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SOCY 122

192 REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE YEAR FIRST TERM Week one The Millennials, Knowledge and Culture: Some Review Questions 1. Of all the different aspects to the “biography” of the Millennials entering universities in 2009, what are the five or six most significant in terms of the influence they will have upon their university learning experience? Do they apply to the class of 2014? Millennials are used to having someone to guide them and tell them what to do. They must learn to take responsibility and do things for themselves. They have highly packed schedules and a sense of entitlement; they are accustomed to instant access and gratification, and will need to learn patience and proper time management to do well in their studies. They have a powerful sense of individualism. They are told they are special and to be different, yet at the same time, they are told to be inclusive of everyone. They have less historical awareness and fewer life experiences: information is received in bits rather than the whole picture. Much of what the Milennials do is superficial, with a “just do it” mindset, and they are not fully engaged. With this lifestyle, it is challenging for the classes of 2014 and 2015 to adapt to post-secondary education. Aspects of the biography of the Millennials include: Heavy reliance on adult direction, needing assurance and confirmation Time management problems just do it Sense of entitlement Contradictory value systems Powerful sense of individualism Less historical awareness and fewer life-experiences Growing up in a world of eCultureThe most significant aspects in terms of the influence they will have upon their university learning experience is - growing up in a world with internet, the need for direction, time management problems and sense of entitlement. Time management is a problem many students face in university when balancing academics, social life and potentially a job. This needs to be done in an organized manner which may have previously been taken care of by parental figures. These parental figures, while still available for direction no longer have the same direct and immediate impact on the Millennials life while in university, as many of them are far away from home. While in university, the Millennials have to get rid of their sense of entitlement and learn the value of earning their place. Learning from books and actually entering a library, instead of relying on the internet, is necessary to get through University. This is the most vital change. Millennials do not have the same patience to find proof within a book when they could easily find a proof for something within seconds on the internet. The internet and advanced technology that has accompanied it (cell phones, Ipods) have all further disengaged the Millenials from the world around them. This undoubtedly applies to the class of 2014 and all other generations to follow. Individually people may argue against this, but as a generation it is impossible to say that internet and technological advancements have not shaped how we live and our experience in university. 1. Michael Wesch’s video presents the university experience from the perspective of his students – what are the strengths of that video? What are its limitations? What is the dominant message in the video? Do you agree with it? Why or why not? What, if anything, has changed in the nature of the Millennials since Wesch’s 2007 production? Michael Weschs video clearly presents and establishes the different information realities that exist in two cultures - the print-based world versus the hyper-real, digitally- based world. He is able to present the Millennials main characteristics in an engaging video that is thought- provoking. It enabled viewers to see the significant changes that were brought upon by technology. Weschs main point in creating this video was to show the apparent disjunction that exists between the way information is treated by the educational establishment and the expectations of contemporary students. This video addresses the disengagement of students with their own learning because of the way educational institutions teach and the advances in technology. I agree with this sentiment to some extent, understanding how those born in the boomer age dont understand the way to engage children of this age. But also I believe that as students, privileged students, it is our own responsibility to stick to the choices we make- if you decide to go to school, take responsibility of your own learning. Since that video of 2007, it is rare to see chalkboards being used in lecture halls. Education systems have upgraded thie use of technology to better engage Millennials- although we continue to develop more and more into the e-culture. 1. What did Marshall McLuhen mean by the phrase “the medium is the message?” What is the distinction that McLuhen made between “hot” and “cold” media? Do you agree that E-Culture centres on media that are “molten ice?” Why or why not? Marshall McLuhen is a technological determinist, with a research focus on communication. He says that depending on the message you are trying to convey you will use a certain medium. Depending on the medium you choose to use, certain messages are expressed. The problem with this aphorism is that is can overemphasize the significance of the medium. Hot media is when the medium itself conveys a message, and the viewer is passive. The message shapes the viewer as a sensory receiver. Examples of hot media are film and television. Cold media requires the receiver to fill in more blanks, as it provides less information.An example of cold media is a comic strip. Molten ice media is a combination of hot and cold media, where information is clearly presented, but able to be manipulated. E-Culture refers to an electronic culture that is easily accessible, and constantly changing. Electronic culture, as opposed to written culture, focuses on media that are molten ice because it is constantly in this state of flux, and often merely needs to be skimmed to access the information it contains. 1. Identify what you think are the three most important tensions that exist between the “old school” and “new school” approaches to knowledge. Can those tensions be resolved? If so how and if not, why not? There are three important tensions that exist between the “old schools” and the “new schools” approach to learning. The first is the fact that the students who are in the “new school” have been taught to treat the printed text as simply one ancillary form of information. It is not our first form of information. The old school believes that we must learn that there is much more to be gained by devoting time to and enduring, static, printed page (p. 20). The second tension is that the “old school” believes that we need to spend more solid undisturbed hours on our work without the distraction of cellphones, Facebook, or Twitter. (p. 21). The other issue is that the “new school” generation wants school to be fun. Mcluhan stated that, “Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn’t know anything about either”. The new school wants more fun and entertainment within the education system which the old school does not seem to accept or to agree with (p. 20). Personally I’m not sure if the tension can be resolved. Our generation has been raised within the media and the era of the internet. I cannot see our generation dropping the internet just for books.Another point is that our generation has grown up multi-tasking which again I don’t think will change. The three most important tensions that exist between the “old school” and “new school” approaches to knowledge are that many of students of today (Millennial) entering university seem dethatched and not fully engaged due to the fact that the idea of higher education is forced upon them as the only answer to a superior opportunity at a job in the future. (13)Another separation from “old school” and “new school” is that many “new school” generations feel a sense of instant gratification and entitlement towards what they desire and need out of life. (14) Lastly the use of technology has separated that of “old school” thinkers and those of the newer generations. The millennial have always grown up with the knowledge of the Internet and the use of technology. By being inherently familiar with new technological developments have provided alternative strategies towards success and learning. For example, the “old school” generation would prefer and argue that the knowledge we gain from a book is far from comparable to that of a electronic reading device or the immediacy of the internet. “New school” generations lack the patience and consistency of that of the “old school” approach to gaining knowledge. These tensions cannot be resolved because they conflict within the time periods and influence each generation perceived throughout growing up. Importance’s between the two approaches to knowledge will always remain separate and opposing because they both value the opposite of the other. One is the patience and the labour towards achieving what is desired, in comparison to the immediacy of gratification that is related to the development of technology and the possibilities it has to offer to that of the growing generations. Week two The Millennials (continued); The Sociological Imagination: Some Review Questions 1. What are the “generic skills” that one should acquire in an undergraduate education and how are they relevant upon graduation? Ageneric skill that one should acquire in an undergraduate education is an increased ability to pay attention to detail in critical reflection.Away to achieve this is to interact with print or hot media, causing one to stop/slow down/re-read, because it will allow greater reflection and comprehension, than molten ice media.Another skill would be to gain a sociological imagination, meaning being able to see the world as it really is compared to everyday stocks of knowledge. These skills are relevant upon graduation because not only will they allow one to think critically, achieve a sociological imagination, and pay attention to detail, but the refining of these abilities would be beneficial when eventually bearing the obligations citizenship holds for them. 1. What are the three most important points related to Bloom’s argument about the importance of a traditional, liberal education? The three most important points related to Blooms argument about the importance of a traditional, liberal education are:1) Post-secondary educations failure to defend and maintain a liberal education.2) Long term and immediate social pressures that deflect students away from engaging with the questions that are centred to a liberal education. 3) The inner structure of universities, including their curricula, that have marginalized the fundamental tenets of a liberal education.Taken from page 23 out of The Promise of Sociology 1. What does Arnold mean by the term “culture?” To what extent is his notion of “culture” spreading to the masses feasible? On the basis of the material you have covered in this chapter, what would a sociologist, using Mills’s conception of the sociological imagination, emphasize in answering that question? MatthewArnold, author of the essay Culture and Anarchy: As Essay in Political and Social Criticism, defined culture as “the great help out of our present difficulties.” Arnold continues this definition of culture by describing it as “the pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all the matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world.” Arnold believes that people can be liberated from the trials, prejudices and petty actions of everyday life through knowledge and human reason, and that individuals should strive for “harmonious perfection”, and let a passion for sweetness and light prevail –Arnold believed that culture was a solution to a troubled world. WhileArnold’s definition of culture is inspiring,Arnold provided us with no real directions or set of actions to create this change, making it difficult to spread his notion of “culture” to the masses. Arnold also acknowledged the issue of modern societies having a strong focus on individualism – this mindset goes againstArnold’s view of searching to perfect humanity. Additionally, spreading this notion of culture to the masses is difficult in a material-oriented society, as there are many forces that work to trivialize Arnold’s definition of culture. A sociologist with the understanding of Mills’ conception of the sociological imagination (“the intersection of personal biography with the history of social structure”) discussing the implementation ofArnold’s idea of culture would emphasize the importance of different social structures in different societies. Due to varying elements of social structures and different ideals and values in different societies, it may be difficult to find a universal perfection that would suit all individuals, as different societies may have different versions of what “sweetness and light” entails. However, Arnold’s notion of “culture” is inspiring to have the best ideals permeate through the social whole to achieve human perfection. REFERENCE: Textbook pages 24-27 1. Explain what is meant by “stocks of everyday knowledge,” “the natural attitude” and the “web-like nature” of social relationships. Who would you identify within the web-like nature of your current existence? The stocks of everyday knowledge refers to basic knowledge that we are already aware of, it is knowledge that we acquire over time and bring with us to every new situation. The natural attitude is the idea that the world revolves around us as an individual based on the fact that we have senses for which we see the world through. The web like nature of social relationships is based on the connections we make with others in everyday life. There is interconnectivity and some level of relationship tying us to them. Currently, individuals that would be central to my web of social relationships are my roommate, floor mates, family, the faculty and my circle of friends. Stocks of everyday knowledge- a vast reservoir of knowledge as early as pre- birth which also draws on natural attitude The natural attitude- how we individually perceive world from early on as we are individuals Web-like nature of social relationships- the direct and indirect impact of individuals on others that extend beyond the individual’s immediate life and connect everyone in the world to various social networks 1. According to Mills, do ordinary men and women have a good grasp of the world around them? Why does he make that claim? Mills objective is to instil the sociological imagination into the consciousness of all thinking NorthAmericans and he began his argument by noting that most people see the world from their own particular, limited perspective. The average person does not usually connect his or her problems with larger social issues or within a broader social context. Problems are seen from the perspective of the personal, the private. page 36. According to Mills, ordinary men and women do not have a good grasp of the world around them. This is because they see the world from their own particular, limited perspective. The average person does not usually connect his or her problems with larger social issues or within a broader social context. Problems are seen from the perspective of the personal, the private. Mills writes, “What ordinary men are directly aware of [and] what they try to do are bounded by the private orbits in which they live; their visions and their powers are limited to the close-up scenes of jobs, family, neighbourhood.” This perspective is restricting and misleading because people’s lives are shaped by the broader social context within which they live. To understand their specific situation genuinely, people require a larger, more encompassing perspective. 1. What is the particular “quality of mind” he feels people need to have – describe that quality of mind in a phrase. Mills identifies that the ‘quality of mind’people need to have is ‘the sociological imagination’. He claims that that the sociological imagination is a quality of mind that requires one to grasp the social context intellectually, to come to grips with it, and apprehend the world critically in a manner that is much more complex then relying on ones normal, taken-for-granted stocks of everyday knowledge. The quality of mind refers to coming to logical conclusions with appropriate use if information and reason. This quality of mind is also called the sociological imagination. Mills wrote 5 objectives to shape the way he thought people should think, which are: to empower people, establish classical tradition as the dominant approach to North American sociology, demonstrate the weaknesses of the structional-functional perspective, and critique quantitative, survey-based sociological research. Furthermore, Mills believed that this approach to thinking should/cold be applied to everyone, not just sociologists. 1. What does Mills mean by the term “imagination?” In a sentence, what is sociology’s “task and promise?” By the term imagination, Mills means the relationship between personal relationships and experiences and society as a whole. Sociology’s task and promise involves linking personal problems to public issues. For example, one could feel like they are the only people suffering from job loss while in reality, unemployment is a global concern, making it no longer a personal burden. Imagination means, is to look at one outlook to another. Sociological imagination was to see the relationship of the lives of people and contrast that to the social aspects. Sociology’s task and promise is to be able to understand the relations of history and biography between the two inside society. 1. Describe the opening scene in Psycho and explain why it serves as an ideal vehicle to illustrate the key features of Mills’s conception of the sociological imagination. Think of a recent movie you’ve watched and describe it from the perspective of the sociological imagination. The opening scene of psycho starts with a panoramic shot of the Phoenix skyline. The shot slowly narrows in on a bedroom where two people, Sam and Marion, are having a discussion. Sam and Marion discuss how their lives seem like a constant series of traps that they have no way of escaping. It is because of these traps that marion believes the two can never be together. This is a great example of the key features of Mill's sociological imagination. The situation Marion and Sam find themselves in tells us about the structure of their particular society, where the society stands in human history, and what varieties of men and woman prevail in the society. They feel constricted and that they cannot be together because of rules and customs of their society. They think it is their own fault for these traps but really it is just the structure of their society. To solve their problems they have to look at how their personal biographies intersect with history. They will realize that their traps are merely products of their society's place in human history. Mill's main point in the sociological imagination is that you have to consider micro and macro elements. A movie I watched recently was Se7en. In Se7en, a serial killer goes about killing one person who exhibits each of the "seven deadly sins". Two detectives try and figure out who he is and stop him before he kills more victims. To look at this movie sociologically, you can say that the reason for the killing is because of the structure of society, its place in human history, and the varieties of people who prevail. The killer murders because he feels people who commit these sins are not being punished because of the society they live in. Some of these people are even prevailing in our society. The killer doesn't have a problem with the individual people, just the structure of society and how the victims fit in. C. Wright Mills defines sociological imagination as The vivid awareness of the relationship between experience and the wider society. Building up on this, the movie Psycho starts in the 1950s, on Friday, December 11 in Phoenix,Arizona. It shows us an elevated view of Phoenix, allowing us to see the buildings and the cars passing on a one- way street.After showing us the wider society, the camera zooms into the window of a fifth floor apartment with a half-opened window and slightly raised blinds eventually introducing us to the lovers Sam, who is seen standing beside the bed, wearing only dress pants and Marion lying down on the bed in a white bra. From the beginning of their conversation, it is easy to tell that Sam and Marion have a very controversial relationship and both of them feel like they are trapped in the relationship. Both, Marion and Sam have their own set of problems that seem to come in the way of their relationship. Relating this to Mills sociological imagination, which was, human beings need to be able to relate personal and private problems to a broader or larger social issue because a personal perspective is limited so it can often be misleading. Psycho begins with showing us the broader context and then moves into Sam and Marions personal problems. The broader context shows us when and where Sam and Marion are living, and where and what social forces shape their and everyone elses lives, and decisions in that time period. For the rest of the movie, the camera remains focused on Sam and Marions personal relationship and problems, but in order for the relationship to be see from a sociological perspective, according to Mills, we need to be able to see the macro version, as important as the micro version is we need to be able to form a strong connection between the couple and their surroundings. Week three Review Questions to Consider on the Sociological Imagination 1. How many sets or types of questions does Mills suggest that good sociologists ask – to what do they refer? Mills suggests that there are 3 types of questions that good sociologists should ask. They refer to questions about the structure of society, the historical and changing dynamic of social relations and human agents. They help us understand the Sociological Imagination and they also help us grasp the relations between history and biography. 1. What is the structure of some particular society as a whole? 2. Where does this society stand in human history? 3. What kind of men and women prevail in this society? The first set of questions that Mills suggest good sociologists should ask are based on the structure of society. 1. What is the structure of society as a whole? How is it webbed or woven together? What are its essential components? a. Some essential components to understanding this question are; in order to succeed in life you must attend post secondary school, whether that is university or college. Nowadays, finding a job without any post secondary schooling is rather hard. b. We have become an information society We live in a world where we are continually encouraged to consume Everyone is connected with each other which results in the loss of individualism 1. Where does the society stand in history? a. This question focuses primarily on the critical awareness of the historical and changing dynamics of social relations and relationships How does any feature affect the historical period we are currently in or are moving towards The development of humanity. For example increasing immigration and becoming more culturally diverse 2. What varieties of men and women prevail? a. Sociologists must consider how social agents are formed, liberated and repressed with their social relations and relationships b. For example women who prevailed were women who had clearly defined roles within society and their relationships at home 1. Write three or four sentences that would explain to a friend why those types of questions are important for sociological analysis. To examine the structure of society is important for sociological analysis because it shows that social relationships have almost a structural reality to them; by looking at the structure we can see how the dynamic of a society comes together. To look at society as an ever changing whole is important when looking at history, a society in 19 centuryh England is very different than that of 21 century England today. Or, one can look at how history has influenced how the society has been shaped to become what it is today. Finally, human agency is important for sociological analysis because it shows what people are liberated and given power in comparison to the isolated and repressed. By knowing the power of each social agent, one can see how a society is shaped and formed. Mills was referred to as an intellectual craftsman. Mills has three questions that he believes a good sociologist should ask. These questions pertain to the structure of society, its location in history and what men and women prevail and are coming to prevail. These questions are important for sociological analysis because they cover the basis that the society is built upon and the future or current state of the society through and analysis of culture. Sociologists can gain a further sense of the foundation of the society through asking these questions as they begin to understand how the society runs, when and why it was established and the current and future accomplishments or successes of the society. 1. Identify the main features of a “personal trouble of milieu” and use Sam as an example of someone with a personal trouble. Identify the main features of an “issue of social structure” and use Sam as an example of someone whose personal trouble is also an issue of social structure.Are the two completely separate? If not, what is their interrelationship? Personal troubles of milieu explain that people tend to think that the problems they are having do not pertain to anybody but themselves. People try to solve all of their problems because they are the only person in charge of the solution. Personal troubles of milieu imply that “trouble is a private matter” and they should stay that way. Sam’s personal trouble is that he is stuck in a world where he owes a lot of money to different people and he is unable to make sufficient funds to run his own life let alone provide for the woman he wishes to be with, which is a problem that only he can find the solution to. Issues of social structure imply that if an individual is having a problem it is not necessarily their problem alone. It may be a problem with the environment and economic systems organization, and many people may actually be going through the same troubles. It tries to state that “an issue is a public matter”, contrasting “personal trouble of milieu”. Sam’s believes that his issue is a personal trouble but in hindsight it is in fact an issue of social structure. Many people at that time were unemployed and feeling overwhelmed with payments that they had to make, as do many people today. This is an issue of social structure because there were not enough well paying jobs to support all of the workers available to work. Personal troubles of milieu and issues of social structure are interrelated as they contrast each other in most situations. Many people think that they have a personal trouble but many other members of society have either a similar or exact replica problem. Also personal troubles of milieu state that you are the only one in charge of the solution, but if it is a problem with the economy then it could possibly be a problem that would be impossible to solve on your own. 1. What is meant by the term “false consciousness?” Use Marion as an example of someone in a state of false consciousness – what would be necessary for her to escape her state of false consciousness and attain a sense of “true” consciousness? Marxist thesis – false consciousness as material and institutional processes in capitalist society are misleading to the proletariat, and to other classes. The processes betray the true relations of forced between classes, and the real state of affairs regarding the development of pre- socialist society. False consciousness is essentially a result of ideological control which the proletariat either do not know they are under, or which they disregard with a view to their own probability/possibility of upward mobility. The sociologist can correctly note that Marion and Sam live in a state of false consciousness – a truer consciousness arises through the use of the sociological imagination. False consciousness implies that a true consciousness exists, or could exist, but how do we know for certain what is true and what is false? False consciousness exists in situations where issues concerning empirically identifiable events are partial because people cannot accept reality. Marion is an example of someone in a state of false consciousness because she desperately desires respectability in a time where women took a back seat to men. Post war, they were promised many things, however disappointed. Furthermore, she wanted sexual fulfillment and to have a concrete relationship with Sam. However, this was unrealistic because he was a struggling businessman with financial troubles and she was just a secretary.Additionally, their relationship would be frowned upon for having a premarital sexual relationship in that societal age. To attain a “true” consciousness, Marion would have to realize these things in her life and be critical of herself in order to move forward. If she had been critical of her personal trouble within her social structure, it would have given her a different perspective, which would have allowed her to deal with her problems more rationally. 1. Identify a few of Mills’personal characteristics – why might they be relevant to first year students in sociology? What are the key features of an intellectual craftsman (4 points)? The key features of an intellectual craftsman are an integration of work and life; the integration  of social structure and biography; being able to apply critical reasoning to an empirically  informed analysis; the dissemination of research, which opens one up to public scrutiny and  criticism. An additional trait intellectual craftsmanship is also keeping files and a journal Week four Karl Marx and the 1859 Preface: Review Questions to Consider 1. Why is the “Preface” to Marx’s Towards a Critique of Political Economy important to sociological analysis? This critique and is generally considered to be of secondary importance among Marx's works. However, this is not the case for the Preface of the critique. The Preface consists of the first reference to of one of Marx's main theories, which is the economic interpretation of history. This is the concept that economic factors in a society, which refers to the way people produce basic requirements for life, determine the kind of politics and ideology a society will be able to have. This is important for sociological analysis because it helps sociologists to see what the potential of a society is and how it will be run. 1. For Marx, production is fundamental to social life – what is the double significance of this claim? Marx believed that production was fundamental to social life. In the Marxist theory of socialism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles believed that the proletariats (the lower class) should be in charge of the means of production. This would still allow for social classes to exist, but would be to a lesser extent than if under capitalism. Marx argued that the material productive forces (industry) that were created through capitalism were to assert a “cooperative society since production had become a collective activity of the working class to create commodities but with private ownership (the relations of production or property relations). This conflict between collective effort in large factories and private ownership would bring about a conscious desire in the working class to establish collective ownership commensurate with the collective efforts their daily experience.” 1 These economic theories create the base for the mode of production and the economic structure of society, which in turn lead to the determinate forms of consciousness. Marx wrote that, “It is not the consciousness of [people] that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness." He strongly believed that each individual was in charge of their own destiny, and only as a whole, could you change the boundaries of society (through production). Marx believed that the dynamics of capitalist production were important for sociologists and political activists to grasp and that they were crucial to social change.Asociologist can discover trends but different social forces can arise at any time and redirect social trends. 1. What are the two elements that constitute “the mode of production?” What are “the social relations of production” and what is their significance What are “the material forces of production” and what is their significance? The two elements that constitute the mode of production are the social relations of production and the material forces of production. The social relations of production encompass the ownership and control of the forces of production. The material forces of production encompass the material elements that are involved in production. Both of these elements are essential to society as factories cannot be run or managed without an authoritative human in position or materials like machinery and raw materials that can be compiled to make products. (Promise of Sociology: 89) The two elements that constitute “ the mode of production” are the social relations of production and the material forces of production. The social relationships of production are the relations that occur between the owners of productions and the workers of production. For example, in a feudal society the lords control the “forces of production” (the land), and they sell them to serfs who in turn produce food and tools. The material forces of production are the material elements of production. This includes technology, factories, raw materials and physical workers. The two elements that constitute “the mode of production” are the social relations of production and material forces of production. The social relations of production are between the people with respect to ownership and access to the productive forces (legal property relations). Their significance is that it involves the ownership and control of the forces of production (Beamish, 89). The material forces of production consist of two parts; the means of productions and the labour power which consists of the bourgeoisie(owners) and proletariats(workers). Their significance is that the mode of production of material forces according to Karl Marx conditions the social, political and intellectual process of life overall (Beamish, 90). Side note: The Bourgeoisies according to Marx will be overthrown by the Proletarians because there are much more workers than owners. In addition, once the workers unionize they can abolish the amount of power in that the owners withhold. 1. What are the two provisional conclusions that emerge from Marx’s presentation of the base and superstructure model? The two provisional conclusions of Marx's presentation of the base and superstructure model are outlined on page 89-90 of Beamish's book, The Promise of Sociology; "First, the mode of production is the key to understanding all social relations, including the 'social, political, and intellectual processes of life overall' that constitute the super structure. The second conclusion is a corollary of the first. It is not consciousness or ideas that determine of shape social life; on the contrary, social life (living within a society) determines consciousness." Week five Karl Marx and the 1859 Preface: Review Questions to Consider 1. In the “orthodox” reading of Marx’s theory of social change, how does change occur? Where is the source of dynamism? Marx argues that the forces of production would continually develop and come into conflict with the social relations of production, ultimately creating revolutionary change. In orthodox readings, social change is connected to either “technological determinism” or “economic determinism.” The technological determinist argument states that machinery is the key to social change; social change occurs simultaneously with technological advancement. The economic determinist argument, on the other hand, states that it is not machinery or technology that drives history and social change but the economy as a whole. The economy determines or shapes the types of contradictions that will emerge and create, animate, or drive revolutionary change. Social change, whether driven by technology or by the economy, relies on the existence of class conflict; opposition between the capitalists (the bourgeoisie) and the working class. 1. What are the constituent parts of the “forces of production?” The forces of production facilitate, encourage and require production for profit. 1. What is the significance of recognizing “living labour-power” and “spaces of production” as components of the forces of production? Living labour power is the ability of a human to do work and something that Marx considered the sole source of surplus value. Spaces of production is a place where products are made such as factories, a category that falls under the material forces of production. Marx concludes that when one breaks down the material forces of production into subcategories including spaces, labour power must serve the double function of being part of the production process as well as the social part of production, showing a certain reliable relationship between the two. (The Promise of Sociology: 99-102) 1. What is the role of “the legal, political, religious, artistic or philosophical, in short, ideological [superstructure]” in Marx’s theory of social change? The "Ideological Superstructure" In Marx's theory of social change is displayed through a relationship between the structure of society and the Ideologies. The Ideological superstructure is initially a result of the way society is structured. Marx and Engels argued "Humans distinguish themselves from animals as soon as they begin to produce their means of subsistence...Insofar as they produce their subsistence, they produce their material lives themselves" (Marx and Engels, 1939:6-7) (Ciatation from textbook). They argue that social life is a result of our means of production, in that once our necessities are provided, religion, politics, etc. can then exist. They describe this relationship as "The social relations of production." They also argue that as the 'Ideological Superstructure' changes, it will change the relationship with production, changing the 'Mode of Production.' This overall concept is illustrated as follows:Superstructure:-social, political, and intellectual processes of life overall---------------^^-------------------Base:-Mode of production:Social relations of production;Material forces of production. Marx's superstructure is made up of legal, political, religious, artistic, and philosophical aspects. All these parts of society in the superstructure are determined by the base, which is the economic structure and the mode of production. The base determines the superstructure, but the superstructure will try and control the base and keep life stable. Instead of a result of a dynamic, changing base, the superstructure will eventually become a restriction or chain holding back the development of the base. At this time, the workers that make up the base will have to lead revolutions against the aristocrats and bourgeoisie of the superstructure in order to bring about social change. The role of the superstructure is to act as a fetter for development and change in society, until people from the base level rise up in revolution or revolt and change things themselves. 1. Put the key ideas from Marx’s 1859 Preface into a “Quick Facts about the 1859 Preface” summary chart or box – what 7 points should go in that summary tabulation? What nuances or subtleties are lost in your “1859 Preface in a box”? Week six Karl Marx and the Communist Manifesto: Review Questions to Consider 1. Within the Manifesto, what are the main features Marx attributes to the bourgeoisie as one of the two main titans in the struggle for power? Marx says that the bourgeoisie was a revolutionary class that radically transformed society s it rose to dominance from within the feudal order (p. 110).According to Marx, the most important change that the bourgeoisie accomplished was transforming the feudal society into a market-based one. He claims that they are very strong but they had produced a class that would grow not only to oppose it but to over throw it (p.115). 1. What are some of the key images that Marx uses in the Manifesto that suggest it is an insightful presentation of the dynamics of modernity?” 1. Within the Manifesto, what are the main features Marx attributes to the proletariat as one of the two main titans in the struggle for power? The proletariat is the revolutionary force , that Marx believes, will change the world (p. 98). Marx states that: “The proletariat, the lowest stratum of our present society, cannot stir, cannot raise itself up, without the whole super incumbent strata of official society being sprung into the air” (p. 115) 1. Why did Marx think the proletariat would become a revolutionary force? To what extent was that one of the social consequences of the dynamic of modernism?” The proletariat would become a revolutionary force because this part of the population was only going to increase in number and strength. With the help of technological advances, machinery would further separate the proletariat (working class) and the bourgeoisie (middle class) as time went by, and these low-paid workers would come together to power over them by forming trade unions and participating in riots. In other words, instead of enduring the unfairness alone, the working class would share grievances and become politicized and take action. It is the dynamic of modernity that created the working class. Originally, this proletariat was created to abolish feudalism. “The weapons with which the bourgeoisie felled feudalism to the ground are now turned against the bourgeoisie itself” (page 113 in the text). 1. Explain the significance of “class consciousness” for understanding the sociological theory Marx sketched out in the Manifesto. 1. Put the key ideas from the Manifesto into a “Quick Facts about Manifesto” summary chart or box – what 5 to 7 points should go in that summary tabulation? What nuances or subtleties are lost in your “Manifesto in a box”? Quick Facts about Manifesto 1. It is high time that “Communists should …meet this nursery tale of the spectre of Communism with a manifesto of the party itself.” 2. The rise of the bourgeoisie as a class and the implications this has for life in the emerging modern world. 3. The bourgeoisie, was a revolutionary class radically transformed society as it rose to dominance from within the feudal order. 4. The constant revolutionary change of the “instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. 5. Concentration, centralization, and increasingly rationalized production characterized this modern era. 6. The key features of feudal production were its heavy reliance on tradition and its enduring stability. Points are lost in the “Manifesto” in a box 1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. 2. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture. 3. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in he hands of the state.     1. Draw up “Marx in a Summary Box” in which you list the key points that are important for sociology. Key points that are important for sociology are: Social change occurs because of class struggles The economic infrastructure of society shapes power relationships that constitute social relationships and formationsThe intersection of the history of the social structure with the biography of social classes as a critical aspect of Marx’s position Marx focused on an early industrializing period of capitalism Poor conditions can lead to a rebellion Asocial change can highly benefit those that were previously suffering and decided to rebel Marx believed that workers would develop a revolutionary consciousness, when combined with desire for change lead to actions for change Establishing Sociology as an Empirically-Based Science of Society: Review Questions 1. What are the key components to the Cartesian method? Descartes Discourse on Method - eliminated knowledge based on prejudice, tradition, or religious precept radical doubt- Descartes comes up with 4 rules1. accept nothing; reject prejudice2. divide questions into simplest parts3. begin with most simple move to more complex4. review thoroughly- most associated with Descartes how he thought the mind should perceive to gain real knowledge- from metaphysics to observation was a radical creates systematic experiment of knowledge- challenge every truth - critique and criticism central to scholarship and knowledge 1. What three social types did Montesquieu identify and on what basis did he make those distinctions? 1. What important dimension of social control did Montesquieu identify? "Law, in Montesquieu's analysis, is the only way of controlling people's conduct - which makes Montesquieu among the first to focus upon mechanisms of social control other than the power of a centralized state or government." (page 130) 1. What are Saint-Simon’s three main contributions to sociology? What is the importance of the structure of medieval society for Saint-Simon’s thought? Saint-Simon developed an empirically based science of society. It “…(R)einforced the break from metaphysical and speculative social thought and affirmed the use of an empirical, scientifically inspired approach to the study of society” (Beamish, 132). Saint- Simon believed that the “medieval society was comprised of different orders, which were arranged in an important, functional hierarchy that eliminated all class conflict. At the base, there were the producers (the feudal serfs) who were coordinated by a ruling, or temporal, elite (the nobility), and the entire society was integrated by the spiritual elite” (Beamish, 132). Saint- Simon created the concept of “society as an integrated, functional, evolving entity” (Beamish, 132) through the structure of medieval society. The structure of medieval society as based around three orders – the spiritual elite, the governing elite (or temporal elite), and the productive classes. These orders became Saint-Simon’s reference point for all his future work, and became the “template for Saint- Simon’s conception of both social structure and the evolutionary development of societies through history” (Beamish, 132). 1. What were the three stages of history that Saint-Simon identified; what were their characteristics; and why did he see the process as one of development? 1. What is meant by “positivism” and what are the most important characteristics of Comte’s positivist position? 1. What were Comte’s three stages of history? A law that each of our leading conceptions, or each branch of our knowledge, pass successively through 3 different theoretical conditions. These conditions being: 1. the Theological, or fictitious; a. fetishism b. polytheism c. monotheism 2. metaphysical or abstract stage 3. positive stage The three stages are considered a result of thinking development and accumulation of philosophical achievements. 1. What was the relationship between social statics and social dynamics? The relationship between the two is that they both refer to an individual being shaped by a group or being in a social realm. One can simply change or adapt a behaviour simply by being placed in another social setting. Week seven Emile Durkheim and the Classical Tradition: Review Questions to Consider. 1. What was Durkheim concerned about when he wrote The Division of Labour in Society and how did the study move his sociological framework forward? When Durkheim wrote The Division of Labour in Society he was concerned with questioning social order and the “study of the organization of advanced societies”. The way he planned to question social order was to take into account conscience collective, also known as conscience and consciousness. His first question he wanted to analyze was the relationship between individuals and society as a whole To do this, Durkheim focused mainly on the empirical and observational study, but he decided this wasn’t enough and wanted to find a way that societies are scientific and he was determined to prove that they are. This began Durkheim into a different turn of establishing sociology as its own science, which caused him to find a repressive law and a restitutive law meaning “avenging a community morality” and “return things as they were” respectively. Arepressive law implied that the society had a mechanical solidarity and a restitutive law implied that the society had an organic solidarity. Durkheim’s study moved him forwards into many different directions initially going from a broad topic of studying the organization of advanced societies to classifying society into different types and classifying sociology as a science. 1. What is the significance of the term conscience collective in Durkheim’s study The Division of Labour in Society? What two types of law did Durkheim use to serve as empirical indicators of the conscience collective? The conscience collective described by Durkheim is complex. The conscience collective is the social substratum, or section, of the legal system.According to Durkheim, different types of law are indicative of different types of social consciousness and different types of solidarity (p.144). Durkheim also explains that the conscience collective is not something that we are very aware of, it is not very obvious but yet it exists. This entity exists separately from the conscience of each individual, yet it comes into existence through all individuals thinking, judging and acting. It is there before they are born into a society and it will endure after the individual is gone. The other important point he makes is that it is through the conscience collective that the individual and society are actually brought together in social action (p.145). The two laws Durkheim used to serve as empirical indicators of the conscience collective are: the repressive law and the restitutive law (p.130). The repressive law is a highly intense response in the part of the individual in a society in which this form of law dominates to anyone who disagrees or refutes the ideals that are part of the conscience collective (p.145). this law is present in societies that are referred to “mechanical solidarity”. Mechanical solidarity is classified is a term Durkheim uses to emphasize that the individual is bound almost directly to society through a conscience collective that provides a single, powerful, total belief system (p.146). The other law he talks about is the restitutive law. This law does not involve the suffering of the individual but is more about the “return of things to the way they were” and the reestablishment of troubled relations back to their normal state. Restitutive law is only possible in societies with advanced division of labour (p.146). 1. What is meant by “organic solidarity” and “mechanical solidarity?” What is the relationship between the two? 1. How and why does Durkheim distinguish biological and psychological facts from social facts? Biology vs. sociology Sociology deals with shared ideas, patterns of conscious action and social institutions and structures, which are not the same as biological structures and their functions. Psychology vs. sociology Psychology is concerned with thought processes internal to the individual, whereas sociology is concerned with processes external to the individual. 1. Why does Durkheim use the example of children being educated (or socialized) into society – what is the importance of the example with respect to a “social fact”? 1. How is Peter Berger’s description of an individual standing at the centre of a series of concentric circles relate to Durkheim’s notion of a “social fact”? Berger argues that every one of us is located “at the centre of a number of concentric circles, each one representing a system of social control”. This image helps clarify Durkheim’s notion that living in society means that one is faced with “many forces that constrain and coerce” one’s thoughts and actions. Durkheim’s notion of a social facts are group habits, generalized patterns of action, traditions, and are internalized by the socialized individual and determine behaviour.According to Durkheim, people’s actions are shaped or influenced by their social location, and, even when they resist all social constraints, they are, nonetheless, implicated in the dynamics of social control. This informal dimension of social control is fundamentally important to Durkheim’s sociology. 1. Why is Durkheim’s study of suicide considered important by sociologists? The study of suicide is considered important by sociologists because it takes a very individualistic decision and demonstrates it as a sociological concept since it demonstrates social factors that predispose some and protect others from making this critical decision (Beamish 2010: 157). The study of suicide is considered important by sociologists because it takes a very individualistic decision and demonstrates it as a sociological concept since it demonstrates social factors that predispose some and protect others from making this critical decision (Beamish 2010: 157). 1. What were the three categories of suicide Durkheim identified? What are four implications of Durkheim’s study of suicide? The three categories of Durkheim's suicide are egoistic suicide (the role of religion in integration), altruistic suicide (strong sense of integration), and anomic suicide (loss of normality). Four implications of Durkheim's study of suicide are: • a new science to explain and predict • exerts a social or societal control • new methodology – large data sets linking independent and dependent variables • pivotal in development of an empirical, natural science oriented approach to the study of society 1. Put the key ideas to Durkheim’s sociology in a “Quick Facts about Durkheim” summary chart or box; what 5 to 7 points should go in that summary tabulation? 1. In what ways are Marx’s and Durkheim’s approaches to the study of society similar? How do they differ? Marx and Durkheim held that that are grand narratives of progress, which came out of the Enlightenment promise that through reason, mastery and progress, we can understand and master the world. Both sociologists studied society from a macro perspective, and analyzed the transformation from an agrarian culture to an industrialized one. Marx and Durkheim observed the way institutions function together, and while Durkheim considered it to be an efficient system, Marx thought it would lead to tension and conflict. Unlike Marx, one of Durkheims missions in life was to establish sociology as a scientific discipline. Durkheim strived to establish sociology as an empirical, observational based science and separate sociology from all individualist theories such as economics, politics, and philosophy. He held that all individuals and institutions within a society had a functional purpose, and that every person within a society worked with a similar goal in mind. Thus, Durkheim was labeled a structural functionalist. Marx said that understanding the economy was the most fundamental thing to sociological study. The key focuses of Marxs study were upon political economy, class formation, class conflict and the dynamic of history. He introduced conflict theory, which says that there is always
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