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Harper Feltcher FInal Review Notes.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 2280
Professor
Scott Brandon
Semester
Fall

Description
SOC 2280 Harper and Fletcher Notes  Key Terms  Key Ideas Chapter 4: The State and Policy – Imperialism, Exclusion, and Ecological Violence as State Policy The Nation-State as an Engine of Profit and Environmental Harm -The concept of a pluralist state is closely associated with the writings ofAlexis de Tocqueville and Robert Dahl -The pluralist idea is that politics in a democracy is a process in which various associations engage in a competition for access to state resources and governmental control • For example: Trade unions, business groups, churches, activist organizations -Interest groups and associations strive to influence state policy making through this process, thus allowing citizens multiple ventures for voicing their concerns and gaining access to the political system The Treadmill of Production: -This is a time when wages were rising for workers and a new era of prosperity was ushered in by an alliance among industry, labour unions, and the state -Private capital’s need for a reliable labour force aided in the development of strong trade unions that could bargain for wage increases and safer working conditions -Treadmill underwent significant changes in 1945 -As global economic market competition heated up industry cut costs in order to remain competitive by weakening labour movement, reducing workers’wages, and downsizing many positions in firms -This created massive unemployment, abandoned factories, and toxic hot spots -The treadmill of production is formed by two components: 1. Ecological disruption 2. Social disruption Environmental Justice Studies -Environmental justice emphasizes the unequal outcomes of market-based and state economic and environmental policy making on people of colour, indigenous populations, and the working class or poor -Major concern in this field is environmental inequality • Environmental Equality is when a population suffers a high burden of environmental harm and is excluded from environmental decisions affecting its communities -Race was the best preditor of where hazardous waste sites would be located in the United States prompting the term “environmental racism” Environmental Racism is the placement of low-income or minority communities in a proximity of environmentally hazardous or degraded environments, such as toxic waste, pollution and urban decay The Risk Society -“The Risk Society” theory is based on the work of a German social theorist Ulrich Beck -Marked by a fundamental transformation in the relationship among industry, the state, civil society, and the environment -In the late 1980s and 1990s the United States has been the world’s leading producer and exporter of toxic waste, with an estimated 500 million tons -In the 1980s and 1990s the United States was producing more than one ton of hazardous chemical substances Sovereignty is the ability of a nation’s citizens to self-govern and to determine their own fate without interference from others -Catherine Mackinnon describes the state as gendered in so far as it has a predominately male orientation, meaning that not only do men constitute the majority of people in positions of authority within the state but the state works to protects men’s interests Sexual Contract is the exclusion of women from public spheres of power -In 2000, the majority of persons in neighbourhoods hosting hazardous facilities are people of colour Imperialism is best characterized as a system of foreign power in which another culture, people, and way of life penetrate, transform, and come to define a colonized society U.S. Imperialism -The Monroe Doctrine is the single most important factor in the development of U.S. imperialism in the 19 century -In 1823, President James Monroe declared theAmericas off-limits to any new European colonization U.S. Federal Policies and Treaty Making -The decision in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Johnson V. McIntosh case resulted in what has been called the “Marshall Doctrine” – concluded that the right of native peoples to their lands is diminished and that the sovereignty of the discoverers was superior to the indigenous people -Natural resources such as land, minerals, timber, fish, water, and other ecological wealth was available for the taking if the U.S. government deemed it necessary -The U.S. wanted to “civilize” NativeAmericans by encouraging them to embrace private property while reducing their land base -This land base went to white settlers, private companies, and federal government -“Dawes Act” resulted in the removal of two-thirds of land from native peoples -These policies show that unemployment, alcoholism, domestic violence, rape, suicide and social ills are abnormally high in native communities Chapter 6: Corporate Power – The Role of the Global Media in Shaping What We Know About the Environment The Need for Diversity of Views in a Democracy -Environmental issues are often debated in such ways to ensure that corporations are never pointed out as a cause or course of environmental degradation -As the media downgrading the issue of global warming, citizens become incapable of understanding and acting on the real issue (people prefer quick answers, quick fixes and easy-to-understand concepts) -Awell-informed citizen under democratic ruling is more likely to properly respond to political decision-making -More citizens engage in the democratic process to ensure their interests are protected through the enactment of environmental and labour laws, the stronger the democratic system becomes -Corporate interests will never pursue a path toward social and environmental sustainability The Rise of Transnational Corporations -Corporations were given the same “rights” to influence the government in their own interest as were extended to individual citizens, paving the way for corporations to use their wealth to dominate public thought -This allowed them to trick the public with the belief that they would serve them in their best interests Defining Characteristics of Corporations -Through advertising, marketing, and control of information, corporations are able to create desires, invent needs, and foster traditions that encourage unquestioned consumption -Corporations today spend over half as much per capita on advertising than the world spends on education -PR firms have become adept at creating the impression of grassroots support for corporate causes so as to convince politicians to oppose environment reforms -Sustained economic growth is viewed as sovereign enterprises -In order to maximize this growth, the preferred environment is the “free” market economy -It is assumed that “privatization” (corporate controlled economy) removes inefficiencies in the public sector, allowing more goods to be brought to people faster -70% of world trade is controlled by 500 corporations Corporate Welfare -Each year the U.S. Congress pays billions of dollars toAmerican corporations in the form of direct subsides and tax breaks -In 2006, those subsidies totalled $92 billion dollars -Corporate welfare costs more than 4 times as much as welfare to the poor -One of the largest recipients is General Electric (GE) -Contractor’s get subsides by mandating military aid given to foreign countries used to buyAmerican weapons -Each year billons of U.S. taxpayer dollars go to U.S. weapons merchants -There have been more than 90 nuclear power plants in over 10 counties -In 2005 GE spent over $24 million lobbying the U.S. Congress to craft legislation that would benefit its company and garner contracts -GE dumped carcinogenic PCBs for over three decades -Up until the late 20 century, corporations freely disposed of their toxic industrial waste into rivers, waterways, and neighbourhoods -Privatization of public resources means that democratically elected governments sign away their control over domestic water supplies by participating in trade treaties like NAFTAand WTO -TNCs are considered individual citizens under the law and are dependant upon public money for their own growth and expansion, but are not accountable for the public The History of Corporate Global Media -In current years the media serves two main functions 1. Global media plays a central role for nonmedia firms by facilitating their business interests (providing advertisements to expand into new markets, new counties, and new regions) 2. Global media’s news and entertainment provide information and ideological environment that helps sustain political, economic, and normal basis for marketing goods and for having a dominant free-market agenda -The media convinces us thatAmerican-style democracy and the free-market economy are the only paths toward “freedom” -The first form of global media was wire-based international news agencies such as Reuters and theAssociated Press -By 1914, 85% of the world film audience was watchingAmerican films -State deregulation of private industries, a decline in the social welfare state, and privatization of state-run companies and services – defining characteristics of economic globalization greatly facilitated the expansion of TNCs and hence the increasing growth and consolidation of global media -Today, the system of free-market liberalism rests upon the widespread acceptance of global corporate ideology -This ideology has played an important role in rationalizing and sanctifying unequal relations of power -The ideology that the free-market economy is actually free and that what is good for corporations is good for people – acting through the global media – is today a powerful form of social control Core Elements of the Global Media Corporate Ideology -There are two core elements of the new global media corporate ideology 1. Markets allocate resources efficiently and should provide the means of organizing economic and perhaps all human life 2. Freedom is often equated with the absence of any state business regulations -Economic freedom leads to and guarantees political freedom (although media is not free at all) -Today’s global media has no social, moral, or political obligations beyond the pursuit of profit Vertical Integration is the process of increased ownership over all aspects of media production and distribution -AOLTime Warner, Disney, Viacom, NewsCorp, Bertelsmann, and General Electric are the six big companies that control a bulk of information and are interested in free-market ideology Millirems are a unit of measure that estimates the damage radiation does to human tissue The Role of Advertising -Global media’s attempt to attack larger audiences means that there is increased competition for advertising -Only those with money can buy advertising space (political discrimination) -This has led to deterioration of quality of news Global Media Sources -Parts of American news production have been outsourced to countries like India with huge concentrations and cheap labour -Media power is political power, and only the wealthiest have access to it Violating the Corporate Agenda -When the media does not adopt the official corporate or governmental position on an issue, these monitors will systematically attack the media for carless reporting, unfounded claims, and other violations -U.S. businesses spend about $1 billion a year on services of PR professionals who help wage their battles on the global media Chapter 17: Environmental Movements in the Global South Differences Between Environmentalism in the Global North and in the Global South -Environmentalism in North America was founded with the idea of preserving nature for nature’s sake (biodiversity preservation) and for the good of humanity -John Muir, first president of the Sierra Club, argued for protecting undeveloped and undisturbed habitats so that the public could visit these areas for spiritual uplift and recreational activities -There is more concern in the global south -Richer nations do not have as much concern for the environment as poorer nations • For example: 77% of Mexicans surveyed perceive air pollution to be a serious problem and 81% perceive species loss as “very serious”. In the United States 60% perceive air pollution as a problem and 50% perceive species loss as a “very serious” problem. -Poorer nations were more willing to pay over time where as the richer nations were not Grassroots Cases from India, Nigeria, and Bolivia Asia: The Chipko Movement in India: • The Chipko Movement began in 1973 and was the first internationally recognized “ecology” movement from a developing country • The village activists (many were women), placed their bodies between loggers and the trees (the loggers stopped and did not cut the trees) • “Chipko” literally means to “cling” • Since women were involved it was also considered a feminist movement • Their efforts to preserve the Sarawak rain forest were transformed into an international campaign for indigenous rights Africa: The Ogoni Resistance in Nigeria: • The survival of the Ogoni people focused its attention on a transitional corporation • 80% of Nigeria’s revenue came from oil • Shell has been drilling oil out of Nigeria since 1958 (they promised development) yet it left half a million indigenous people homeless and surrounded by open gas flares • They were promised clean water, schools, and health care but 30 years later, they are far worse off • MOSOP (another corporation) called for the boycott of shell – Greenpeace and Amnesty International became involved in this case • There was a lot of killing and conflict over the pros and cons of “Shell” LatinAmerica: The “Water War” in Cochabamba, Bolivia • Most recent case, in 2000 against the transnational giants of neoliberalism • The government began privatizing once public resources • Government changed laws so that latter forms of war acquisition would be illegal • People felt violated and protested that water was a basic human right and that corporations should not control it • In the end, the people won and retained the right to access their water • Today, Bolivia has the first ever indigenous president, Evo Morales, who was part of the “water war” Resistance to Ecological Imperialism -Transnational environmentalism has been criticized by some from the south as a form of “ecoemperialism” -The critique is that organizations helping with environmental issues are creating the same problem -Global north is attempting to exert control over foreign environments -Globalization of the environment has opened doors to funding flows between north and south -This makes it more possible for the north to manage the south Chapter 20: Conclusion – Unanswered questions of the Future of Environmental Sociology Throughout the last 19 “lessons” in environmental sociology, some interlinking themes emerged that coincide with the four parts of the book: 1. Historically, sociologists have separated social and ecological systems; however, environmental sociologists have sought to reintegrate these systems both theoretically and empirically 2. Environmental problems are the result of human social organization, and such as, their solutions are not simply technical but require changing human social organization 3. The negative effects of environmental problems are not equally distributed; less socially powerful groups suffer more than others 4. There are varied responses to environmental changes; those that attempt to alter human social organization have a tall task and face resistance. There is no single or simple answer to solving environmental problems A Sociological Environmental Imagination -In looking to solutions to environmental problems, C. Wright Mills’classic piece “the sociological imagination” in the book by the same name as the chapter titled “The Promise” presents a useful analysis -Mills differentiates between “personal troubles” and “public issues” -The solutions in environmental problems will be found in changing social institutions and processes Back to the Classes -The economic synthesis continues with production expansion and accelerates the treadmill production -The result is increasing additions and withdrawals, as well as increased inequality, due to the use of high-energy technology and the displacement of workers -The managed scarcity synthesis involves reducing or altering production to some extent to protect the environment, largely through
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