Introduction to Social Science 1000
Part A: 50%
1. Thomas Hobbes:
Thomas Hobbes was a political theorist who lived through the execution of a monarch. Thomas
Hobbes explored the nature of the human condition; however, his methods were not acceptable
by today’s standards. He speculated about how humans must act in a state of nature. He thought
they would all compete strongly against each other. Hobbes believed that society began with a
social contract for example, everyone obligating themselves to sign a contract to give up some
personal freedom in order to have some social stability. Thomas Hobbes theory implies that
social behaviour is far more rational than it actually is. His theories angered the parliamentarians
because they wanted to limit the absolute power of kings and they thought his argument justified
a strong kind who had to restrain selfish people. Thomas Hobbes could be found in the history of
Thomas Hobbes is significant in today’s society because the bodies of law are created to regulate
the citizens and to promote social stability. From my knowledge, Thomas Hobbes theory is based
on the idea of governing everyone in a way to promote greater good for the society.
This theory was coined by Marx. Immiseration is a social theory where workers sell labour at the
lowest rate possible. This is when one person is at the bottom of the vertical integration because
the employer or person selling labour at the lowest rate benefits while the person at the bottom of
the vertical integration is left miserable.
3. Dominant Ideology:
The dominant ideology is one that combines the values and beliefs held by a majority including
the liberal, social democratic, and classical conservative positions as falling within its compass.
Although they differ in the degree to which they emphasize individualism and egalitarianism,
they share a number of assumptions we can recognize. For example: they accept the economic
drive for profits but again, place limits on its capacity to drive the entire social system. They
accept differential rewards for work associated with numerous social factors but reject
differences associated with gender, ethnicity, religion, or other non-economical attributes of
individuals etc. This could be found in Marchak’s reading ―Ideology and Social Organization‖.
4. Aggregate Demand:
This term was coined by John Maynard Keynes. Aggregate Demand is the total amount of goods
and services demanded in the economy at a given overall price level and in a given time period.
It is represented by the aggregate-demand curve, which describes the relationship between price
levels and the quantity of output that firms are willing to provide. Normally there is a negative
relationship between aggregate demand and the price level. Also known as "total spending". Keynes shifted the focus of economic analysis towards the need for economic stability as the
basis for generating necessary levels of aggregate demand in the capitalist economy and away
from the concern over the organization of production and supply. He placed aggregate demand at
the centre of its economic program and was able to sketch a middle path for capitalist economic
recovery providing optimal conditions to encourage savings and the socialists demand for the
public ownership of the means of production. This could be found in ―The Post-War Canadian
State‖ by Mcbride and Shields.
5. Holmberg’s Mistake:
Mann talks about Holmberg’s mistake in a view from above. Holmberg’s mistake was the
supposition that Native Americans lived in an eternal unhistorical state- held sway in scholarly
work, and from there fanned out to high school textbooks, Hollywood movies and etc.
Holmberg’s mistake explained the colonists’ view of most Indians as incurably vicious
barbarians; its mirror image was the dreamy stereotype of the Indian as a Noble Savage.
This is significant today because in elementary schools, students at a young age are exposed to
the Columbus story in a fluffy context. All the horrible details of how he treated the Indians took
their land and claimed it as his was left out. Instead, the Indians were viewed as barbarians and it
was only said that he came to Canada to look for spices and gold. It was only up until higher
education such as university where one was exposed to the truth behind the actual Columbus
Westray was coal mining industry where men from afar would come to work to provide for their
families as the male breadwinner. Westray was described to these men as permanent jobs that
had desirable working conditions with wonderful equipment. However, the reality of Westray
was that it was an undesirable, dangerous, and equipped with outdated equipment that was at
times broken. At this industry, the workers faced numerous cave-ins and inhaling too much
methane. There was a disregard for health and safety that occurred at this workplace, as
management did not take in account the safety of workers, instead were worried about was the
productivity. The explosion occurred one day because the methanometer which is a tool that was
used to measure the methane levels in the mines was not working the shift before the shift that
the explosion occurred. It was too late for the detection of high methane levels and this lead to
the explosion. There were no union protections at Westray, which made it very difficult for
workers to attain their workers’ rights. This issue was critiqued by Justice Richards as he claimed
that the tragedy that occurred in Westray was a path to destruction because he claimed that all
the members such as the employers failed their responsibilities. This was also found in Comish,
The Westray Tragedy.
The significance of Westray in today’s society is that similar issues still exist. For instance,
workers are still exploited by employers in order for the company to be more productive. Some
companies do not allow union representations in the workplace, for example Wal-Mart and
individual contractors. 7. Mythistory:
The term Mythistory was first coined by Zinn. McNeal also talks about Mythistory. McNeal says
that Mythistory is myth and history combined together. One historian might view one story to be
the absolute truth and define it as history, but another historian might view it to be a myth.
Mythistory are the multi perspectives on a story for example the Columbus story. There needs to
be ―many truths‖ to create ―Mythistory‖. Mythistory is modern whereas history is traditional.
You are taught the Columbus story in high school and elementary schools in a different context
that you are taught in university.
9. Creative Destruction:
Joseph Schumpeter coined the idea of creative destruction. Creative destruction is when you
have to take one step forward and another step backwards in the creation of a product. He
believes that in order to create something, you have to break something apart.
This occurs when for example Apple wants to create a newer version of the Iphone. They have to
take apart the old one to see what changes they should make and release a newer one.
10. Classical Liberalism:
Classical liberalism is a political philosophy and ideology that emerged as a response to
the Industrial Revolution and urbanization in the 19th century in Europe and the United States. It
shares a number of beliefs with other belief systems belonging to liberalism, advocating civil
liberties and political freedom, limited government, rule of law, and belief in free
market. Classical liberalism is built on ideas that had already arisen by the end of the 18th
century, such as selected ideas of Adam Smith, John Locke, stressing the belief in free
market and natural law, utilitarianism, and progress. Classical liberals were more suspicious
than conservatives of all but the most minimal governmentand, adopting Thomas
Hobbes's theory of government, they believed government had been created by individuals to
protect themselves from one another.
- classical liberalisms :freedom from coercion it was viewed as negative
- . Classical liberals are very big on property rights (property owners) those that are not
owners are not fit for citizenship because they are dependent.
- They believe people should pay the same tax not based on how much they make.
11. Moral Economy:
Moral economy was first elaborated by EP Thompson and could be found in the reading ―The
Moral Economy of the Crowd‖. Moral economy cannot be described as ―political‖ but cannot be described as ―unpolitical‖ either. A moral economy, in one interpretation, is an economy that is
based on goodness, fairness, and justice. Such an economy is generally only stable in small,
closely knit communities, where the principles of mutuality — i.e. "I'll scratch your back if you'll
scratch mine" — operate to avoid the free rider problem. Where economic transactions arise
between strangers who cannot be informally sanctioned by a social network, the free rider
problem lacks a solution and a moral economy becomes harder to maintain.
Honour was discussed by Campbell in ―The Family as a Corporate Group‖. Honour was defined
to be the highest value in a traditional society as opposed to the value of a dollar in the capitalist
modern society. Honour was considered to be the greatest value and was determined by the
manliness of a man and the sexual shame of a woman. If a woman for example commits a
premarital affair, she is frowned upon and could be killed by her father and brothers for taking
away honour from the family. It was common for honour killings. Families from the traditional
society were secretive and kept everything within their families because of the fear an outsider
would use it against them to take their honour away. Honour also separated jobs within the
family based on their sex. Women and men were not allowed to do certain jobs for example a
man is to never carry a barrel of water on his back because it is a woman’s job.
Honour is significant in modern society today because although our views and lifestyles have
changed significantly, there are still some roots from the traditional society embedded in the
modern society. For one, families are still committing honour killings and a good example of this
is the Shafia Trial that is currently going on where a family was convicted of the honour killings
of their daughters and the husband’s second wife. Also, there are also divisions of labour that
still exists today based on the differences of sexes. For instance, a male will not take on certain
jobs because they feel like it is a woman’s job and women are sometimes forbidden to do heavy
lifting jobs because they are considered the weaker sex and it is assumed that they are unable to
lift heavy boxes. But for the most part, today’s society focuses on the value of money and the
capitalist system of class as the highest value opposed to what family has the most honour in
regards to the manliness of a man and the sexual shame of a woman.
13. New International Division of Labour (NIDL):
Broad discusses the NIDL in Globalization, Industrial Restructuring and Labour. The NIDL has
evolved as a part of the business drive to overcome the current capital accumulation crisis- the
global decline of the rates of profit (not un-profitability but profits that do not achieve levels
desired by, at least, the large, core transnational corporations). Key element of the NIDL is an
attempt to weaken organized labour markets and labour processes. It is the global face of flexible
accumulation, an important element which is casualization of labour. The NIDL is the product of
technological developments in 3 are