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SOC231H5- Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 26 pages long!)


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC231H5
Professor
Zaheer Baber
Study Guide
Final

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UTM
SOC231H5
Final EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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SOC231 - Lecture 1; Introduction
“We continue to learn from Aristotle or Machiavelli (or Marx, Weber, Durkheim) without
having to become Aristotelians or Machiavellians (or Marxist, Weberian, Durkheimian)”
Key Concepts/Ideas
Social Structure” – “Ideology” - “Agency” = Social Change
Structure; natural (time-lapse of planet)
Agency; social protest - engaging in intentional human activity to change
social structure
Contemporary relevances; where do we come from, what are we, where are
we going?
“The Enlightenment”
Enlightenment movement; 18th century intellectual and social movement
To shed light of reason in society
Focus on reason and reject tradition
Using a formula that applied to the natural world and trying to apply it to the
social world
The Social Contract (intellectual contract)
12th - 18th century europe and the west; a series of ongoing crises
(Feudalism to Capitalism)
“Class”, “Gender”: “Society” not an organic unity
The Romantic-Conservative Reaction
Positivism
I. The Social and Intellectual context
Sociology: “intellectual response to a crisis”
17-18th century Europe and the world, a series of ongoing “crises”: “Feudalism” to
“Capitalism”
“The world turned upside down”
The Scientific Revolution 1600’s
Industrial Revolution/Capitalism: 1750’s
1776: The American Revolution
1789- The French Revolution
Colonialism; Trans-Atlantic Slavery; the Anti-Slave Revolution in Haiti 1791-1804
(a) the discovery of “Society” distinct from “Nature”
(b) the individual-society relationship
(c) the discovery of “social change” versus “natural” change – tropical storms versus
revolutions
(d) SUBJECTS >>> CITIZENS
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Social institutions are neither “natural” nor divine, but humanly created entities; can
be transformed through social action
II. The “Enlightenment”
Eurocentrism; civilizing mission
18th Century Intellectual and social movement
To “shed light” of “REASON” on “society”
Newtonian scientific method to understand society: application of REASON
Every sphere of society, including RELIGION was subjected to RATIONAL scientific
scrutiny (BUT…NO DISMISSAL OF RELIGION AS SUCH – only POWER OF THE
CLERGY)
Existing social conditions and institutions not unchangeable facts of nature
The “is” and the “ought” connection
Current situation “is” problematic – “ought” to be changed
There is a connection between what ‘is’ and what ‘ought’ to be (seeds of
change)
We must figure out what ought to be to enlighten society
Current situation is problematic - ‘ought’ to be changed
III. Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
Coined the term “Society”: How is society possible?
The Concept of the “social contract”
Thomas Hobbes vs. Rousseau
Hobbes: the natural state, “war of each against all”
Explains how society is possible; how we compete in society
Thinks of social contract - thinks of time when humans were driven by
unstoppable desire when there was no society - to acquire as much power as
possible which is seen as human nature
Causes constant state of war for power
Innovation; social contract where people sick of their own human nature so
they agree on the modern state to set ground rules with power to enforce
causing the beginnings of society (social relations, etc) people realize that
with political culture with rules then there will be society with social context
without war
Absolutist authority; the leviathan that prevents all conflict
Society: possible due to a social contract for an absolutist authority, the Leviathan,
that prevents all out conflict - “THE STATE”
Rousseau’s rebuttal
“state of nature”: humans are isolated, indifferent to each other
No “society”, “language” or “culture”
Population growth and division of labour etc: social inequality
Emergence of classes, hierarchy, private property
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