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Soc231 Textbook Week Notes.docx

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Zaheer Baber

Soc231 Week 3 Notes Chapter 8-Marx’s Historical Sociology • Marxism became to stand for a theory in which economic and other material factors explained the structure of society as well as the history • Marx focused on economic development and its connection to social-class, but his followers further the theory by introducing technical changes in the instruments of work (such as means of production, new raw materials, etc.) and this they claimed would determine the course of history Marx’s Famous Preface (A contribution to the critique of Political Economy) • Mode of production determines the general character of political, social and spiritual processes of life • Social existence determines social consciousness • Priority of to the forces of production to bring about social change • Many interpreted that foundation is the cause and the superstructure is the effect • Frederick Engles was Marx’s colleague and co-authored many writing with him • Engles claimed that many misinterpreted their writing as he claims that there is some interaction between the superstructure and the base, ultimately the economic condition asserts itself Tribal Ownership • Mode of production contains both productive forces and relations forces • Productive forces has several components (how society produces); o Social cooperation of the produces as it is conditioned by; o The existing instrument of production o The availability technical knowhow o Society’s natural habitat • Relations of production (who owns society’s productive resources): the forms of ownership • Misconception: Marx believed that key to social change was solely in the internal dynamic of productive forces pressing upon the existing relations of production • “entire internal structure of a society depends on the stage of development reached by its production and its internal and external intercourse • Tribal (first form of ownership): elementary division of labour • Social structure is limited to an extension of the family; patriarchal family chieftains, below are the members of the tribe, and finally the slaves • The evolution of slave isn’t solely explained as results of productive forces (or just internal factors), but also include external factors • Warfare: risen as both for defence their own tribal property as well as obtaining new property • Therefore human beings conquered along with their land as means of condition of production and this is the way slavery arises • To steal a slave is to steal an instrument of production, therefore mode of production is also an important element as to the reason why slavery arose • They claim that no one explanation or cause it sufficient to explain the rise of slaver (or history of society) • Engles looked at the transformation of dwelling (& land) into private property and states that the belief of the land being scare is not the effect, but rather the cause of the transformation of land becoming privatized (in Germans) • There were several factors involved in this transformation; o Belief the dwelling were scared and inviolable o Roman influence in which land was privatized for centuries o Retinues (which are mixed clan member groups) that would raid neighbours land and take the spoils of that raid • As a result retinues became independent of their tribal assemblies, became nobles & monarch from the wealth they accumulated, became international as they crossed boundaries, and bequeathed their property to their own children and thus undermining the clan • Feudal serfdom: workers that work the land, but differed from slaves as they would only work for a different lord when the land itself changed hand (whereas slaves could be bought and sold) Productive Forces: Did Marx in fact assign them Casual Priority? • The instruments of production vary, and so does the division of labour but not necessarily the entire structure of society (or even the class structure) • Marx capitalist industry: never looks at processed as final, but a process of revolutionary, while pre-capitalist would look at as more conservative • Marx: only in capitalist industry was there growth of productive forces (and is not universal, or ever-expanding in all societies) The Feudal Mode of Production • Don’t attempt to explain historical change solely on economic or technical change • Marx: rise of feudalism due to many factors (disintegration of the Roman Empire into multiple chieftains, barbarian invasion, decline of towns) • Part of land was cultivated privately and part was cultivated as “ager publicus”, in which the profits were placed in public funds (religious, warfare, etc.) • Stress the roles of violence and force in the formation of feudalism • Marx “commodity”: was product that was produced with the purpose to exchange in the market • Under feudalism, methods of production were stable as they would only produce products that required use-value (natural economy), but later they would have to product products that would also have exchange-value as well • Capitalism was the first revolutionary mode of production in history (Marx) Asiatic Mode of Production: its significance for Marx’s theory • Focused on Asian and India • Oriental despotism was system in which all the power was with the king (or empreror), the village had not real property in the land, and depended on central government and its official for the proper irrigation of the soil • The governments associated with the Asiatic mode of production provided the artificial fertilization of the soil (required as the weather would not always allow for cultivation) and so the people were heavily dependent on the government • British colonial were the ones that undermined the Asiatic mode • Was different from feudalism, as there were no lord and the state had the supreme power Capitalism Mode of Production • Capitalism required two different kinds of commodity-possessors (the ones that sell their own labour and the owners of the money that wish to increase the sum value they possess) must come into contact with one another • Capitalist labourers are free as: (1) they are no longer the means of production and (2) are responsible for their own survival which they do so by selling their labour • Proletarian: possesses nothing but their own labour • First phase of capitalism was manufacture (hand production) o Workers were forced to focus on one part of the complex operation and thus becoming alienated from the creative prerogatives he enjoyed as a craftsman o Division of labour amongst the workers, where each is in specialized operation, is basis of capitalism • Alienated the workers from the creative powers, and thus diminishing him as a human being • Manufacturing capitalistworkers used the tools and then in the factorythe tool (machines) used the workers • Older forms of production were displaced by modern capitalist form and power of capital • Workers lost control of the productive process • Alienated labour, exploitation and oppression was the their lives equated to Was Marx a Social Evolutionist? (pg 79) • Chapter 9-Fredrick Engels on the Origins of Patriarchy • The social organization is determined by the kinds of production: by the level reached in the productivity of labour and by the form of its family and kinship relations • Lewis Henry Morgan studied the Iroquois and other Native people of North America (and Engels base a lot of his off Morgan) • Savagery (lowest stage): remained tree-dwellers, in original habitat (forest, etc.) • Middle stage of savagery: utilization of fish for food and the use of fire o Migration due to this, as they would spread for new resources, etc. o Beginning of settlement in villages • Early stage of barbarism began with the introduction of pottery (vessels, baskets, etc.) • Middle stage of barbarism began with the domestication and breeding of animals and cultivation of plants • Upper stage of barbarism was with the smelting of iron ore and passes into civilization with invention of writing (alphabets) The Family • Consanguine family: earliest stage of social family institution as only parents and children proscribed partners (brother-sisters could potentially marry o
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