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Regions, Nations and Empires Reading

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Lorne Tepperman

Oct 30 reading (1) Points 10: Regions, Nations and Empires Regions—large land areas that may encompass portions of a country or extend over several countries. They usually share a few distinctive topographical features (mountain, flatland, coastal terrain) and economic experiences (GEOGRAPHICAL) Nations—large land areas where people live under the rule of a national government (POLITICAL) Empires—sets of nations, regions, and territories controlled by a single ruler (BOTH) *critical theory is most examined and not so much symbolic interactionism Critical theory Capitalism—an inherently expansionist economic system, always looking for new markets and new lower-cost labour -always looking to control and conquer other societies, to manipulate their markets, population and government -governments of capital nations will occasionally support aggressive economic or military intrusions into foreign countries -wars since 1500 occurred in effort to capture markets, raw materials, and consumers (wars in Middle East between America and Russia, was to capture needed oil transits) Functionalism -modernization approach -spread of Western lifestyles and values throughout the world, as a resulting general desire for Western- style democracy and culture -this spread of ‘modernity’ brings with it local desires for Americanization (media, consumer items and organizations) Critical theory vs. functionalism = nature of the global system (good or bad) and role of force vs. choice in establishing the global order Classic Studies The Modern World-System 1: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European world-Economy in the 16 Centuries Immanuel Wallerstein— th -before 16 century, world economies existed but were parts of world empires, like the Roman empire -Development of economic linkages and capitalist principles = worldwide division of labour & global system of stratification Parts in a world system: 1) core states—the governments of industrialized, rich, powerful, and relatively independent societies; the dominant states in the world 2) periphery states—the governments of less developed, relatively poor, weak societies that are subject to manipulation or direct control by core societies Oct 30 reading (2) 3) semi-periphery states—governments of industrial societies that, though prosperous, are often subject to control by core societies because of their economic or political dependency How to identify the states: 1) type of labour organization they employed -core had most detailed division of labour (wage-labour and self-employment) -periphery had the least (slavery and feudal relations) -semi-periphery had some (share-cropping) William Leiss—“shifting relationships maintained a dynamic tension that insured the growing hegemony of the system as a whole” (Economic meltdown in Greece affected not only other peripheral European debtor countries, but wealthier core nations as well) Triangular trade relation—Europe, Africa and America Slaves from AfricaAmerica, Agricultural products from AmericaEurope, Manufactured goods from America world (Africa, Asia, Americas) 2) emergence of bureaucratic organizations in the core states -allowed the core to control and exploit the periphery more effectively Networks of Dependency -Wallerstein: like Marx and Weber, in his theory of historical development driven by relations of inequality and in knowing the danger of oversimplification -countries are interconnections of political, ecological, economic, social, and cultural units -this interconnection  tension between two sources of control (control from inside of unit and control from outside) Imperial rule—to enrich core states, especially capitalists in core states, at the expense of peripheral states Eg. Canada and Quebec are core states, wherea
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