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Chapter 4

Textbook Notes - Chapter 4

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University of Guelph
SOC 1100
Linda Gerber

Chapter 4 Society – all human beings live in societies. Societies change or evolve over time, and differ around the world in many important ways. Society: people who interact in a defined territory and share a culture. Gerhard and Jean Lenski – importance of technology in shaping society; Marx – history; Weber – ideas; Durkheim – tradition and modern hang together Socio-cultural evolution: changes that occur as society gains new technology. - inventing or adopting any new technology sends ripples of change throughout society Five types of societies, defined by their technology Hunter/Gatherer: use simple tools to hunt animals and gather vegetation *spend most time looking for game and collecting plants to eat *people stay together in extended family groups *depends on family to do many things (get & distribute food, protect members, teach children) *men are hunters, women are gatherers *religion: shaman or spiritual leader, works to find food too ~ more equal society ~ Horticultural & Pastoral: horticulturalism ~ use of hand tools to raise crops; pastoralism ~ domestication of animals *raise crops and animals instead of looking and hunting; increased food production; population expanded to hundreds of people in one location; pastoralists remained nomadic, horticulturalists formed settlements only relocating if soil gave out *once material surplus reached, not as many have to work to provide food, recreation introduced; families who produce more than others become richer and more powerful; greater inequality *religion: horticultural – God is our Creator; pastoral – God is directly involved in the well-being of the entire world. Agrarian: large-scale cultivation using plows harnessed to animals or more powerful energy sources *dawn of civilization (5000 years ago); animal-drawn plow irrigation, wheel, writing, numbers, metals *crops were bigger, tools aerated soil making it more fertile, encouraged more permanent settlements, agrarian societies grew in size and population with ability to transport goods, more occupations, currency *extreme inequality, even more than in modern societies; large share of people are peasants or slaves who do most of the work, elites have time for recreation or study, art, literature; women left with support tasks (weeding, carrying water) *religion reinforces power of elites by defining both loyalty and hard work as moral obligations Industrial: production of goods using advanced sources of energy to drive large machinery *up to now muscles of humans and animals did the work; began using water power, team boilers, people had power over their environment, change was quick, sparked founding of sociology, transportation increased significantly (rail, boat, skyscrapers), automobiles, electricity in homes *work changed: agricultural to factories, moved for employment, cultural diversity, promote subcultures and countercultures *family no longer the main source for work, learning and religious worship *greatest effect – raised living standards, incomes rise, social inequality decreases slightly; demand for greater political voice Post-industrial: technology that supports an information-based economy (Daniel Bell) *production relies on computers and other electronic devices that create, process, store and apply information; people learn skills to develop & carry out work on the computers; uses less labour force for industrial production; more jobs available for clerical workers, teachers, writers, sales and marketing *world-wide flow of goods, people, and information = heart of globalization Socio-cultural Evolution Hunting/Gathering Horticultural/Pastoral Agrarian Industrial Post-industrial Historical period Only type of society From about 12000 From about 5000 From about 1750 to Emerging in recent until about 12000 years ago, with years ago with large present decades years ago; still decreasing numbers but decreasing common several after about 3000BCE numbers today centuries ago; the few examples remaining today are threatened with extinction Productive Primitive tools Horticultural socities Animal-drawn plow Advanced sources Computers that Technology use hand tools for of energy; support an cultivating plants; mechanized information-based pastoral socities are production economy based on the domestication of animals Population size 25-40 people Settlements of several Hundreds of Millions of people Millions of people (scattered extended hundred people, thousands or families) connected through millions of people trading ties to form societies of several thousand people Settlement pattern Nomadic Horticulturalists form Cities emerge for Cities contain most Population remains small permanent the first time, but of the population concentrated in settlements; pastoralists they generally cities are nomadic contain only a small proportion of the population Social Family-centred; Family-centred; Family loses Distinct religious, Similar to industrial organization specialization religious system begins significance as political, economic, societies with limited to age and to develop; moderate distinct religious, educational, and information sex; little social specialization; political and family systems; processing and inequality increased social economic systems highly specialized; other service work inequality emerge; extensive marked social gradually replacing specialization; inequality persists, industrial increased social lessening production inequality; barter is somewhat over replaced by time currency as the medium of exchange Examples Baka of Central Middle Eastern socities Egypt during Most societies Industrial societies Africa Basarwa about 5000 BCE, construction of the today in Europe noted above are
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