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SOCB47H3 Study Guide - Metanarrative, Social Inequality, Class Conflict

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Landlot Patricia

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SOCB47 L1 Ch1 Unpacking the Centre
Everyday practices as an important entry point to organization of power
Connection between - Everyday practices and the social organization of power
- Everyday practices are a part of people’s commonplace and taken for
granted activities.
- Everyday activities reflect, reproduce and at times challenge power relations
- When you choose to not question your everyday practices it means you are
reproducing a power structure
- When you question it, you are going against the power structure
How our gender, race, age, class, the social locations are reflected in our everyday
“Why are certain practices encouraged or discouraged?”
Difference between Marxist and Feucodian?
Marxist, material ways are organized
Feucodian, symbolic ways
Who benefits from this way of organizing our everyday lives?
Unpacking the Centre: How to approach the study of power?
- Study the center, not the deviant or marginal
o Most books study the deviant of social inequality not the centre
o We should study white not the deviants
o Most study the poor as opposed to the wealthy
o You’re not questioning the power, you’re asking why the others are
o What is it that grants privilege to whiteness?
o Can focus on heterosexuality and homosexuality
- Focus on patterns of social inequality not just stratification
o Focusing on the relationship that produce and maintain the
stratification of power
o One group that looks at stratification
They look at the pyramid distribution of control, money
o One group looks at social inequality
Relationship stratification of power structure, political
- Explore the taken for granted features of dominant forms of social
o Positions of social advantage
o See the world through that social location
o Figuring out the stuff that is unmarked and unnamed
- Locate yourself vis-à-vis “the centre”
o Over the course of our lives our social location can change

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o It’s dynamic because we’re not robots
o We think about who we are
o Over time we might question forms of privilege that we own, or
How to think about power
- Power can be associated with visible coercion
o Ability to force people to do something
- Power the ability of a person, group, organization, discourse, etc. to put into
place the definition of a situation
o Ability to define situations for us, “that person is a criminal”
o Education
- Power is also the ability to define morality; the creation of ideals which
people and organizations then endeavored to achieve
o Socialized to aspire to certain things
o When you fail, you decide that the failings are yours
Approach to power in socb47
Marx: power stems from control over economic resources (material production)
- Economic resources -> Capitalists class
o Working class
Our wealth comes from our labour
Foucault: power comes through processes of normalization (discourses, ways of
seeing that name deviant and normal)
Stuart Hall: power through links between material production and discourses of

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SOCB47 L2 Ch2 Thinking about Centre
Modernism & Postmodernism
Marx, modernist thinker
Historical materialism
Believes in the single grand truth
Only one way of history, unilateral. All of us fit into it
Research through the history of our production
Power as control over resources
Historical materialism, a theory and methodology
Social structures, relations and change can only be understood in
relation to historical material conditions
Two axioms as basis of Marx’s approach to power
History has a constant truth
Focus on materialism, to understand social organization
How we organize production and consumption
Social and political context
Enlightenment, that God is
responsible for creation,
That we can produce
1960s 1970s
Anticolonial struggles
Anti racism struggles
Challenges come from
many different groups,
social locations
Women, gays and lesbians
Concept of truth
There is a single truth
Idea that science is
There is no single core
truth that can apply to all
Concept of history
Single way of history
One logic to human
history that includes all of
There is no single grand
narrative of history
Different events for
different groups
Reject grand narratives,
and doesn’t replace it with
a different grand narrative
Method, how to do
Scientific explanation, we
can measure and
understand the human
We can measure the
behavior of it all with a
single truth.
Subjugated knowledges
- Hidden stories
Qualitative research
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