances (rapid change) these affect degree of integration into society.
Egoistic suicide: Altruistic suicide: Anomic Suicide
Case of insufficient Case of extreme social integration Period of change, complete loss of
integration/social ties. Powerful collective representations sense of integration. Only happens
The more a person is integrated into Social responsibility overrides in organic solidarity.
society, the less likely he/she will individual life Normless, “anomie”, absence of
feel alone and kill self. Religious/military basis strong collective representations
Everything uncertain, suicide rates
increase. Conscience collective vs. collective representations:
Face-to-face society with mechanical solidarity: common conscience/consciousness is possible
As societies become more complex and divided, then “collective representation” is needed to explain different
institutions/belief systems, in short, different segments of society (different sources that present appropriate behaviours to
individuals, e.g. religion). Each person has a sphere of action which is peculiar to him.
Primitive/Feudal/Rural Society Industrial/Urbanized Society
Face-to-face societies. Increased division of labour, people individualized.
Repressive law Restitutive law
Mechanical Solidarity Organic Solidarity
Conscience collective Conscience collective AND collective representations
One common conscience/consciousness is possible Represent different sources that present appropriate
behaviours to individuals, e.g. religion).
Durkheim regards religion as the (former) core of societies, however during industrialization, religion as moral guidance is
clearly in decline. Notice how he connects Study of Suicide to religion:
Egoistic Altruistic Anomic
Catholics have less suicide rate Hinduism: “free self from the Capitalism makes religion lose
than protestants body, grief and fear” importance plus government
Religions internalized Religion also internalized doesn’t regulate economy.
Moral core collapses with no
replacement (at the time)
Durkheim proposes new form of social integration than religion—syndicates/occupational organizations—to constitute new
collective representations, thus preventing deviant/destructive behaviors and anomic suicides.
Implications of Durkheim’s Study
- New science to explain and predict (human behaviour)
- Used by political parties and advertizers
- New methodology: large data sets showing relationship of social facts, linking independent variable with dependent
1) Consolidated an empirically based scientific approach (Descartes, Montesquieu, Saint-Simon & Comte)
Consistent with empiricists and positivists:
Begins with basic propositionsmore complex propositions and conclusions. Accumulated and should be tested. Also
positivists believe in unity of all sciences: natural and social.
2) Conscience collective—ppl born into particular social locations (socialization), internalization of conscience collective.
Classical theorists: social order rests with strong government (Plato, Socrates, etc)
Dhrkheim: social order rests with collective conscience. Society has mechanism of control to bring members back to line.
Conscience collective brings individuals together.
3) Skeptical about revolutionary change. Studies key forces in social change to develop social policy and ensure orderly
4) Conscience collective parallels Marx’s superstructure (dominant ideology) and Weber’s enduring “frames of mind” Encyclopedia Entries