Chapter 4.docx

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Chapter 4: Society
Society refers to people who interact in defined territory and share a culture
Gerhard and Jean Lenski: Society and Technology
* Sociocultural revolution refers to changes that occur as a society gains new technology
Types of societies
1. Hunter gather: hunt animals, gather vegetation (12,000 years ago). believe in spirits
2. Horticulture: use of hand tools to raise crops. did not work for everyone ( those in the desert
and those with lots of food. believe in one God ( non -investing)
3. Pastoralism: domestication of animals: remained nomadic. This society eventually became for
social. Christianity and other mono religions begins here
4. Agriculture: large scale cultivation using plows harnessed to animals or more powerful energy
sources. woman are less important in this society and there is great inequality in general
5. Post Industrial : technology that supports an information based economy
Limits of Technology
* has benefits: Disease reduction , productivity and so on
* has limits
> loss of community
> technology can be used for evil
Karl Marx Society and Conflict
* was around during the industrial revolution
* he noticed that what the poor made ended up in the few rich people
* he had an idea about Social Conflict: the struggle of segments of society over valued resources
Society and Production
* Capitalists: people who own and operate factories and other businesses in pursuit of profits
* they try to sell the product for more than it costs to make ( profit)
* treats people like what Marx calls : Proletarians: people who sell their labour for wages
* there is always conflict between capitalists and workers : capitalist want it keep wages low but
workers want them high creating conflict
* all societies are made up of Social institutions : major spheres of social life
* for Marx the economy influences everything else
* Marx believed that we as a society think that rich is something that happens when a person
works hard and the poor are people who do not he calls this false Conscious: explanation of
social problems based on the short comings of an individual rather than a society
Conflict and History
* always there is conflict between the rich and the poor
Capitalism and Class
* there are 2 classes ( rich or ruling and poor or not ruling)
* Creates class conflict: conflict between rich and poor over the distribution of wealth ( my toy!
no my Toy!)
* as a society we are very out in the open about our self-interest beliefs
* created Class Consciousness: workers recognition of themselves as a class unified in
opposition to capitalists
Capitalism and Alimentation
* alienation: the experience of isolation and misery
* four ways of alienating
1. Alienation from the act of working: turns people into machines and makes the work they do
have no value
2. alienation from Product of work: product belongs to capitalists not the people who sell it
3. Alienation from Workers: makes work competitive rather than cooperative
4. Alimentation from Potential: turns work into dull and dehumanizing when it should be the best
quality of humans
Industrial society is a society in which the primary means of subsistence is industry (production
of goods/materials)
-people with similar occupations brought together rather than culture/religion etc.
-we are now in the post-industrial stage (machines/robots work efficiently rather than people)
Post-industrial society is a society in which the primary means of subsistence is derived from
service-oriented work
-bigger service sector, leading into an "Information Age"
The Implications of Societal Development
-changes in the social structure of a society also affect other aspects of society
-ex. better industry = more food = more surviving kids = bigger population
Karl Marx
-thought that economic systems determined beliefs and values
-happiness as the fruits of our labour
-looked at class conflict, aka upper classes receiving the benefits of the labour of lower class
-had an ideal of communism, communally owned and highly developed means of production
Emile Durkheim
-believed in using scientific methods
-studied suicide
-found that social solidarity (aka community) was important - less suicide where there was
-figured creating community through occupations would work best (grouping specialists
-made religion less important as a community-builder
-saw the huge role of interdependence in work, for ex. doctors depend on farmers for food,
farmers depend on doctors for healthcare
Max Weber