SOC201 Sp14 Assignment 1
SOC201 Sp14 Assignment 1
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Date Created: 11/14/15
Sociology 201 Contemporary Social Theory Spring 2014 Short Assignment 1 Due on Ilanuarv 30 by 430PM In the reserve article by Edward Tiryakian entitled Dialectics of Modernity Reenchantment and Dedifferentiation as Counterprocesses the author outlines a Weberian conceptual framework which he argues is central to understanding the dialectic of social life in modern industrial societies After reading the article 1 Provide a brief outline of Tiryakian s framework with a particular focus on elaborating what he means by the concepts disenchantment reenchantment and dedifferentiation 2 Elaborate how you would use his concepts to interpret some element of modern social life Please post your responses as inline documents to the Assignment folder on Sakai by Thursday January 30 430 PM No email submissions are accepted 1 He acknowledges that Weber39s understanding of the development of Western modern society is the root of all literature on modernity but argues that modernity needs to be tackled in a dialectical way He takes the main two facets of modernity and shows that they need to be associated with quotcounterprocesses of changequot in order to get a comprehensive analysis of such a large change One of Weber39s concepts on modernity is quotdisenchantmentquot where our thoughts and actions are no longer governed by traditional or valuedriven goals but rather by instrumental calculations He sees it as a result of scienti c rationalization where modern society no longer believes in the mysteriousness of the world but believes that all things can usually be understood or explained by science Tiryakian argues that this is true but that the dynamics of change in Western modernity also include the processes of dedifferentiation and reenchantment For him the idea that magic and modernity are irreconcilable is an oversimpli cation quotthe Enlightenment on the cultural sphere has had a variety of new ways of viewing the world as magical and enchanted the advances of modernity in the West evince components of reenchantment particularly but not exclusively in the cultural spherequot Some of the most important movements of modernity include romanticism cultural nationalism and exotism The second counterprocess he identi es is dedifferentiation He argues that the process involves a certain transformation of consciousness quotthe restoration of the potentiality of a unit to an earlier phase of development that was characterized by a greater homogeneity of the member units It is a process of regeneration and rejuvenation of structures it is also a process by which the member units renew their commitment to and involvement with the system as a wholequot In other words individuals are able to deconstruct traditional patterns and build their own pathways to decide which course their life should take While differentiation assigns certain people to certain roles and quotkeeps them in a given con ne of social spacequot whereas dedifferentiation breaks down that con nement and provides individual the liberty to de ne their own social role and social space 2 Monthly subscription boxes have been and emerging trend within the last years or so where you pay a monthly fee for a box of different goods There39s a wide range of type of subscription boxes and what you can get in them they can be makeup organicvegan snacks razors coffee wine dog treats anything really Some of these companies will focus on only sending you foreign goods so only French beauty products orJapanese candy for instance I think this can be explained by the concept of re enchantment and how individuals would like to incorporate a certain mystery by satisfying their curiosity for the unknown in this case with consumer goods that they wouldn39t be able to get here Dedifferentiation takes place within our everyday life I think it can be seen in our ability to reorganize our time and space the way we see t We can decide on our own meal times how much time we spend on the computer hobbies how we celebrate holidays etc The traditional and collective becomes more individualized and personalized Whether one looks at patterns of work ethnicity leisure tastes sexuality meal times media consumption lifestyles holidays traditional and collective patterns have become more differentiated and individualised
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