LEVELS OF ANALYSIS
Power is a contested concept in social theory.
We will consider how power is problematic in everything.
1.Power in Hobbes, power is a possession that helps to influence other actors.
2.Power as a concrete event, a consequence of relations, that produces a benefit for
some group in society.
Power lacks concrete form. That makes its analysis difficult.
REVIEW OF MAJOR ELEMENTARY CONCEPTS
macro micro meso levels of analysis
Weber: using the word power to say that something happened that was powerful. It
actually caused things to change. *is power just cause by another name then?
the basic suppositions of any theoretical system and sound social science
a way of studying the constuction of social theory, its methods, and data analysis
theory is like an underlaborer.
METATHEORY ASKS : what do theorists do when they thoerize?
what criteria do people use to create theories?
you must ask what methods? descriptions? analysis? and models?
statements about the nature of stuff. it is the qua.
what kinds of things are there in the world?
1.materialism: is the world entirely made up of matter?
2.idealism: is the world entirely made up of experiences?
3.dualism: or is reality made up of both material things and experiences of those
things? or, can anything be known about the world outside of our individual
the theory of knowledge
how do we know what we know?
what is the relationship between the knower and known?
these questions can be asked of society. how is one to know what people say they know?
how will we know what people thought?
weber says we will read documents (cf foucault)
questions of ethics and morality.
these are found in statements about how the world ought to be.
how can research be implemented to change society effectively? the requirement of
science (including social) that we must suspend our morality... but can social
scientists make judgements objectively? is it even possible.
WEBER unequivocably believes we should be value neutral in our pursuit of this knowledge. He is looking for a purely historical discussion, we should not be burdened
with whether capitalism is good or bad.
Questions of how we know what we know, this includes premises and evidence
gives knowledges the property of being valid.
what counts as evidence? how do we make judgements. a valid argument follows from the
conclusions of its premises.
Weber says we need to examine with special care such writings as have evidently been
derived from ministerial practice. that's the only way he believes we can know what
people were thinking since they are dead. he makes this the legitimate evidence.
the study of small scale units and individual relationships
Jepperson & Meyer article tries to take the Weber argument from the micro level and
theorize on the macro level.
analysis of large-scale, long-term social processes, phenomena, and structures.
usually theorizing about social change. in this way, that is exactly what weber was
looking for. it is not just how people feel, but about how things arrived at this
often comprised of comparative and historical studies of society as a "whole"
social processes and ordering that occur between the macro and micro levels of social
Robert K. Merton brought this to the fore. What is the interaction between individuals
and larger institutions function.
The meso level of social analysis examines how macro structures or cultural
arrangements shape/influence situations of interaction between individuals or groups,
and explains how individuals and groups maintain, modify, or change macro structures.
- ie budget cuts, political sphere to academy
how the big affects the small and the small affects the big.
discussing emergence of capitalism
4.increasing RATIONALIZATION of daily life: a particular kind of thinking that
organizes social action in order to best accumulate wealth.
this argument has a number of dimensions and levels of analysis to explain this social
transformation, as we will see today.
1. LUTHER - lutherans emphasized reduction of church authority, end to monasticism,
limit to church regulation of everyday life. We don't need the church to tell us how
to worship god, we can read the bible ourselves.
2. CALVIN - imposed stricter controls on life (kind of antithetical to luther in this
regard, but these controls are of a very different nature). emphasized the TOTAL
DEPRAVITY of human condition: all flesh is evil. STRONG CHURCH ORGANIZATION. staunch
opposition to pleasure, pleasure is evil and of the devil.
protestant theology, all you need to know:
sola fide: JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH. no salvation by indulgences etc
PRIESTHOOD OF ALL BELIEVERS. church has no special authority to grant forgiveness. only god can judge. we have a direct relationship.
PREDISTINATION. god is omniscient and omnipotent, therefore HE ALREAD KNOWS WHO IS
SAVED AND WHO IS DAMNED so we don't need indulgences. we might be saved or not. we
have no free will over our own souls. this is crucial for Weber's thesis!
DOING GOD'S WORK
A CALLING OR VOCATION OR PROFESSION
inner sense that you ought to work in a particular field, ie you feel drawn to work in
charity for its own sake, NOT for monetary reward.
If chuch no longer verifies our salvation, how do we show god our dedication.
"SALVATION ANXIETY" how do we know we are saved if there is no way to show your
devotion to god.
so WORLDLY activity replaces CHURCH activity. instead of showing devotion a