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SOC*1100 DE

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University of Guelph
SOC 1100
Deanna Behnke- Cook

SOCIOLOGY SEP 28 2010 SOCIETY (marx faber durkheim-founders of sociology) (marshall mcluhan) The context of cooperative living Society • refers to “people who interact in a defined territory(not scattered such as alzheimers society) and share culture” • experiences social solidarity and social conflict • experiences equilibrium(inbalance) (sometimes short-lived), strain and change (strain results in change) Society and Technology: Gerhard and Jean Lenski • sociocultural evolution • the process of change that results from a society’s gaining new information, particularly technology (technology is information) • technology gives people greater ability to manipulate their physical environments • advances in technology trigger increasingly rapid social change • transformation from hunting and gathering to postindustrial society hunting and gathering societies • based on simple technology for hunting animals and gathering vegetation • members (all of them) are in constant search for food • cannot support non-productive members – no poets, teachers, or full-time priests • based on kinship • rudimentary weapons or tools • vulnerable to drought, accident and disease (nothing to help them battle disease or deal with accidents) • cooperation and sharing necessary for longterm survival (e.g. Inuit in our film) horticultural and pastoral societies • horticulture is a technology based on using hand tools to cultivate plants • pastoralism is technology based on the domestication of animals (which leads to an indrease in food production) • increases food production to support hundreds of people rather than dozens • pastoralists remain nomadic (move from place to place), moving with available pasture • horticulturalists stay in one location longer, until soils are depleted (then they have to move another place to settle down) • Domestication of plants and animals creates a material surplus – frees people for other roles, leading to more complex social arrangements (because we’ve greated more food than we need) Agrarian societies • A technological revolution – agriculture • The technology of large-scale farming using plows harnessed to animals or, eventually, mechanical tractors • allows for permanent settlement (get more from the land- renew the land) • increases production = further specialization • Barter (trading) system obsolete = shift to currency (money) why switch?-because food is plentiful and not everybody needs to be involved in producing food.so not everybody has things to trade. • increases social inequality (peasants) • position of women declines • Cities a possibility (produce enough food for people to move into a central location- community leaders, administrators, responsibility/education for people, and the fact that we have currencies) industrial societies • industrialism is technology that powers sophisticated machinery with advanced sources of energy (gas, steam) • rate of social change increases dramatically • cars and electronic communication transform society • work moves from the home into the factory • occupational specialization increases • social change and migration • family no longer the primary setting for economic production, education and religious worship • standard of living increases fivefold • demand for educated and skilled labour force postindustrial society • postindustrialism refers to technology that supports an information- based economy • focuses on computers and other electronic devices that create, process, store and apply information • dramatic change in occupational structure (expanded white collar sector) • Information Revolution creates a global culture through cultural diffusion • cultural lag (e.g. notion of property as tangible items slow to recognize ideas or knowledge as property) • What does this mean for the students of today? Karl Marx (1818-1883): society and conflict • Marx observed the Industrial Revolution from London – saw the expansion of empire and the gap between a small elite and the masses • the richest societies contained the desperately poor • social conflict = the struggle between segments of society over valued resources • capitalists owned the means of production • the proletariat (worker) provided its labour (capitalist owned tem and took the surplus of their work) • profits and wages from same pool of funds = ongoing conflict • social institutions = “the major spheres of social life” or “society’s subsystems, organized to meet basic human needs” • the economy, the political system (or polity), the family, education and religion • Marx felt that the economy trumped all others (economy crowned institution) • religion, the family (provide workers), education, under elite control to support the economy • false consciousness (notion)= social problems explained in terms of the shortcomings of individuals rather than flaws in the social system (my problems are the result of my actions) • religion and education perpetuate false consciousness (you arr responsible for what happens to you, what you accomplish, where you end up) • class conflict = antagonism between entire classes over distribution of wealth and power • class consciousness = the recognition by workers of their unity as a class in opposition to capitalists and, ultimately, to capitalism • alienation, for Marx, = the experience of isolation resulting from powerlessness • revolution = overthrow of capitalists and capitalism to achieve socialism or communism Max Weber (1864-1920): the rationalization of society • ideas are the key to understanding society • societies differ in the way their members think about the world • pre-industrial societies adhere to tradition, while people in industrial societies endorse rationality • rationality refers to deliberate calculation of the most efficient way of achieving a specific goal • rationalization of society: • the historical change from tradition to rationality as the dominant mode of human thought (the way you think, ideas, technology in the sense that knowledge allows you to manipulat
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