Mid-Term Exam Review SOSC 1000 6/13/2013 11:17:00 AM
Note: I suggest you read from the pages I have noted beside each point to get a better
understanding of things. I wrote out simplified versions but it would be beneficial to
look over the pages.
Define (who, what, when, why) and explain the significance of (how) of the
1. Thomas Hobbes (Shusky reading, page 30-32 course kit)
o Who: 17 Century thinker
o Where: England, mid 1600s
o What: Explored nature of human condition, believed human behaviour
should be studied, not taken for granted. Also believed that humans
naturally tend to compete, in continual state of war, and only by
subjecting themselves to a common power could they live in reasonable
security. People should enter into a social contract, agreeing to limit
personal freedom in order to have social stability.
o Why: Enlightenment, move away from Roman and Greek classical
thinking to “People should think for themselves; Strife between England
and France, social and political unrest; questioning the system (Catholics
o Significance: His ideas lead to other thinkers critique and discussion
over the matter of human autonomy, and ability to shape their own
destinies (including fraternity, equality, right to life liberty and the
pursuit of happiness constitutional rights, charter of rights etc . are
based on this!). Before this discussion came up- the church and
monarchies enforced the notion of fixed, God-given human condition and
behaviour (people are where they are in the hierarchy because God
wanted it that way).
His ideas lead John Locke to come up with counter ideas (he did
not agree with Hobbes’ absolutist theory). He explored rights of
individuals, position of the individual in society- “political power is
only justified by the public good”- property rights more priority
than government’s rights.
People were starting to disagree with King’s divine right to rule-
and so the monarchs strengthened themselves by teaming up with
powerful merchants- expanded trade and unified economy- merchants financed the kings army- start of mercantilism (useful
doctrine in the colonial era).
2. Immiseration (Hielbroner)
o Who/what: Marxist theory- the nature of capitalist production logically
requires an ever greater reduction in real wages and worsening of
working condition for the proletariat.
o Significance: Marx argued that the very nature of capitalism would
render a proletarian revolution inevitable. The more capital is
accumulated, the more the worse the working conditions for the worker,
making his life miserable- which will lead to them speaking out against
this system eventually.
o “…all means for the development of production undergo a dialectical
inversion so that they become a means of domination and exploitation of
the producers; they distort the worker into a fragment of a man, they
degrade him to the level of an appendage of a machine, they destroy the
actual content of his labour by turning it into a torment, they alientate
from him the inllectial potentials of the labour process, transform his life
into working- time, and his wife and child beneath the wheels of the
juggernaut of capital. But all methods of the production of surplus value
are at the same time methods of accumulation, and every extension of
accumulation becomes, conversely, a means for the development of these
methods. It follows therefore that in proportion as capital accumulates,
the situation of the worker, be his payment high or low, must grow worse.
– Karl Marx, Das Kapital, 1867.
3. Dominant Ideology (Marchak page 63, 68)
o Who: Marxist theory, but mentioned in Marchak reading.
o What: A Particular set of ideas, perceptions, values and beliefs which is
most widely shared and has the greatest impact on social action at any
particular time in any particular society. The value-system held by the
majority of a group/society, which frames how the majority of t