Social Science Fall Exam Review
Definition: Holmberg was an anthropologist who studied indigenous people and saw them as primitive
and “timeless”, without progress or modernity, whereas they were in many ways more advanced than
the Europeans. His understanding has been questioned over the past few decades. His mistake is the
recent realization that many of our assumptions of the life of indigenous people may be incorrect
because most of our observations of their cultures were made while they were under great force.
Significance: The significance of this concept is that Holmberg believed that the people and the land
hand no real history and that they were culturally impoverished. They needed to be saved from their
ways and needed to be culturally identified. His understanding was very biased and it relates to the
concept of Columbus and Western Civilization. In the same way, Columbus viewed the indigenous
people as needing him in order to save them and they had no opinion about how they were treated.
Columbus’ story became a story of heroism and he was viewed as a saviour, but in reality he destroyed
the culture they had built and their peaceful way of life.
Definition: Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher best known for his contributions to political
philosophy. In the 17 century, he became the first “liberal” and began questioning the earlier work of
Roman and Greek philosophers whose work had not yet been questioned. He theorized that “nature
pitted humans against each other in a continual state of war and only by subjecting themselves to a
common power could they live in reasonable security”. He also contributed to the labour economic
theory by stating “the value of man is his price”. His ideas were criticized and not easily accepted.
Significance: The significance of this concept is that Hobbes developed the theory of a universal social
contract where individuals will limit their own personal freedom in order to have some social stability
and the sense that everything is a commodity and we own ourselves. He set the foundation for the
study of human nature in regards to the formation of society.
Definition: Mythisory is defined by McNeil as what historical practice is. By exploring the difference
between myths and history, he concludes that history is the truth and myth is a shared belief. He
thought that all history should be viewed as mythistory, because personal beliefs affect the truth.
Significance: The significance of this concept is that all history has some biased to it based on the
writer’s personal beliefs. The same data and facts could be collected by two people, but their
conclusions will be different based on their beliefs, values and experience. This concept connects to
other concepts such as the Columbus story and George Orwell’s quote. The Columbus story was told by
Columbus and he definitely had bias. He saw himself as saving the indigenous people, but he was actually hurting them. George Orwell states “Who control the past controls the future. And who
controls the present controls the past”. This is because of mythistory, and people could create their
own history that others have been programmed to believe.
Definition: Classical Conservatism is a tradition based dominant ideology. It seeks to preserve things as
they are, emphasizing stability and continuity and does not like change. Classical Conservatism looks at
family values, social order, social hierarchy, natural law and private property. It views human nature as
flawed and unequal but does not try to change it. Its highest political value is security and order.
Significance: The significance of this concept is that it looks to tradition and morality in order to govern.
Every aspect of this ideology involves political interference and government input. Unlike Classical
Liberalism it is more concerned with the family and nation than with the needs of individuals. The idea
of Classical Conservatism has shifted to Conservative Revival which currently wants to be the dominant
ideology in Canada. It has changed many of its beliefs and has created a new ideology between Classical
Liberalism and Classical Conservatism.
Definition: According to Campbell, honour is the reputation of families. In traditional society, honour is
the ultimate goal and one must enhance the family honour and not diminish it. In order to enhance the
honour, one must follow gender roles, get married, have sons, keep problems within the family, listen to
the old relatives, and follow the old way of thinking. Honour is prestige, respect, approval and the
currency in these societies.
Significance: The significance of this concept is honour overruled every aspect in traditional society. To
be honourable to one family was the most important aspect and it shows just how serious status and
the view of the perfect family were. There were no ambitions and everybody knew their position from
birth, but they knew that honour was important. It connects to the concept of the economy because in
modern society the goal to be successful is money. Money promises all these wonderful things, just as
honour did in tradition.
Definition: McBride and Shields refers to the legitimation function as the legitimization of the political
state and economic structure under which a society will exist. Due to Keynesianism, the capitalist state
began to embrace “legitimation” based on the provision of material benefits to the subordinate classes.
Legitimation of Keynesianism government were responsible for full employment, high rate of economic
growth, reasonable stability of prices and many more aspects which shifted away from the idea of
supply and demand.
Significance: The significance of this concept is that without intervention and regulation in the economy,
the market would not survive. It was necessary for the government to get involved with economic affairs in order to maintain a well running and successful society. This concept relates to the three
functions in Keynesianism according to Marx and they are:
Accumulation function: create conditions in society in which a business can make a profit and
Legitimation function: reconciles the loses under capitalism to the system that creates them
Coercion: when the two functions above do not work, the state must intervene on behalf of the
Definition: Marx refers to immiseration as the view that the nature of capitalist production logically
requires an even greater reduction in real wages and worsening of working conditions for the workers.
He argued that the value of goods and services is a direct reflection of the amount of labour required for
the production. In a capitalist society this is not true because the workers never receive this true value
as the owners take the profits as a surplus value.
Significance: The significance of this concept is that the capitalist society dictates the terms of
immersion through our society and political process under the disguise of market competition. It leads
to the exploitation of workers as they produce more for less and this connects to the concept of
alienation. These workers are alienated because the amount of work they produce is not reflected upon
their wage. No matter how much surplus value is produced, their income does not change.
Definition: Creative destruction describes the way in which capitalist economic development arises out
of the destruction of some prior economic order. It is the engine by which our economy survives and
thrives in modern society. It is what capitalism consists in and what every capitalist concern has got to
live in. The idea of creative destruction is based on Schumpeter’s findings and he believed that through
it, our technological possibilities were endless
Significance: The significance of this concept is that the idea of dominant ideology assumes a sacred
respect for rights and properties, so Shumpeter argues that this right is no more sacred than the divine
right of kings. The counter ideology advocates a redistribution of wealth across modern western
society. This connects to the concept of dominant ideology because if creative destruction could apply
to the idea of marketable commodities, then why can’t it apply to the evolution of ideology.
Definition: On May 9, 1992, an explosion at the Westray coal mine occurred in Nova Scotia. This tragedy
killed 26 coal miners. These workers entered Westray excited to be guaranteed with years of stable
work, but they did not expect to be working under the conditions they did. Shaun Comish explained all
of the horrific working conditions and poor management they had to endure every day. The site was
not a safe workplace and did not meet regulations, and the fatal explosion could have been prevented. Significance: The significance of this concept is that people are willing to work under unsafe
circumstances in order to make money and provide for their family. The conditions at Westray were
very poor, and the management did not comply with health regulations and was furious about the idea
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