Textbook Notes (363,569)
Canada (158,433)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCA01H3 (480)
Chapter 4


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University of Toronto Scarborough
Ivanka Knezevic

HSW Chapter 4: 1 CHAPTER 4: HOW SOCIETIES WORK The Basis of Modern Societies The Roots of Capitalism: Feudalism - Dominant socioeconomic formation that developed during middle ages was feudalism - Feudalism: agricultural system that grew out ruins of old slave societies - complex system of duties and obligations b/w individuals - class of owners, nobility, and producing class of serfs (peasants) - also minor classes (artisans, soldiers and clergy) - hierarchy of wealth and power within two major classes - In feudal societies: land divided into manors - held by royalty and parceled out to lords and knights - - land could only be acquired though attack, bestowal or marriage - Lord acquired surplus from forced agricultural service - serfs worked most - serfs did this work cause of non-economic forms of coercion (force) - Rent system replaced system of forced agricultural service - 15 century: money payment replaced agricultural and goods service Commodity Production and Growth of Markets - Market: when people offer goods and services for sale to others in more or less systematic and organized way - concept: embodies set of social relationships organized around buying and selling of objects - Commodity: object that is produced specifically for exchange - Growth of capitalism seems to be reason behind why feudalism declined - Growth of capitalism - socioeconomic formation that had at its core need to intensify labor and improve productivity to increase profitability Decline of Feudalism New Class Relations: The Rise of Agrarian Capitalism and Growth of Capitalist Markets - Before: dominant class was able to take surplus from producing class through force - slavery was most extreme form - First major change - variable rent system, began to replace system of fixed rents - ex. landlord sets amount that peasant has to pay in rent to work land à one peasant family is less productive than other (would not get beaten of put in jail for this) à but less productive family cannot pay the rent when other families can and they lose livelihood - first time economic coercion is used - As result ^ feudal landlord and tenant farmer became more interested in “improvement” or increasing productivity for profit - Some merchants realized that they could improve profits via greater control over productive process - rather than buying and selling goods - Began to provide raw materials and tools to those who made products for them - becoming class of owners (bourgeoisie) - Driving force for bourgeoisie - need for ever-expanding profits - Enterprises are in competition with others (to survive, they need to grow) - need to get maximization of profits - Proletariat - class of workers for the capitalist owning class Accumulation of Capital - Capital: way of using money with specific goal of obtaining more money - Some of this money came from expansion of trade, new technologies and increased rates of productivity - England: wealth was used to develop capitalist market (became main center for industrial production) - Europe: wealth was retained by powerful monarchy - Capitalist realized that great wealth to be made by turning human beings into commodities - slave trade began Advances in Technology and Growth of Labour Force th - 16 century: manufactory system - operations involved specific type of production - Lords “enclosed” priblic commons (their land), forests, area around their estate and turned them into private land for sheep and cattle to increase wealth - Peasants no longer had access to public land and moved into towns and cities - Workers were getting small wages that barely supported family - Industrial Revolution occurred cause there was group of individuals with enough capital to purchase them and available labour force to work at them - With new tech and expanding profits, labour productivity increased Political Transformation in Europe and Rise of Nation-States - Growth of nation-states - market economies increased and feudal relations declined à monarch and growing capitalist class began to expand their power - Former gained political power as feudal lords weakened, capitalists gained economic power through expanding HSW Chapter 4: 3 wealth - Monarchs realized that political power could expand via wealth of expanding capitalist class - capitalists sought protection of strong leader who could make and enforce laws - but had different basic goals - Absolutist states - under control of all powerful monarch - Capitalist benefited from powerful sovereign at head of UK or nation - nation: embodies notion of group of people living within geographical boundary who share common language, culture and history - Nation-state growth gave expansion of trade and commerce - nation-states developed concurrently with capitalist economic relations - 18 century: republic or constitutional monarchy replaced most of absolutist monarchies Changing World-View - John Locke (1632-1704) - people have inherent rights (life, liberty, property) which exist independent of laws of any particular society - view was appealing to new expanding bourgeois class - Max Weber (1864-1920) - origins of capitalism were linked to new form of Christianity that spread across Northern Europe starting around 15 century - Protestantism’s new world-view was appealing to growing class of capitalist entrepreneurs - referred to as “work ethic: - Benjamin Franklin - “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” - “a penny saved is a penny earned” - valued planning and self-denial to achieve individual wealth What the Transition to Capitalism Teaches Us - Even societies that are relatively stagnant for long periods of time do change eventually Change within feudal societies occurred in numerous small ways until sum total of many gradual changes led to radical transformations of whole societies The Development of Capitalism in Canada - For European monarchs and growing bourgeoisie, North American continent was place to secure glory and profits - Canada’s economy has always been highly dependent on resource extraction - Canada’s ranks - Confederation era: half of Canada’s pop was in agriculture - 20 century: seventh in industrial output among manufacturing countries of world - after confederation: Halifax was main center of industrial production - Montreal and Toronto became industrial heartland of country - Cause Canadian economy did not develop evenly across country, regional disparities in economic growth and overall wealth have given rise to perpetual tensions b/w provinces and regions Capitalism Explained - Capitalism - name given to socioeconomic formation in which we live in now - e
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