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SOC101Y1 (470)

SOC207H Week 1 Reading

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Stephen Reid

th January 10 , 2013 WDW207H Week 1 Reading Introduction - Canada still relies on immigrants to fuel its economy - Today, most work for wages or a salary in bureaucratic organizations - In 2/3 two-adult households, both partners are employed outside the home. In a labour force of just over 18 million individuals, ¾ workers are in the service sector. Fewer workers are full-time employees. Every 12 employed Canadians, one is unemployed - Industrialization refers to the technical aspects of the accumulation and processing of a society’s resources - Capitalism is a term used to describe key aspects of the economic and social organization of the productive enterprise - An industrial society is one in which inanimate sources of energy such as coal or electricity fuel a production system that uses technology to process raw materials - A capitalist system of production is one in which a relatively small number of individuals own and control the means for creating goods and services, which the majority have no direct ownership stake in the economy and are paid a wage to work for those who do - Today’s 21 century is a postindustrial society The Origins of Industrial Capitalism - The emergence of capitalism in Europe consisted of two basic periods: mercantile or commercial capitalism, which began in the 1500s, and industrial capitalism, which evolved somewhat later - Mercantile period: o Merchants and royalty in Spain, Holland, England, and France accumulated huge fortunes by trading internationally in a variety of goods, including spices, precious stones and metals, sugar, cotton and slaves o An elaborate trading network evolved, linking Africa, Asia, and the American colonies with Europe o This global trade and the pillage of cultures provided wealth that would subsequently fuel the growth of industrial capitalism in Europe o These early signs of capitalist commercial activity emerged out of a feudal society  Most people still lived in the countryside  Class structure: there was a relatively small aristocracy and merchant class mostly lived in the cities, a rural landowning class, and a large rural peasantry (farmers)  Work typically involved peasants farming small plots of land they did not own  Landowners received rent, usually in the form of agricultural produce  Feudal Europe was predominantly a pre-market economy in which the producer was also the consumer. It was also a pre-capitalist economy because wage labour was rare and a business class had not yet become dominant  Feudal lords accepted rent and expected services in the form of manual labour required for the upkeep of the estate th January 10 , 2013  Feudalism was built upon a system of mutual rights and obligations, reinforced by tradition  One’s social position was inherited  Feudal society: growing rural populations, deterioration of land, landlords demanding more rent forcing people off the land and into the cities hwere they could form an urban working class Early Capitalism - Industrial capitalism began to emerge in the early 1700s - The production of goods by artisans, or by the home-based putting out system in which merchants distributed work to peasant households, led to larger workshops that made metal, cloth, glass, and other finished goods - By late 1700s, various inventions were revolutionizing production techniques. Growth in trade and transportation, the construction of railways, and military demand for improved weapons encouraged new techniques for processing iron and other metals - Early inventions (i.e. James Watt’s steam engine) facilitated a new form of work organization: the industrial mill o A technical breakthrough that involved harnessing many machines to a single inanimate energy source, the mill also had immense social implications, consolidating many workers under one roof and the control of managers o A growing class of impoverished urban wage-labourers endured horrific working conditions in early industrial mills o Artisans who previously had controlled their own labour resisted. They destroyed textile machinery because they were frustrated by changes that were making their skills obsolete - The emergence of industrial capitalism also changed the gender-based division of labour o The putting out system, particularly in the textile industries, brought many women into the paid labour force along with men, since they could work out of their home and still carry out domestic work and childcare o As manufacturing developed and expanded, it became the preserve of men o Gendered division of labour became more pronounced with the rise of industrial capitalism The Great Transformation - Mechanization and the movement to factor-based production proceeded even faster in the 1800s than it had in the previous century. Manufacturing surpassed agriculture in its annual output - Industrial production in Britain increased by 300% between 1820 and 1860 th - By the end of 19 century, industrial capitalism was the dominant system of production in western nations - According to Karl Polanyi, the great transformation that swept Europe with the growth and integration of capital, commodity, and labour markets – the foundation of capitalism – left no aspect of social life untouched o The struggle for democratic forms of government, the emergence of the modern nation-state, and the rapid growth of cities are all directly linked to these economic changes th January 10 , 2013 - The relatively stable landlord – serf relationships of feudalism were replaced by wage- labour relationships between capitalists and labourers - Employers paid for set amount of work but also determined exactly how and under what conditions work would be done - Previously independent artisans lost out to the factory system, result was a higher standard of living for most residents of the industrialized countries Canada’s Industrialization - The process of industrialization in Canada lagged behind that in Britain and U.S., and can be traced back to the mid-1800s - As a British colony, Canada’s role had been to provide raw materials rather than to produce finished goods - Canadian economic elites focused on traditional activities i.e. exporting staple products (timber, fur, etc) and developing transportation networks (particularly railways) Work in Pre-Industrial Canada - The first half of the 19 century was a pre-industrial economic era in Canada - Canada still had a pre-market economy, since most production and consumption took place in households - By mid 1830s, less than 1/10 of the vast tracts of land that had been given by the French, and later British, monarchy to favoured individuals and companies had been developed for agriculture - Immigration from Europe was increasing o Large numbers of immigrants landed in Canada, only to find shortages of urban factory jobs and little available agricultural land, so the majority of these immigrants sought employment in the United States - Immigrants who stayed in Canada were employed in building the Welland and Rideau canals, which involved 14 to 16 hours a day of very hard and poorly paid work The Industrial Era - By the 1840s, Canada’s economy was still largely agrarian, even though the two key ingredients for industrialization – an available labour force and a transportation infrastructure – were in place - Prior to confederation in 1867, some of Canada’s first factories were set up in Nova Scotia - After 1867, manufacturing became centralized in Ontario and Quebec, resulting in the deindustrialization of the Maritimes - At the time of confederation, half of the Canadian labour force was in agriculture. This changed rapidly with the advance of industrialization - Result: worker exploitation was widespread, as labour laws and unions were still largely absent. Low pay, long hours, and unsafe and unhealthy conditions were typical. Workers lived in crowded in unsanitary housing - Despite economic development in the decades following confederation, poverty remained the norm for much of the working class in major manufacturing centres th January 10 , 2013 The Decline of Craftwork - Traditionally, skilled craftworkers had the advantages of being able to determine their own working conditions, hire their own apprentices, and frequently set their pay. But this craft control declined as Canada moved into the industrial era - Between 1901 and 1914, more than 400 strikes and lockouts occurred in the 10 most industrialized cities of southern Ontario o A privileged group of workers resisting attempts to reduce their occupational power - In early 1900s, every 1 million tons of coal produced in Alberta took the lives of 10 miners, in BC was 23 dead for same amount of coal - These dangerous conditions led to strikes, union organization, and political action Rethinking Industrialization - Industrialized countries tend to be highly urbanized; production typically takes place on a big scale using complex technologies; workplaces tend to be organized bureaucratically; and white-collar workers make up most of the workforce. Citizens are reasonably well educated, and generally an individual’s level of education and training is related to her or his occupation - Whether countries are already industrialized or are just beginning to industrialize, the peoples of the world are on the march towards industrialization o Immensity and inevitability of industrial technology o “The world is entering a new age – the age of total industrialism…” – the logic of industrialism thesis - Canada’s industrialization occurred later and was shaped by its colonial status; that immigration was a major factor in creating a workforce; and that resource industries played a central role Karl Marx on Worker Exploitation and Class Conflict - Examined the phenomenon of industrial capitalism - Marx called the overall system of economic activity within a society a mode of production, and he identified its major components as the means of production (the technology, capital investments, and raw materials) and the social relations of production (the relationships between the major social groups or classes involved in production)
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