Four sociological traditions (Randall Collins) chapters 1 to 4
THE CONFLICT TRADITIONSociologist Contribution PeriodKarl Marx and Friedrich History as Class Struggle 1848Engels Materialism and the Theory of Ideology 1846Karl Marx The Class basis of Politics and 1852 RevolutionMax Weber The Origin of Modern Capitalism 1920Ralf Dahrendorf Power Divisions as the basis of 1959 Class ConflictGehard E. Lenski A Theory of Inequality 1966Randall Collins A Conflict Theory of Stratification 1975
Society divided into two distinct classes: BOURGEOISIE CLASS OF CAPITALISTS (RULING CLASS) Proletariat CLASS OF WAGE LABORERS (WORKING CLASS)
HISTORY AS CLASS STRUGGLE (KARL MARX AND FRIEDRICH ENGELS)• Believed working class (proletariat) was oppressed by the ruling class (bourgeoisie)• The relationship between these social classes was based upon exploitation and class conflict. Secondarily the two social classes obviously depended upon each other as a source of employment or as a source of profit• What the bourgeoisie produces above all, are its own grave-diggers. Meanwhile, the fall and victory of the proletariat is inevitable.
MATERIALISM AND THE THEORY OF IDEOLOGY (KARL MARX AND FRIEDRICH ENGELS)• The basis of human society is how humans work to produce the means of subsistence.• There is a division of labor into social classes (relations of production) based on property ownership where some people live from the labor of others.• The system of class division is dependent on the mode of production.• The mode of production is based on the level of the productive forces.• Society moves from stage to stage when the dominant class is displaced by a new emerging class, by overthrowing the "political shell" that enforces the old relations of production no longer corresponding to the new productive forces. This takes place in the superstructure of society, the political arena in the form of revolution, whereby the underclass "liberates" the productive forces with new relations of production, and social relations, corresponding to it.
POWER DIVISIONS AS THE BASIS OF CLASS CONFLICT (1959) Conflict theorists like Ralf Dahrendorf characterize society as being in a state of flux and dissension. According to conflict theorists, coercion holds society together, not norms and value. Dahrendorf focused on the role of authority in society, which he viewed as involving the superordination and subordination of groupsRalf Dahrendorf occupying particular positions within what he called imperatively coordinated associations. Groups within a given association are defined according to their specific interests. These interest groups have the potential to turn into conflict groups, and their actions can lead to changes in social structures.
A THEORY OF INEQUALITY (1966) • Humans are by nature, social animals who engage in ―antagonistic cooperation‖ in order to maximize their need satisfaction. • Humans appear to have an insatiable appetite for goods and services. ―This is true chiefly because the goods and services have a status value as well as a utilitarian value.‖ Goods and services within societies are distributed on the basis of need (subsistence goods) and power (surplus goods) • Society is a system; however, it is an imperfect system at best. The fact that society is an imperfect system means that not all of the parts function to strengthen the whole system • Highly stratified societies with powerful elites tend to emphasize political stability, those less stratified favor maximizing production.Gerhard E. Lenski • Economic goods and services are not distributed equally to all members of society —some always get more than others • An individual’s position in each of the relevant class system (and these vary by society) determines their overall social class, and this will affect their access to goods and services as well as the prestige accorded to them by others. • The Civil Rights movement in the United States can be viewed as a struggle to reduce the importance of the racial-ethnic class system as a basis of distribution.
A CONFLICT THEORY OF STRATIFICATION (1975) • Social stratification—the process by which some people have more wealth, power and privilege than others. • Stratification touches many features of social life – wealth, politics, careers, families, communities, lifestyles, etc. • Social class must be looked at not only in terms of material production but mental production— how class cultures and values are symbolically communicated. Upper classes tend to articulateRandall Collins their own class perspective, while lower classes tend to have their worldviews imposed upon them.
THE RATIONAL/UTILITARIAN TRADITIONSociologist Contribution PeriodGeorge C. Homans Social Exchange among Equals and 1961 UnequalsJames G. March and Bounded Rationality and Satisficing 1958Herbert A. SimonThomas C. Schelling Tacit Coordination 1962Mancur Olson Public Goods and the Free Rider 1965 ProblemJames S. Coleman The Realization of Effective Norms 1990
SOCIAL EXCHANGE AMONG EQUALS ANDUNEQUALS (1961) • There is a pattern of individual interactions underlying every social institution • ―Homans Law‖ – Interaction increases liking and conformity, provided that it takes place among social equals • Social behavior is an exchange of rewards (and costs between persons) • A man’s social behavior displays two tendencies: a tendency to interact with, and respect, persons in some sense ―better‖ than himself and a tendency toGeorge Caspar Homans interact with, and like, persons in some (1910-1989) sense similar to himself
BOUNDED RATIONALITY AND SATISFICING (1958) People decide rationally only in a limited number of situations. They make choices according to their interpretation of the situation which is often a simplification. Rationality is "bounded", e.g. humans seldom have access to all relevant information and must rely on a strategy of satisfying, that is to make the best decision on limited information.James G. March Herbert A. Simon They choose the first opportunity that seems satisfactory rather than seek the best solution.
TACIT COORDINATION (1962) • Tacit coordination deals with situations in which economic actors attempt to match the actions of others without knowing what these others will do and without an agreement about what to do. • There are ways that coordination can take about without direct communication if there is a salient feature in theThomas C. Schelling environment: ―focal points‖
PUBLIC GOODS AND THE FREE RIDER PROBLEM(1965) • The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups challenges the accepted wisdom in Olson’s day that everyone in a group has interests in common, then they will act collectively to achieve them • Olson argues that individuals in any group attempting collective action will have incentives to ―free ride‖ on the efforts of others if the group is working to provide public goods. Individuals will not ―free ride‖ in groups which provide benefits only to active participants.Mancur Olson 1932-1998 • Latent groups can be mobilized with the aid of ―selective incentives‖ (positive or negative) • Group size is one of the determining factors in deciding whether or not it is possible that the voluntary, rational pursuit of individual interest will bring forth group-oriented behavior
THE REALIZATION OF EFFECTIVE NORMS • One possibility is that people want the resulting benefits. So, when behavior produces harms for others, those others have an interest in regulating it. In turn, they are more likely to punish it, example: Smoking. When people realized that second-hand smoke caused health problems, they wanted smoking to be regulated EXTERNALITY NORMS PRODUCING B E H AV I O R SJames S. Coleman R E G U L ATO RY PUNISH INTEREST DEVIANCE
THE DURKHEIMIAN TRADITIONSociologist Contribution PeriodEmile Durkheim Precontratual Solidarity 1893 Social rituals and sacred objects 1912Henri Hubert and Marcel The social circulation of sentiments, 1906-34Mauss magic, and moneyClaude Levi-Strauss Kinship as sexual property exchange 1949Erving Goffman The nature of deference and 1956 demeanorWarren O. Hagstrom Social control in science 1965Mary Douglas Grid and group 1973
DURKHEIM’S LAW OF SOCIAL GRAVITY • The major determining factor is ―Social Morphology,‖ the structural relationships among people. The essential laws of sociology show how variations in the patterns of social interaction determine variations in people’s behavior and belief • Historical change happens mechanically, independent of individual wills, by a kind of ―law of gravitation‖ of the social world. Individuals develop progressively more specialized roles because of the growth of population, developments in the technology of transportation and communication • The above two changes in the social structure bring about a ―progressive concentration of societies.‖ This diminishes the space between groups and brings more people into interaction with each other. This variation in ―social density‖ is a key aspect in Durkheim’s theoryEmile Durkheim • Where there is high social density, the structure changes(1858 – 1917) towards a complex division of labor (p. 187 – 188) It is competition that motivates individuals to seek specialized niches when society density increases
THE TWO WINGS TO THE DURKHEIMIAN TRADITIONMacroemphasis(theory of the Microemphasisdivision of labor) (theory of rituals) – social anthropology• Robert Merton• Talcott Parsons • Marcel Mauss (Functionalists) • Erving Goffman Macrolevel and Microlevel • Claude Levi-Strauss
MERTON, PARSONS, AND FUNCTIONALISM • The key entity is the social system as a whole • Parsons developed an extremely complex analysis of categorizing its various functional sectors and subsectors • The whole society has a set of values that are inculcated into individuals (p. 201)Talcott Parsons • Manifest functions – results that people try to consciously attain • Latent functions – produced by the action of the social system itself Robert Merton
FUSTEL DE COULANGES AND RITUAL CLASS WAR • Religious rituals can form an entire society – it is the basis of social institutions, ranging from the family and property to war and politics • Social change springs from transformations in the nature of religion • Society emerges initially as a religious cult. Religion not only established the basic social groupings, but also their politics and moralities, It also shaped the economy. (p.208) • Religion is a weapon of domination
DURKHEIM’S THEORY OF MORALITY & SYMBOLISM • The reality of religion is not transcendental and that God is a symbol of the society and its moral power over individuals • Type of God corresponds to the type of society. Rituals are the mechanism that produces ideas charged with social significance, and the content of ideas reflects the structure of society (p. 212)
W. LLOYD WARNER: THE RITUAL BASIS OFSTRATIFICATION • Different religious doctrines not only symbolized different social groups, but also served to keep these groups separated and stratified • The very symbols of modern religions reflect the family – if the family structure were to change, the predominant religious conceptions would change also (p. 217) • Patriotic ceremonies are ritual weapons of class domination; they suppress feelings of class conflict and dissension by emphasizing group unity
ERVING GOFFMAN: EVERYDAY CULT OF THEINDIVIDUAL • Goffman found rituals of which we are not ordinarily aware as such, rituals that permeate every aspect of our social encounters – the most clearly formulated of these rituals of everyday life are what we call politeness or good manners • Every such ritual – both gives some deference for the other person and claims some status for oneself by showing that one is a person who knows how to carry out the proper formalities. • Interaction rituals are weapons that people can use to score points: to make the right contacts, to embarrass or put down rivals, to assert one’s social superiority. • Rituals are performances. They not only have social consequences – creating ideal image of the self, negotiating social ties, controlling others – but they also require certain resources, both material properties and cultural skills,
COLLINS, BERNSTEIN, AND DOUGLAS: INTERACTION RITUALS AND CLASS CULTURES • Social classes are divided according to how much they give orders or take orders (p. 220). The main dimension of stratification is organized power. • Those who give orders constitute the ―official class‖ and are in charge of organizational rituals • The higher social classes are one cultural typeRandall Collins and the lower classes are another cultural type (p.222) • The type of control people exert over their own body depends on the structure of the group they inhabit. Mary Douglas • Focused on the differences in language among social classes • The lower class use a ―restricted code,‖ a form of talk that assumes listeners knows the local details of what is being talked about • The higher social classes use an ―elaborated code,‖ talk that communicates information without depending on local context (abstractions)
MARCEL MAUSS AND THE MAGIC OF SOCIALEXCHANGE • Magic depends on the same kinds of things, ideas, and actions as religion • Magic is always a derivative of some religion • Religion is not an illusion – it symbolizes a real thing: the power of society (p. 226) • Economy was founded on religious belief. For money is a medium of exchange, a universal standard and store of value that makes it possible to convert all other particular goods without the cumbersome process of barter • Gift exchange seems horizontal, but it has vertical consequences
LEVI-STRAUSS AND ALLIANCE THEORY • The basic structure of a family is a network • Marriages are exchanges much like gifts – they create moral obligations that can only be violated by a loss of status • Levi-Strauss proposed that the earliest fate of societies depended on the strategies of marriage politics they pursued (p. 231). Only those that took the greater risks of investing in the long cycles were able to amass larger alliances and, hence, acquire the political networks and the economic wealth that made possible the rise of the state.Claude Levi-Strauss
A THEORY OF INTERACTION RITUAL (IR) CHAINS • Every interaction is a ritual. Every aspect of people’s mental and cultural possessions become charged with significance as a marker of social membership • The entire society can be visualized as a long chain of interaction rituals, with people moving from one encounter to another. Various outcomes are possible, depending on how each person’sRandall Collins cultural matches up with the other person’s cultural capital. Through a market-like process, individuals tend to make their most satisfying exchanges at their own level
THE MICROINTERACTIONIST TRADITIONSociologist Contribution PeriodCharles Horton Cooley Society is in the mind 1902George Herbert Mead Thought as internalized conversation 1934Herbert Blumer Symbolic interactionism 1969Hugh Mehan and Houston The ethnomethodology of the human 1975Wood reality constructorErving Goffman Frame Analysis 1974
THE PRAGMATISM OF CHARLES SANDERS PIERCE • Meaning is a three-cornered relationship, between the sign, the object, and the internal referent or thought. • Man is a sum total of his thoughts, and this sum is always a historical bundle of his society’s experience (p. 252)
COOLEY : SOCIETY IS IN THE MIND • Cooley sought to highlight the connection between society and the individual and felt that the two could only be understood in relationship to each other. • One’s personality comes from one’s influences. He coined the concept of the ―looking-glass self‖, the social determination of the self. • Cooley ultimately wanted to show that the facts of social life are mental, and the conduct of persons, groups and institutions are the result of fundamentalCharles Horton Cooley mental phenomena.
GEORGE HERBERT MEAD’S SOCIOLOGY OF THINKING • We can never see our body as a whole, even in a mirror (p.256) • The individual experiences him/herself not by direct observation, but only indirectly from the standpoint of others • Thought is a conversation of gestures carried out with oneself • Each individual has multiple selves – we have different relationships to different people and are one thing to one persona and another thing to someone else • Mead provides a model of the mind as a set of interacting parts (p. 260) - it is socially anchored because ―the generalized other‖ is its central reference point. At the sameGeorge H. Mead time, it is individual and fundamentally free because the ―I‖ always negotiates with other people rather than accepts preexisting social demands.
HERBERT BLUMER : SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM • People do not simply find roles ready-made. They constantly create them and recreate them from one situation to the next • Society is not a structure but a process. Definitions of situations emerge from this continuous negotiation of perspectives. Reality is socially constructed • Interactionists focus on the subjective aspects of social life, rather than on objective, macro-structural aspects of social systems. One reason for this focus is that interactionists base their theoretical perspective on their image of humans, rather than on their image of society (as the functionalists do). • For interactionists, humans are pragmatic actors who continually must adjust their behavior to the actions of other actors. We can adjust to these actions only because we are able to interpret them, i.e., to denote them symbolically andHerbert Blumer treat the actions and those who perform them as symbolic objects. This process of adjustment is aided by our ability to imaginatively rehearse alternative lines of action before we act. The process is further aided by our ability to think about and to react to our own actions and even our selves as symbolic objects. Thus, the interactionist theorist sees humans as active, creative participants who construct their social world, not as passive, conforming objects of socialization. • Interactionists tend to study social interaction through participant observation, rather than surveys and interviews