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Sociology 101 Week 2 Notes

by: Sydney Schaus

Sociology 101 Week 2 Notes SOC 101LEC- Introduction to sociology

Sydney Schaus
GPA 3.8
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About this Document

Second week of notes for Sociology 101 for Boyd
Introduction to Sociology
Christopher Mele
Class Notes
sociology 101, sociology, University at Buffalo, boyd




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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sydney Schaus on Thursday March 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 101LEC- Introduction to sociology at University at Buffalo taught by Christopher Mele in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Sociology in Sociology at University at Buffalo.

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Date Created: 03/31/16
Sociology 101 (Week T wo) Origins of Sociology  Middle 19 century when European social observers began using scientific methods to test ideas o The Enlightenment – change in how people viewed th th their views (17 and 18 century)  Physical/social world equals mysterious  No man can know everything  Faith in God was vital for the world to make sense  Rise of Sociology happen in the 18 and 19 century  Industrialization pushing people into cities  Social Problems o Migration of peasants to cities o Overcrowding in cities o Conditions of factories o Social deviance Herbert Spencer and Social Darwinism  British philosopher  sociologist (1820-1903)  Watches how this migration of people adjust to cities o Survival of the Fittest is actually Spencer’s saying o Social Adjustment equals social evolution o Emphasis on individual’s struggle for existence o Individuals and societies compete to adapt to social changes brought on by technological advances (video watched was peppered moths) o Spencer denies agency, he believes that some can adapt to the factory life just better than others o No help should be given including charity to the poor  Antigovernment Individualism o Spencer argued for minimal state intervention and regulation addressing social problems o If it’s all up to the nature of the person then there is not need for intervention because the person will change and adapt o Government to step out of the way o Intervention = Mistake o They would survive (the poor) and then their unfitness would pass onto their children (linked to a super race/Nazism thoughts) o Can’t adapt you’ll be left to die like how nature intended  Criticisms Against Spencer o Humans, unlike plants and animals, actively create and alter their environment  Spencer’s Goals o To naturalize inequality  If you were doing poor at school it was because you were naturally bad at it o Racism, sexism, classism, is all natural and shouldn’t be changed o Justify imperialistic expansion o Least intervention possible Töennies and Simmel (19 th Century) 2  Spencer unwilling to see sociology as a “moral enterprise”: To under stand and improve it  Ferdinand Töennies (1855-1936) German o Social problems happened from social adjustment to new environments and conditions o Gemeinschaft: dense, familiar and personal social ties that is a close circle of family and friends found in rural villages and towns (small town life) o Gesellschaft: formal, impersonal, distant ties between strangers and institutions that characterized city life; transactional exchanges o New arrivals to cities went from Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft o In doing so experiences are subjected to social pathologies (crime, deviance, alienation) o Sees people as sad and lonely in cities because of no personal, meaningful exchanges between people and neighbors  Georg Simmel (1858-1918) German o Gemeinschaft v. Gesellschaft o City life is very transactional o But rural life is up in your space o They know things about you from pertained information about your family, friends, your past reputation o The city you are free from your past identities o No one knows who you are so you can reinvent yourself o The unity ties with people loosen, individual freedoms, and flexibility 3 o The metropolis or city becomes the location where individualization is the greatest and where individuality and individual freedom is most expanded o The availability of numerous options and activities is liberating and invigorating o Cities affect the personalities of people o They become jaded and uncaring o Senses calloused over by over simulation o Essay on fashion- doesn’t develop until you have a modern society, where everyone isn’t the same and have different interests and specializations (Organic Solidarity- Emile Durkheim) Karl Marx and Class Conflict  A central premise for Marx’s conception of society: o That human history is the story of constant struggle among differentially advantaged groups for the ownership and control of scarce material resources.  Marx’s focus is on human agency: o That society is shaped and determined by the decisions we make o What makes humans unique is the ability to produce our own means of subsidence in self- reflective activity o Only humans have the capacity to take responsibility for what we produce o Only humans have the ability to determine creatively the means by which we use our labor to interact with the natural world 4 o To labor (to engage nature and produce something) is the manifestation of a person’s power to be a living conscious thing Class Structure of Capitalism  Inequality exists when one group of individuals takes possession or ownership of the resources and means necessary to produce things  Focuses on time not money  Classes exist when a group of individuals have ownership of a specific industry and people work the products for them  Capitalist societies characterized by the bourgeoisie (property owners) and the proletariat (workers compelled to sell their labor power for wages)  Labor power becomes the property of some – this is the essence of class exploitation  When Marx was writing, The Industrial Revolution was in full wring and wage labor was dominant  He was convinced that the conditions of wage laborers wasn’t under their control  Problem with capitalism is with being truly human (is having the time for true nature of time)  Alienation-not feeling truly human o The estrangement from work/labor and product  Work becomes mechanized, he is an object and not a person during his labors  No choice in style, time spent, quality, or quantity 5  Objectification: What is human and meaningful is turned into an object  Dehumanizes the work force, gears in a machine  They work to survive o The estrangement from self  The freedom to produce what one wants and when is denied, hence man is alienated from his true self o The estrangement from others  Labor is substitutable  Workers compete with one another over hours  Marx’s solution: class struggle to undo the ownership of the means of production in the hands of one class only  Society is organized under the division of control of material goods Emile Durkheim and Social Integration  The degree to which people feel a part of a social group  Society is an external reality  Society exists beyond the individual  Its not just the collective, it has invisible norms  Societies have rules, exert pressure, and can be studied  Society completes us, to be cut off leads to destruction  Anomie  Primary interest: what happens to society when it modernizes? When industrialization and labor becomes specialized  Solidarities- conditions that tie people together 6 o Mechanical Solidarity  Social cohesion based upon the likeness and similarities among the individuals in a society, dependent on common rituals and routines (Gemeinschaft)  Common among small homogenous populations  More cooperation, than competition, among members  Social links are based on custom, obligation and emotion  You do these things because you’re supposed to  Share the same values and beliefs  The idea of individualism is odd  Individual is not his own master o Organic Solidarity  Social cohesion based upon mutual dependence on each other  Modern society: someone needs to be a doctor, teacher, dentist, mayor  Common among industrial societies as the division of labor and specialization increases  Although they perform different tasks and have different value and interests, the order and survival depends on their reliance and MUTUAL DEPENDENCE on each other to perform their specific task 7 To learn more and get OneNote, visit 8


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