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Sociology of Power 334 09-09

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC334
Professor
Ariane Hanemaayer
Semester
Fall

Description
SOCIOLOGY 334 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? METATHEORY 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? ONTOLOGY statements about the nature of stuff. it is the qua. what kinds of things are there in the world? different schools: 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 experiences? EPISTEMOLOGY 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) NORMATIVE 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. LOGIC 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. MICRO 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. MACRO 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 place. often comprised of comparative and historical studies of society as a "whole" MESO (MIDDLE) social processes and ordering that occur between the macro and micro levels of social organization. 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. Weber's Argument discussing emergence of capitalism he identifies: 1.protestant reformation 2.changing beliefs 3.asceticism 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 BERUF 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
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