June 2 (lecture 5).docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Stevan Knezevich

[email protected] HERBERT SPENCER BIOGRAPHIC DETAILS  Spencer is born in 1820 England, derby.  Educated at home with an emphasis on math and science.  Felt himself n qualified for college, so became engineer until_______ PERIOD INFLUENCES  Belief in ability that science can explain everything including society and people.  He was in a search for general laws that could explain everything, including the social world.  Relatively prosperous time for England BASIC SOCIAL THEORY  Evolution is at the heart of his basic social theory.  Spencer saw the universe as engaged in a constant process of evolution and dissolution.  When people/ groups come together, meet and merge. They differentiate /specialize when they meet to something more complex, they don’t keep going the way they were. They meet, they merge and you get differentiation as a result.  Evolution random mutation occur, people that can survive do and evolve with the best fit genetics and then evolve in to some next shit. MAJOR THEMES  1Anti government individualism - because everything is going in the right direction anyway, government intervention can only hurt society. Except for military defense, or protection of human rights.  2NATURALISTIC EVOLUTION-  3POSITIVISTIC UNIFORMITARIANISM– evolution is only one direction, societies moving forward towards a progress, better society, and every change is working towards good. *He was largely a functionalism. *He came up with four ways in which biological functions and social functions are similar 4 SIMILARITIES 1) Both begin as small and increase in mass 2) Both begin fairly simple structures and gradually increase in complexity. 3) Both begin loosely organized and gradually increase in interdependence and integration. 4) Both have a life span greater than that of their individual parts. 4 DIFFERENCES 1) Biological entities have a physical form, social entities do not. 2) The units of biological entity are physically connected to each other; members of a society are generally physically independent. 3) Biological members are fixed in their physical conditions, members of society are not. 4) Only one source of consciousness, society has many SPENCER AND SOCIOLOGY  The primary goal of sociology was to look at studies that need direction speed and nature, of the way society evolves.  Focus of Spencer is enduring universal principle, not acceptance.  Change is inevitable and progressive; prevent people from acting in ways that would slow down the progress (mostly to prevent government intervention). Factors of social phenomenon Internal condition – individual traits such as intelligence, physical traits and emotional traits. – A lot of people share them and form a similar society. Trying to determine what society is like. External condition – environmental condition such as climate soil fertility, flora and fauna, why some societies advance, based on resources and climates they have available.  Derived conditions – human condition, population size, relation with neighbor and societies, what sociologists now study. Out of this he developed 2 typologies 1) ORGANIZATION PURPOSE – refers to the kind of system a society is dominated by. (A factor of classifying societies) Three types of societal system – each group can be linked to one of these societal systems. 1) Sustaining or internal – productive, increase quality of life 2) Regulate (external) military – militaristic. 3) Distributing – linking, integrating  He argued all societies have a mix of all three, and dominated mostly by sustaining or regulating system and societies dominated by regulating are dominated by a military societies (more superior) 2) ORGANIZATION COMPLEXITY 1) Simple society – small nomadic, lacking leader ship 2) Compound – predominated, settled agricultural societies, rulers, kind of, warriors etc. / created by a merger of 2 or more societies. Specialization and differentiation in greater complexity 3) Doubly compound – completely settles, more integrated, larger and more definite political structure, and larger more complicated structure. 4) Trebly compound society – great civilized nations.  He believed the more specialized, the more differentiation, the more stable a society becomes, the better it is. SOCIAL INSTITUTION  According to him enduring patterns of social relationships that meet fundamental needs and serve to constrain individual and groups behavior.  Evolution occurs on many levels social level where groups come and die and in a small level as in group it self as well. People change, adapt. EX: church, schools, etc. ACCORDING TO SPENCER THERE ARE 5 KEY INSTITUTIONS 1) Domestic institutions/kinship – having children. Raising them, socializing them. Larger and more the complex society is the more elaborate the group will be. Was the ultimate method of organizing societies? Had to get married in families, not a lot of choices, groups with stricter ruled governing them. 2) Ceremonial – marriage? 3) Political – all have 4 common characteristic – Paramount leaders at the top, 1 or a small group at the top. Clusters of sub leader after that. Large masses of followers that subordinate their interests to their leaders. A legitimating police. **LEADERS, SUB LEADERS, FOLLOWERS, AND A BELIEF LEADER HAVE A LEGITIMATE RIGHT TO GOVERN. 4) Religious – people turn to. 5) Economic – productivity in the environment rely on knowledge, technical knowledge, in accumulation of capital, and changes in organization of labor and how societies adapt/function. From the working class/proleta
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