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Pre-Modernity, Modernity and Post-Modernity Sociology 110A Human Societies Professor Dalton Conley Yale University.

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Presentation on theme: "Pre-Modernity, Modernity and Post-Modernity Sociology 110A Human Societies Professor Dalton Conley Yale University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pre-Modernity, Modernity and Post-Modernity Sociology 110A Human Societies Professor Dalton Conley Yale University

2 What Does it Mean to Be Premodern versus Modern? The views of two classic social thinkers... (we’ll save Marx and Durkheim for another day)

3 ala Simmel: Very embedded social ties –everyone knows everyone in my tribe Affiliations are concentric: –Everyone in my family lives in the same village –Everyone in my region has the same religion Less embedded social ties –Anonymity is possible in the city Affiliations are overlapping –I am the unique intersection of my family, religion, nationality, etc. –The birth of the individual

4 Me Family Village Kingdom Religion Premodern Society: Concentric, Ascriptive Affiliations

5 Me, Myself and I Family of 4 Hungarian Ethnicity U.S.... Citizen Yale Student Muslim AMA Modern Society: Overlapping, Voluntary Affiliations

6 ala Weber Premodern Societies: –The basis of legitimacy is charismatic or traditional authority Modern Societies: –The basis of legitimacy is legal-rational authority

7 Source: Stephan 1998; Lectures, Western Washington University

8 The Coming of Modernity: Protestant Reformation Before: Church’s Prohibition of Uneven Exchange -- Making Money from Money No uneven exchange; No usury (interest) M1IM2M1IM2 IxIyIxMIyIxIyIxMIy Morally Acceptable Morally Unacceptable After: Calvinism, predestination; insecurity regarding not being one of the chosen; proving it to oneself through wealth accumulation, a sign from God.

9 Source: Stephan 1998; Lectures, Western Washington University

10

11 ala White Premodern Literature –Endings are fixed one story line –Means are flexible: magic miracle Modern Narrative –Means are fixed logic scientific rules cause - effect –Ends are flexible uncertainty re: future rise of statistics stochastic world view –probabilistic thinking

12 Postmodernity: Social Condition or Academic Scam?

13 Ala Lash and Urry: Narrative of Progress Breaks Down Green Movement Multiculturalism (Canon is seen as only one view) Ideological Battles are finished (i.e. Cold War) History is over Pastiche Replaces Narrative Rap / Sampling Retro Fashion California Cuisine

14 Postmodernity (Cont’d) Narrative of Progress Breaks Down Green Movement Multiculturalism (Canon is seen as only one view) Grand Ideological Battles are finished (i.e. Cold War) History is Over Pastiche Replaces Narrative Rap / Sampling Retro Fashion California Cuisine

15 Hungarian Ethnicity U.S.... Citizen Yale Student AMA Postmodern Society: Paradoxical, De-centered Affiliations; No Self Step Family French Citizen Muslim Jewish Biological Family

16 Collective Behavior and Social Movements Human Societies Sociology 110A Yale University Dalton Conley, Instructor

17 What is collective action? Takes place in a group –crowd or mass Is unusual -- differs from social norms of the situation –self-flagellation would qualify here, but not in Iran –Speaking in tongues would qualify in a Lutheran church, but not in a Pentecostal one Is not institutionalized –Cult does not qualify

18 Crowd versus Mass Crowd –Physical Proximity –Face-to-Face Interaction –Soc 110a Crowd? Non-ritualized behavior Scream “fire” Riot Mass –Collective Identity –Spread Out –Attend to a shared symbol / object –Soc 110a Mass? Letter writing campaign gossip network

19 Source: Lofland (1981)

20 Collective Action Theory I: Convergence When does group behavior precipitate? –Certain crowd contexts attract certain types of people Political Rally Against Vietnam Crowd that greets Michael Jackon Critique: –Group reduces to the sum of its parts If only rioters went to English soccer games, why is there not always a melee? Mood changes?

21 Collective Action Theory II: Contagion Collective behavior like viral epidemic –Each person imitates the behavior of the person next to them (crowd) or in their reference group (mass) Sense of anonymity –Feeling of power otherwise absent –Rushing a Police Barricade Groups become suggestible –Prone to “hypnotic” states induced by charismatic leaders

22 Contagion Theory: Critique Analogy to biology –(~1900, Gustave Le Bon) Treats individuals as mindless, choiceless Diffusion of responsibility (Modern Alternative ala Simmel) –Can justify our actions with reference to others –Can blame group force over us –Can interpret events in own favor (only helped)

23 Collective Action Theory III: Emergent-Norms The effect of “leaders” –The norms of a few become the norms of the many Gossip Panic –Situationally dependent (Cue sensitive) One or two soldiers running backwards –Situation gets defined as slaughter, defeat, panic

24 What is a Social Movement? Organized collective behavior Purposeful collective behavior May originate as collective behavior that become institutionalized Is not ritualized

25 Social Movement Typology

26 Social Movement Life Stages Emergence (consciousness about a problem) –Discontent New “Cancer” among Gay Men Coalescence (social action and resource mobilization) –Rallying behind charismatic leaders March on Washington Bureaucratization (routinization) –Becomes established political force GMHC Hippies? Hell’s Angels?

27 Social Movement Decline Exhaustion of resources –Money, energy, enthusiasm –United Way –Coalition for the homeless Internal Conflict –Different goals –Italian Communist party –Different personalities –Nation of Islam

28 Social Movement Decline Selling Out –Leaders get co-opted –Repression Crushed by forces of the status quo –Chinese student movement (Tianneman Square Massacre) Success –Women’s suffrage movement –Legalized abortion movement? –Vietnam? Diffuse Opposition –Americans with Disabilities Act


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