Bradford mvsu fall 2012 short lecture 2 history of sociology


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  • Interesting facts: His motto of ‘Order and Progress’ today appears on the Brazilian flag; Comte proposed a Religion of Humanity that would ensure moral order, and for which we would serve as the High Priest!
  • Capitalism is really ‘socialism for the rich’; profits are privatized, but costs and toil are ‘socialized’. According to Marx, more and more people become members of the proletariat class. Serfs in feudalism are dispossessed: they are kicked off of their land. They now have to work in the factories, or starve! Small businesses are also swallowed by giant firms, putting them out of business. Think Wal-Mart.
  • Bradford mvsu fall 2012 short lecture 2 history of sociology

    1. 1. History of Sociology Dr. John Bradford
    2. 2. Modernity: A timeline• Roughly the historical period after the Middle Ages• Distinguished from small, pre-industrial, “primitive”, feudal, or traditional societies.
    3. 3. What is “Modernity”?Rough historical markers:• Protestant Reformation (~1517)• ‘Enlightenment’ (1700s) *see notes below]• Industrial revolution (1700s- 1800s)• American (1776), French (1789), and Haitian (1791) revolutions
    4. 4. Transformations of Modernity: Overview and Summary1. Science and Technology• New belief in progress based on objective, empirical science• Traditions and old authorities undermined, challenged2. Work and Social Relationships• Specialized division of labor (Durkheim)• Relationships between people increasingly become means to ends, rather than ends in themselves (Tönnies, Weber)• Production primarily for profit and sale, nor for fixed needs and personal use (Marx)
    5. 5. Auguste Comte (1798-1857)• Comte first coined the term “sociology” – Born into an aristocratic Catholic family in France; collaborator and secretary of Claude Henri de Saint-Simon – Originally used the phrase “social physics” but discarded it after a Belgian scientist (Quételet) usurped the phrase in his book An Essay on Social Physics• Proposed that a science of society could be based on objective, empirical observation.• Believed that the methods of natural science could radically transform society
    6. 6. Gabriel Tarde (not in your book)- Contemporary of Durkheim’s- Argued that society was based primarily on imitation, which we did mostly unconsciously.- “Society is imitation and imitation is 1843-1904 a kind of somnambulism” - Somnambulism = sleepwalking - Note: the phenomena of imitation has been given renewed attention with the discovery of “mirror neurons”
    7. 7. Emile Durkheim and ‘Social Facts’• Social Fact = “*social facts+ consist of manners of acting, thinking and feeling external to the individual, which are invested with a coercive power by virtue of which they exercise control over him.”• Social facts have a reality sui generis – ‘Sui generis’ = Latin phrase meaning, ‘of 1858-1917 its own kind’ – Social facts cannot be reduced to individual facts.
    8. 8. Durkheim and Division of LaborTraditional Society Modern SocietyMechanical solidarity = a form of Organic solidarity =social interdependence based on form of social interdependence basedcommonly shared beliefs and strong on differentiated/specialized divisiongroup identity. Based on very simple of labor.division of labor.Similar to simple organism or machine: Similar to a complex organisms; its organsindividuals are mostly functionally are not interchangeable.equivalent and substitutable.‘Society is in the individual’ ‘The Individual is in Society’
    9. 9. Collective Conscience and Ritual Solidarity• Collective consciousness/conscience is a collection of beliefs, ideas, and sentiments shared by members of a community. Basically, a shared sense of reality and identity based in common/shared experiences.• Ritual solidarity refers to the bonds experienced by both participants and spectators of rituals, who focus their collective attention on a common object of perception. ‘Mass Games’ of North Korea
    10. 10. Durkheim and ‘Anomie’• Anomie = 1. sense of disconnectedness, “alienation,” loneliness, and isolation. 2. Lack of moral direction. – This occurs more frequently in modern society, where people are less integrated and often feel they don’t belong. – This is experienced individually as a ‘personal trouble’, but is, according to Durkheim, also a ‘social fact’- i.e. has social (not individual) causes.
    11. 11. Durkheim and Religion• Religion is an expression of, and a way of creating, social order. -“God is Society, writ large”• All societies categorize things as either sacred (holy) or profane (everyday). The Sacred: all things set apart as special; have high symbolic value; society demands reverence/awe toward them The Profane: ordinary or mundane things with no special symbolic significance
    12. 12. Sacred and Profane• Societies unify around shared sacred symbols representing (and reinforcing) their shared beliefs and shared sense of common identity.• A totem is an animal or other natural object that spiritually or symbolically represents a people and their common origin. Similar to a mascot or logo.
    13. 13. Ferdinand Tönnies (not in your book)Two types of social relationships: 1. Relationships that people enter as ends in themselves, or Gemeinschaft = intimate or communal association. 2. Relationships that people enter into as means to an end, or Gesellschaft = goal- driven, impersonal relationships Ferdinand Tönnies (1855 – 1936)• Relationships in modern society are more frequently gesellshaft relationships. Why?
    14. 14. Max Weber:The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism• ‘Spirit of Capitalism’ = the calling to make more money as an end in itself, and to work hard for its own sake as a sign of salvation. This is a new psychological disposition.• The Protestant Ethic is the ‘Spirit of Capitalism’. The Protestant Ethic basically means sacrificing and saving for the future and adopting a rational (= calculating) 1864-1920 attitude towards life.• Implication: Secular capitalism has religious origins.
    15. 15. Max Weber: ‘Rational’ and ‘Non-rational’• Rational means ‘efficient’; adopting the most efficient means to achieve a given end. (Gesellschaft)• Non-rational (not irrational!) means non-calculating behavior, including habits, traditions, and anything you do for its own sake (e.g. for the fun of it, or because it 1864-1920 constitutes a way of life for you).
    16. 16. Karl Marx and Conflict Theory• Father of modern socialism, communism, and conflict theory.• Marxism is a Western intellectual tradition spanning 150 years, consisting of 3 components: 1. A political doctrine 2. A philosophy (or anti-philosophy) of History 3. and an analysis of the functioning 1818-1883 of the economy
    17. 17. Marx’s Materialist Theory of History• Question: What is more important than what people in a society think and believe?• Answer: What they do and make! All people everywhere have to produce their means of ‘subsistence’ (livelihood).• Production is primary: it is a necessary precondition for everything else. You must be fed before you can philosophize!
    18. 18. Materialist Theory of History• How stuff is produced is what matters most. This is the ‘base’ of society. Marx calls the rules, customs, laws, and beliefs determining how the wealth should be distributed, the superstructure. Superstructure Ideas about how to distribute surplus Base = foundation How stuff is produced (Relationships and Technology)
    19. 19. What is capitalism?For Marx, Capitalism is a socialorder characterized by twoconditions:1. Production for profit2. Wage-labor
    20. 20. What is capitalism?1. Production for Profit: Goods (‘commodities’) are produced for sale in order to make a profit. a) “For Sale” and not for immediate use or consumption. b) “For profit” and not according to custom, need, tradition, or to maintain a fixed standard of living. – M-C-M’: The Circuit of Capital
    21. 21. What is capitalism?2. Wage-Labor: Production is based on wage-labor, i.e. people who, in order to survive, must sell their capacity to work in exchange for a salary or wage.• These workers do not: a) own the machines that they use (‘the means of production’), b) own the wealth that they produce, c) nor do they acquire the profits made from the sale of that which they produce!
    22. 22. Capitalism as a Conflict of Interests• Capitalism arises with industrialization, when production itself becomes “socialized”, requiring large numbers of people, operating machinery.• Control of what is produced, however, is privatized, or centralized in the hands of the few , for private gain.• A conflict of interest develops between workers (the proletarians) and the owners (the bourgeoisie) of the machines or ‘means of production’ Workers Owners (many) (few)
    23. 23. Exploitation in capitalism• For Marx, capitalism is inherently exploitative. There is a conflict of interest because workers produce the wealth, but receive in wages only a fraction of the wealth (or ‘value’) they produce. This is exploitation.• The value that workers produce over and above what they receive in wages is known as SURPLUS VALUE. Equality is only a mask, or appearance
    24. 24. Reality is not what it appears to beIs there such thing as “laws” of society, like there arelaws of physics? Can we use science and reason todiscover these hidden laws?
    25. 25. Summary of the Classics:What do they all have in common, if anything? – They are all interested in the difference between appearance and reality. – They intend to create a new map that better describes a new social world. “The Map is Not the Territory” -Alfred Korzybski
    26. 26. Summary of the Classics:What do they all have in common, if anything? – They are all ultimately motivated by a desire to make society better, i.e. to improve the human condition. This requires objective, impartial knowledge about society. – Analogy: to build a better airplane, you first have to understand the laws of aerodynamics!