notes for chapter 10 textbook reading associated with lecture 2

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6 Jan 2011
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SOC341 Chapter 10 Notes
Rationalization – set of interrelated social processes by which nature,
individuals, culture and institutions have been systematically transformed by
rational human action
oTransformed Western European societies by long run tendency to bring
order and perfection to less ordered and imperfect natural state
oCan be seen as striving for perfection/increasing mastery over external
world by organization of life on basis of mens organization w/ each other,
their tools & environment for purpose of greater efficiency & productivity
3 facets:
Secularization - decline of magical interpretations & explanations of world /
authority of church / social status of clergy / secularization of world
oDisenchantment – enchantment b/cm erased from life thru loss of faith
provided by folk beliefs & religion = changing forms of thought & social
action
Calculability
Rational action – calculating social action by weighing means & ends prior to
action producing continuous drive towards change
oPractical rationalityno external mythical causes affecting outcome of
human actions & sees reality
oTheoretical/technical rationality – cognitive effort to master world thru
causality & logical deduction & induction
oFormal rationality – practical orientation of social action to ensure
(means) calculating ensures goals or outcome
oSubstantive rationality – degree human action is guided/shaped by a
value system regardless of outcome of action- orientation towards values
Protestant Ethic
Religion adds impediment to rationalism
Found cultural different b/w European Protestants & Catholics - Protestants study
commerce = bcm skilled/management EE and not craft workers = choice of
occupation bc mental characteristics within them but opposite descriptions were
true – Protestants didnt lead hedonistic lifestyle despite earning more
Protestants had inner affinity toward ascetic lifestyle = receptive to capitalism
Wealth = being Gods elect = acquire wealth is godly – encouraging formation of
capital
Provides religious legitimacy for exploitation of human labour – onescalling to
make & save money to save soul from being damned
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Document Summary

Empt: mobility & stability of class position differs greatly = social class highly variable. Positively privileged: property classes: rentiers recv"ing income from owning land/ factories, commercial classes: entrepreneurs offering services on market, professionals lawyers & physicians. Negatively privileged: paupers & unskilled have no property or specialized skills. Marx social class & class-consciousness = class struggle: class solidarity did not happen w/ new white collar propertyless specialist www. notesolution. com, class struggle doesn"t need to occur as can co-exist amongst diff class, eg. Poor white trash + plantation worker: no simple relationship b/w class position &consciousness class differentiation not as dynamic as marx described. Status situation diff b/w social groups" social esteem/prestige/honour. Status groups expressed thru consumption lifestyle speech, education, occupation, apparel. Status & class may not always correspond: genteel poverty high status + little economic wealth, class/status/political groups represent interests determined thru class or status position = power position in community.

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