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Irving Zeitlin

of 7
1.3 basic elements for sociological history
1.Concern for social structure (social context of historical event/ind'ls at that
particular moment)
3.Biography (concern with who the historical ind'ls were and their importance
(causal weight))
2.The difference btwn an historian and an historical sociologists
oAn historian is a storyteller, narrates events
History = an unique and unrepeatable series of events, a process
oHistorical sociologist explains (is interest in) the causes and consequences
He compares America and France
Personal witness to coup d'etat (seizure of power) of Napoleon's nephew
What were the causes and consequences of the American and France revolutions?
Key concept: the rise of the demos (Greek: the people)
Witnessed the master trend from aristocracy to democracy
oPeople are beginning to play a significant role in history
Sometimes for better/worse
oIn American democracy did not have the kind of violence as like in France
Democracy in America
What was different in America at that time that was fundamentally different from
that of France
oNo old regime - no 3 pillars of the old regime = monarchy, Church, and
oNo metropolitan cities with slums and ghettos
oNo state bureaucracy
Whereas in France, everything was centralized
Centralization took place until monarchy
1.No great industrial centers like Manchester, Liverpool, Burlingham,
America was one large middle-class, a middle strata
o"America was a kind of a post-revolutionary middle-class society" -
Had a lot in common with
oPuritans - product of the Protestant revolution
Had a lot of personal liberty, trial by jury, accountability of elected officials,
local autonomy
oLocal autonomy = no centralized bureaucracy
oFrance was prone to despotism b/c all the local powers has been severely
weakened by monarchy, civilian revolution, and Napoleon
There was no demos voice
o"As the state that has gathered itself all power, nothing stood btwn it and the
atomized populaced"
The atomized populace can be manipulated by a charismatic leader
(e.g. Napoleon)
There is a difference btwn the masses and citizenry
As a result of WW1, all the old regimes were destroyed
Also during this war, there was violent revolutions
These revolutions were not the of the educated
citizenry but of the masses
The 3 Races of America
The Whites (Europeans)
The Aboriginals (Indians)
oPushing the Indians off lands and breaking the treaties
The Blacks
oOf African origin, slavery
Predicts if there is ever civil war in America, it is because of SLAVERY!!!
Segregation btwn the North (freedom) and the South (slavery)
oEven when slavery came to an end, there is still a segregation
As long as there is slavery, there is no contamination
But once slavery ends, everyone can occupy same roles, "you can be a
plumber, HE can be a plumber"
Aristocracy of manufacturers
oSees alienation
oSees proletariat (a group)
Proletarian (singular) - owns no property but his own hands
oAs a consequence of industrial revolution
oHistorically there is no such thing as a huge class of unskilled workers!
Everyone had a skill, a occupation!
oNow there is an unskilled mass whose means of survival is working in
Sociology of Ideas, Culture and Religion
Next largest group to English is Germans who are fleeing from discrimination in
There is no such thing as public opinion in France at that time
oThe majority decides what is right, what to do
But in America, practically is more valued than theory
Recognized the democratic nature of American culture
In France, reserved only
for the nobility
In Britain, a gentry (that were not aristocrats/nobility)
Even the farmers wanted to send their sons to the same school
as the aristocracy, begins to dress like them, speak like them
In America, EVERYONE was a gentleman!
In America, the whole society, the whole conscience of the people, had the practical
What were the causes for Tocqueville for the old regime downfall, for the revolution
Originally, the nobility mediated btwn the monarch and the people
In Britain, the nobility was a historical actor
oThey only acquired more people after the English Civil War
In France, the nobility role was reduced to a mere appendage of the Crown
oThey made no contribution to their own village communities
oThey were completely controlled by the monarch for practical purposes
Under these conditions, the central bureaucracy, nobility:
oNo responsibilities
oRetained all kinds of privileges
oPaid no taxes
oWhile the people were subject to corvee (Fr. forced labor)
oEventually causing a situation where the gap btwn the people and nobility
became an revolutionary consciousness
Thru listening to all the criticism of the old regime, became
revolutionary conscious
The French peasant was much better off at that time than the peasantry in some of
the neighboring countries
oEx: Germany and Russsia
Serfdom was prevalent, French was subject to corvee too but not as
oSo why didn't Germany/Russia have the revolution instead?
Because the French felt the loss of advantages/good features of
peasant society
The Church in France
Many of the philosophes were materialists
The Church was the largest land-owner
The Church provided the ideology and rational for the classes
Thus, why the people rose up to the Church
There is a ruling ideology in the ruling regime that is being challenged by the