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George H. Mead - was an American philosopher, sociologist and psychologist, primarily affiliated with
the University of Chicago, where he was one of several distinguished pragmatists. Wrote “the self.”
Explains the “mechanics” of the mind that fit well with other theories but are often left unexamined
Benjamin Franklin- One of founding fathers of United States. Protestant ethic
Max Muller- was a German philologist and Orientalist, one of the founders of the western academic field
of Indian studies and the discipline of comparative religion. Created theory called naturism.
E. B. Tylor- Animism. He believed that there was a functional basis for the development of society and
religion, which he determined was universal.
The American Pragmatists (Peirce, James, Dewey)- Theory and action like feurbach. Certain things
become habitual. Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory.
Frederick Engels - was a German-English industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist,
philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of
the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research. In 1848 he co-authored The
Communist Manifesto with Karl Marx, and later he supported Marx financially to do research and write
Das Kapital. After Marx's death Engels edited the second and third volumes. Additionally, Engels
organized Marx's notes on the "Theories of Surplus Value" and this was later published as the "fourth
volume" of Capital.
Emile Durkheim- much of Durkheim's work was concerned with how societies could maintain their
integrity and coherence in modernity; an era in which traditional social and religious ties are no longer
assumed, and in which new social institutions have come into being. His first major sociological work
was The Division of Labor in Society (1893). Wrote The rules of the sociological method (1895) Suicide
(1897) and the elementary forms of the religious life (1912). Early Durkheim is positivist/functionalist
later is the cultural analyst.
Max Weber - Weber's main intellectual concern was understanding the processes of rationalization,
secularization, and "disenchantment" that he associated with the rise of capitalism and modernity.
Weber argued that the most important difference among societies is not how people produce things but
how people think about the world. Wrote the protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism (1904-05)
economy and society (1925) and from max webers: essays in sociology (1946)
Instinctualism- psychology perspective ideas in our head come from our instincts. Nature programs
ideas into our heads.
Bureaucracy- A bureaucracy is an organization of non-elected officials of a government or organization
who implements the rules, laws, and functions of their institution
Nominalism vs. Realism Most nominalists have held that only physical particulars in space and time are
real, and that universals exist only post res, that is, subsequent to particular things. (ex. Desk)
the belief that reality exists independently of observers. Has to do with the question of whether “society”
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- Is it more important to study the “whole” (society), or the “parts” (individuals)? - Marx and Durkheim
took societal-level social structure as their starting point
-Weber takes individual-level social action as his starting point
Pragmatism - is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory. It describes a
process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called
Behaviourism - based on the proposition that all things that organisms do—including acting, thinking,
and feeling—can and should be regarded as behaviors, and that psychological disorders are best treated
by altering behavior patterns or modifying the environment.
Blasé attitude- When the nerves are overstimulated for too long, “they finally cease to react at all… An
incapacity thus emerges to react to new sensations with appropriate energy. This constitutes that blasé
attitude which, in fact, every metropolitan child shows when compared with children of quieter and less
Metropolis- a very large city or urban area which is a significant economic, political and cultural center
for a country or region, and an important hub for regional or international connections and
Organic groups vs. rational groups - According to Simmel, these are different criteria for group
formation. Organic groups are formed on natural criteria (age, sex, etc). Rational
groups are based on common interests.
Verstehen - is an ordinary German word with exactly the same meaning as the English word
"understand". the term is particularly associated with the German sociologist, Max Weber, whose
antipositivism established an alternative to prior sociological positivism and economic determinism,
rooted in the analysis of social action,.
“We can accomplish something which is never attainable in the natural sciences, namely the subjective
understanding of the action of the component individuals Ideal types- For Weber, the conduct of social
science depends upon the construction of hypothetical concepts in the abstract.
Disenchantment- The concept was originally coined by Max Weber to describe the character of
modernized, bureaucratic, secularized Western society, where scientific understanding is more highly
valued than belief, and where processes are oriented toward rational goals.
Historic modes of production (tribal, ancient, feudal, capitalist)-
Tribal = However, the foraging mode of production still exists, and often typified in
contemporary hunter-gatherer societies.Classless society ie. No ruling class
Ancient Asiatic mode of production
This is a controversial contribution to Marxist theory, initially used to explain pre-slave and pre-feudal
large earthwork constructions in China, India, the Euphrates and Nile river valleys (and named on this
basis of the primary evidence coming from greater "Asia"). The Asiatic mode of production is said to be
the initial form of class society, where a small group extracts social surplus through violence aimed at
settled or unsettled band communities within a domain. Exploited labour is extracted as
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forced corvee labour during a slack period of the year (allowing for monumental construction such as
the pyramids, ziggurats, ancient Indian communal baths or the Chinese Great Wall). Exploited labour is
also extracted in the form of goods directly seized from the exploited communities. The primary
property form of this mode is the direct religious possession of communities (villages, bands, hamlets)
and all those within them. The ruling class of this society is generally a semi-theocratic aristocracy which
claims to be the incarnation of gods on earth. The forces of production associated with this society
include basic agricultural techniques, massive construction and storage of goods for social benefit
Antique mode of production
Similar to the Asiatic mode, but differentiated in that the form of property is the direct possession
of individual human beings. Additionally, the ruling class usually avoids the more outlandish claims of
being the direct incarnation of a god, and prefers to be the descendants of gods, or seeks other
justifications for its rule. Ancient Greek and Roman societies are the most typical examples of this mode.
The forces of production associated with this mode include advanced (two field) agriculture, the
extensive use of animals in agriculture, and advanced trade networks.
feudal- The primary form of property is the possession of land in reciprocal contract relations: the
possession of human beings as peasants or serfs is dependent upon their being entailed upon the land.
Exploitation occurs through reciprocated contract (though ultimately resting on the threat of forced
extractions). The ruling class is usually a nobility or aristocracy. The primary forces of production include
highly complex agriculture the addition of non-human and non-animal power devices (clockwork, wind-
mills) and the intensification of specialization in the crafts—craftsmen exclusively producing one
specialized class of product.
Capitalist- alienation between people and force of production. Land no longer becomes possession of
people or families. Becomes a commodity. In capitalism anything can be bought or sold. Without land or
property you can gain it by working exchange of labour.
Social Action (Instrumental-Rational, Value-Rational, Traditional, Affectual/Emotional)- Instrumental-
rational action refers to rational means and ends (like a banker trying to make money or a politician
trying to get elected), value-rational action refers to rational action based on a value as either its end or
means (like someone using rational methods to try to legalize gay marriage, because gay marriage is a
value that is important to them). Traditional actions are done simply because they are always done and
people do not question them. Affectual actions are based on emotion.
Social groups- is two or more humans who interact with one another, share similar characteristics and
collectively have a sense of unity, although the best way to define social group is a matter of conjecture.
Regardless, a society can be viewed as a large group, though most social groups are considerably smaller.
Society can also be viewed as people who interact with one another, sharing similarities pertaining to
culture and territorial boundaries.
Transcendentalism- Among the transcendentalists' core beliefs was the inherent goodness of both man
and nature. Transcendentalists believed that society and its institutions - particularly organized religion
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