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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC203H1
Professor
jackveulgers
Semester
Winter

Description
A classless society; characterized by communal control over production Only Communism and Primitive Communism are classless, the other types of production are characterized by inequality *** (refer to the study) Americans don’t necessarily associate prestige with income level, prestige and fame also don’t automatically correlate. Individuals with a high income don’t necessarily receive a corresponding level of prestige. Max Weber’s Definition of POWER: “In general, we understand by “power” the chance of a man or of a number of men to realize their own will in a communal action even against the resistance of others who are participating in the action” in Class, Status, Party PG 95 The distinction between social CATEGORY and social GROUP: categories are more depersonalized, but groups are usually voluntary. Weber would label a group, a COMMUNITY Weber states that a class isn’t necessarily a community (agreeing with Marx) Distinction between a class in itself and a class for itself is class consciousness CLASS: Weber partly agrees but also disagrees with Marx. It matters what kind of property one owns (not just ownership), also differentiating what type of services sold STATUS: Social honour determines prestige; certain categories carry more than others PARTY: Political power is not reducible to economic power; conceptually they must be kept separate. This is quite distant from Marx who equates economic power with political power  Weber distinguishes between these types of power: class, status, party Weber posits that class interests aren’t a given; as opposed to what Marx argues MARX AND INDIA 1. Marx on India: * Marx’s claim * India before the British: Key tasks of government were to maintain the irrigation system. There were small independent distinct villages; there also exists the caste system * The effects of imperialism 2. Moore on India (from Barrington Moore Jr. Social Origins of Dictatorships and Democracy, 1966): * Moore’s model of industrialization: An industrial take off, would be impossible unless agriculture produces a significant surplus, to produce a capital * India: agriculture and industry Moore does not see a historical actor prior to the 1950s; not a great deal of revolution in terms of methods of production prior to 1950. * Barriers to change in India A rural proletariat tied to the land, not an industrial proletariat. Ownership was concentrated to an elite, 10% of owners owned 50% of the land; this system also kept the lower castes in place 3. Implications: * Marx on India: From reading Moore, Marx was mostly wrong about India * Analyzing Capitalism * The independent effect of status (Weber) The castes carried a power * Articulation of modes of production The expansion of capitalism globally doesn’t necessarily lead to pre-capitalist modes of production; it can lead to a co-existence of different modes of production (refer to India, no dramatic revolution) LECTURE 4 January 28 ,th 2012 “Class, Status, Party”: True or False? According to Weber: 1. Economically conditioned power is identical to power as such (95) 2. Classes are not communities (groups unified by kinship or a sense of belonging) (95) 3. Class situation: the typical chances for a supply of goods, external living conditions and personal life experiences (96) 4. Property and lack of property are NOT the basic categories of all class situations (96) 5. Class interest is relatively unambiguous (97) 6. Propertied and propertyless people cannot belong to the same status group (99) 7. Unlike the actions of classes and status groups the communal actions of parties always means a socialization (organized group action) (100) [Referring to last week and Barrington Moore] How do you produce an agricultural surplus? Proper mechanization, crop rotation , etc. [ADVICE] Be analytical in your approach to concepts (being outraged is not sufficient) Examples of analytical questions: Topic: gender inequality- under what conditions is gender inequality greater or lesser? How has this varied across history and across nations? Topic: the Holocaust- under what conditions is a Holocaust-like phenomenon more likely to be remembered and continually discussed in that culture? (e.g. The Armenian genocide is relatively unknown compared to the Holocaust: why is that?) MAX WEBER: “CLASS, STATUS, PARTY” 1. Weber’s definition of power (refer to last lecture) Weber is unsentimental when it comes to analysis of inequality. He hardly mentions power in The Protestant Ethic. 2. With Marx: Property a basis of inequality 3. Beyond Marx: Economic bases of inequality in addition to property The need to distinguish between the types of property owned and the types of services people offer Status Differences in social honour/ stigma (Weber refers to European Jews) E.g. ethnicity, castes in India Social closure- mechanisms in which social status is maintained (e.g. marriage criteria, social distancing around resources, segregation) Weber on America, by contrast to Tocqueville’s argument that America is democracy in its purest form: distinctions were still made regarding blood Party Beyond the contemporary understanding of political party; this refers to clubs, factions, etc. as well 4. The concept of “life chances” It’s “…the likelihood of owning certain goods…having personal life experiences.” Weber relates equality/inequality to life chances 5. Significance of Weber’s analysis of power Introducing the concept of life chances Weber has a relational view of power; even those who are weak in a power relationship still have a certain scope of choice and agency. Those with power also have to make certain accommodations as well. Power relations are multidimensional; not just economic (consider status, etc.) Departing from Marx, Weber does not think inequality/power in itself is a bad thing; he views it as a capacity, potential to do more in society. What matters to Weber is the equality of decisions made by those with power. Weber was a nationalist and an elitist; he had no problem with great concentration of power but was concerned with the good/bad they were doing for society. Weber was very Nietszian, because of his elitism 6. A recent alternative: the class scheme of Eric Olin Wright (1980s) American sociologist; neo Marxist (Scheme- refer to diagrams): Between the bourgeois and the proletariat lie the managers who are in a contradictory position. Small employers are also in an intermediate category, between the petite bourgeois and the proletariat; very far from the bourgeois. Who owns the apparatus/machine? Who owns the products/profits? Who supervises the workers? GEORG SIMMEL: Subordinate versus super ordinate (181) “domination a form of interaction” Simmel is providing a corrective view of a one sided understanding of power that the people inhabiting the subordinate position have no agency or choice. In trying to correct a one sided view of power relations, does Simmel perhaps bend over backwards in attributing the capacity and degree of choice for the subordinate? “Power is rarely so complete as to rule out some iota of freedom” Exercise: How is power negotiated? (Keep in mind, experiences when you were in a position of power or lack thereof) (181) “The subordinate is not merely passive” (181) Coercion (185-186) Political leaders are slaves to public opinion instead of leading it Keep in mind: interesting contrasts between Marx and Simmel regarding freedom Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) : “Violence can always destroy power” – it’s the threat of violence that’s powerful rather than the use of violence. ENGELS ON GENDER INEQUALITY 1. Gender inequality in Canada today Inequality of wages, underrepresentation in managerial positions, unpaid labour at home (regardless if both spouses are working, women tend to do more) To eliminate gender inequality, class would have to be eliminated? 2. Engels (Origins of the Family, Private Property and the State, 1884) * The centrality of production and reproduction * Gender under primitive communism Clan- a social grouping composed of people who claim common membership based on having the same ancestor. They were exogamous (outside of); one has to marry outside of the clan. * Private property and gender inequality The trigger from a patrilineal society to a matrilineal society was…? “The world historical defeat of the human sex” Gender inequality will only be eliminated once class differences are eliminated * Socialism and gender relations: the claim The proletarian marriage is more likely to be characterized by love 3. Critical comments: * A sociological phenomenon * A historical phenomenon * The meaning of property * Politics matter * Gender equality and capitalism Soc203H1 Lecture 2 14th January Inequality in pre-modern societies Hunter-Gatherer - nomadic people which imposes strict limitations of how much property people can own. Virtually no domestication of plants and animals. Relatively egalitarian societies. Sexual division of labour e.g. women cook, men hunt. Generalized Reciprocity - There is no expectation of immediate return, instead the idea being that someone will return the favour to him in the future. Primal Societies - more associated with domestication of animals, there is a chieftain, women are insubordinate, economies are redistributed. Early States - Ancient Rome, China - Associated with extreme inequality, emperor has great power supported by houses e.g. Army, administrators, politicians. Most people are peasants Military power is a very powerful tool for emperors, or those in control. Tocqueville - The threat of atomization of society under conditions of increasing equality. Master and slave relationship in aristocrat society is warmer and more caring. Marx = The Communist Manifesto 1. Slow Change - Persistence of monarchies - Persistence of old classes - Aristocrats - Rise of new classes - Middle class - 2.5% of population - Proletariat - 4% percent of population - Social structure - SLOW CHANGES 2. Rapid Growth - Urbanization - Moving from rural areas to cities - Technology - being developed and applied e.g. gas lamp. railroads - Productivity - Increasing rapidly in mining, coal, and iron - Commerce - 1780-1840s - World commerce increase 4x in volume 3. Uncertainty over the future of: - Capitalism emerged from feudal society - burst from the rapid growth = new class= Beurgoesie= consequently, social bonds of capitalism will burst apart from the rapid growth and socialism will be born. - Monarchies - Nationalism - Social Order 4. Reading the Communist Manifesto - Statement of Principle Analogy - drawing a parallel/comparison Marx is claiming that these 2 revolutions are going to come together. The industrial revolution by necessity will become a democratic revolution. 1. Two premises of Marx's approach: - Humans have essential needs - These needs are satisfied by entering into predetermined social relations 2. What are these social relations - The mode of production 3. Capitalism - The commodification of labour - founded on a class division - classes have conflicting interests -gap between productive power and the shrinking control of worker -creates alienation -not a final form of society 4. Communism - end alienation by ending society divined into classes Division of labour - splitting up the jobs in a work force Marx in talking about British imperialism in India, avoids moral condemnation. Why does he not do this? Orientalism - Edward Said - orient depicted as barbaric, sensual, sublime, idyllic, degenerate, inferior, backward Week 5: Simmel Feb 4 Engels on Gender Inequality: 1. Gender in equality in Canada today 2. Engels (Origins of the Family, Private property, and the State, 1884): a. The centrality of production and reproduction b. Gender under primitive communism c. Private property and gender inequality d. Socialism and gender relations: the claim 1 &2 covered in Week 4 notes 3. Critical comments: − A sociological phenomenon o One reason why the work of Engels is important because it treats relations between men and women (when it comes to difference in power) is not due to biological and psychological differences o If rooted in biology, we have to believe that gender inequality is inevitable (because we can’t change our biology) o If psychological, it’ll be difficult to believe that we can change social relations o Engel’s argues: not withstanding certain biological and personality differences, in the end, gender inequality is not explainable by bio or psych; it’s social relations  Think of a biological reality: ie. Being pregnant, giving birth  discomfort, morning sickness, hard to move around, risky, that’s a biological reality that men will never know • Does that mean we penalize women in the workplace; yes pregnancy differentiates men and women, but what society makes us of that experience, it varies enormously (some can be penalized in some societies, other societies have regulations on women are not penalized) − A historical phenomenon o We know that there is variation in gender and inequality; there is a gap between men and women are greater
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