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Outline Information Asymmetry 1.Durkheim  Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft  Collective Conscience  Anomie 2. Derber and Durkheim  On taking notes…Everything.

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Presentation on theme: "Outline Information Asymmetry 1.Durkheim  Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft  Collective Conscience  Anomie 2. Derber and Durkheim  On taking notes…Everything."— Presentation transcript:

1 Outline Information Asymmetry 1.Durkheim  Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft  Collective Conscience  Anomie 2. Derber and Durkheim  On taking notes…Everything with a (D) is on web…focus on summarizing these things in your own words…concentrate on understanding & taking notes on Big Ideas…if you try to write everything down your hand will hurt…And you will curse me…

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3 Quiz 1. In The Good Man Fills His Own Stomach: All American Crimes and Misdemeanors, Derber reflects on: A. The growth of the fast food industry in the US B. The reasons that crime rates have fallen in recent years C. The increasing number of elderly people who die alone D. The problem of excess individualism in American Society

4 Quiz 2. One of your readings discussed the idea of “refrigerator rights.” Which of the following statements best relates to this concept: A. The use of large refrigeration trucks by one company may not be a problem for the environment, but when many companies use such trucks it creates a social dilemma related to climate change B. Society faces a new challenge as changing technology has created a growing interest in being frozen before death, with the hope of being thawed in the future C. Members of our society suffer mentally and emotionally because they lack strong social connections D. Advocates of the poor have argued that lack of access to refrigeration prevents people from maintaining a healthy diet

5 Emile Durkheim,  Early French Sociologist who was very interested in the relationship between individuals and society  Skeptical of Smith’s notion that self-interest alone will hold society together…  Wary of the new “cult of the individual”  Interested in exploring a core question of sociology: “What makes society possible and prevents it from disintegrating into a mass of sociopathic and self interested isolates?” (Derber, 15)

6 Dissolving the Glue in Gemeinschaft  Gemeinschaft (traditional community)- a society which is homogenous, largely based on kinship and possessing a moral cohesion based on religious sentiment. (D)  Close, emotional, face to face ties, ascribed status Everyone knew their place and role… High degree of social integration into the community  Collective conscience- societal norms that pressure members of a group to behave and think in a certain way.(D)  Norms constrain behavior and generate feelings of obligation to other members of society  Think Amish or Fiddler on the Roof

7 Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft  Gesellschaft-(modern society) society characterized by a complex division of labor, individualism and competition. (D)  Division of Labor… From farmer to dizzying array of occupations  From cooperation of tribe or community to competition of market society Barn raising via community to barn raising via contracts  Ascribed status will give way to achieved status Social status held because of her personal accomplishments in competition with others (D)  From rural Italian community to anonymous urban NYC

8 Durkheim wonders…  “…if pre-industrial societies (gemeinschaft) were held together by common ideas and sentiments, by shared norms and values, what holds an industrial society (gessellschaft) together.” Crow, p.17  Without the “collective conscience” what will hold things together?  Durkheim’s fear … Maybe nothing…  Maybe it is not being held together…and is in the process of disintegration

9 Modernity Leads to Anomie  Anomie (D)  a condition of normlessness, in which modern society provides little moral guidance to individuals.  Not clear what the norms are…what the dos and don’ts are…  What are my responsibilities…my obligations??? Maybe there are none… Louis CK’s Amish story  Video Clip: Social Groups Chapter 3  Edward Munch, The Scream (1893)

10 Anomie  Anomie (D): a condition of normlessness, in which modern society provides little moral guidance to individuals.  Members of society increasing feel lonely & lost  From ascribed status: “Because of our traditions, everyone of us knows who he is and what God expects  To achieved status: “Who am I” & what am I supposed to be doing with my life?” What is my place & role…“Finding oneself”…”what should I do with my life” Malaise, depression, the blues, angst…Existential Philosophy?

11 Anomie  Anomie (D): a condition of normlessness, in which modern society provides little moral guidance to individuals.  Members of society increasing feel lonely & lost  From ascribed status: “Because of our traditions, everyone of us knows who he is and what God expects  To achieved status: “Who am I” & what am I supposed to be doing with my life?” What is my place & role…“Finding oneself”…”what should I do with my life” Malaise, depression, the blues, angst…Existential Philosophy?  Members of society become less integrated into their communities  From rural Italian community to anonymous urban NYC High level of social integration…to very little..fewer fridge rights?

12 Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft  Fewer “Refrigerator Rights  loss of deep, supportive relationships in modern society  “…one of the main reasons those relationships are missing is because Americans too casually move away from friends and family in pursuit of a new career or other opportunity.”  “The average American moves about once every five years. In the year 2000, about 44 million people moved in America — about 17 percent of the population. And that’s been happening every year for years.”  With less social integration…people fall through the cracks…Abandoned kids in Durkheim’s time…Article about elderly in San Francisco today?

13 With less social integration…people fall through the cracks…  “In San Francisco, the bodies are piling up faster than the city can handle them. More people are dying alone, with no one to arrange their funerals, settle their estates or mourn their passing. So far this year, 290 people in the city have died this way, said city officials, compared with about 300 a year for the last decade.”  Abe Simpson…my grandparents…

14 A lot of interesting recent research on integration: Health  “Social connectedness is one of the most powerful determinants of our well-being.” (Putnam 2000: 326)  Socially disconnected 2 to 5 times as likely to die from all causes (p.327)  People with fewest social ties have higher risk of dying from heart disease, circulatory problems and cancer  EVEN AFTER ACCOUNTING for individual health status, socio-economic factors, and use of preventive medicine. (p.329)  As a rough rule of thumb, if you belong to no groups but decide to join one, you cut your risk of dying over the next year in ½. (p.331)  Very strong relationship between social integration & well being  As good as quitting smoking  Correlation Timing Casual Mechanism ???

15 Durkheim’s Challenge…  Challenge of the modern world  reconcile the new individualism that had sprung from the dissolution of traditional society with the maintenance of moral control upon which the very existence of society depends…  To reduce social isolation and strengthen feelings of connection between people  If you were Durkheim, what institutions might you turn to help create something that could reconnect people to the community and/or develop new moral controls on behavior?  What institutions could function to temper the new individualism?

16 Education will Integrate  Challenge of the modern world  Reconcile the new individualism that had sprung from the dissolution of traditional society with the maintenance of moral control upon which the very existence of society depends…  Education: Durkheim worked with French education system to better integrate individuals into society…  Wanted to create a “moral individualism” in which people were aware of the their interdependence and mutual obligations others  What is service learning and why does Widener promote it?

17 Civil Society  Challenge of the modern world  reconcile the new individualism that had sprung from the dissolution of traditional society with the maintenance of moral control upon which the very existence of society depends…  C ivil Society: sphere of society that exists between the government and/or the economy and the individual (D)  Civil society consists of a “variety of different groups and associations, each of which is dedicated to uphold certain values and achieve particular ends.” (Delue, p.10).  Note the following slide…then I’ll put the definition up again

18 State Economy Political Party Union Professional Association Civil Society Individual Sustainable Milwaukee Job Training Food Bank Red Cross Bowling Team Rotary Club Individuals Connected via Civil Society

19 State Economy No Civil Society Individual

20 State Economy Political Party Union Professional Association Civil Society Individual Sustainable Milwaukee Job Training Food Bank Red Cross Bowling Team Rotary Club

21 Durkheim’s Challenge…  Civil Society: sphere of society that exists between the government and/or the economy and the individual  Civil society consists of a “variety of different groups and associations, each of which is dedicated to uphold certain values and achieve particular ends.” (Delue, p.10).  Durkheim: “a nation cannot be maintained unless, between the state and the individuals, a whole range of secondary associations are interposed…to absorb him into the mainstream of social life.” Crow, p.22

22 Durkeim Dies in 1917…  In April 1989, a group of teenagers aged 14 to 16 went into Central Park. One group of 6 youths came upon a young women jogging.They cornered her, and using knives, rocks, and a metal pipe attacked her. They beat her until she stopped moving, and then left her for dead. When captured, the youths noted “Everyone laughed and was leaping around…” One told police “It was fun…something to do.” Police reported a sense of “smugness”& “no remorse”  Throughout the 1990s, Wall Street Investment Bankers pressured stock analysts in their companies to “maintain rosy stock ratings on failing companies” in order to win more business from the failing companies or “pigs” as they called them. Ordinary investors & employees lost billions of dollars.  Bernie Madoff: “Manhattan federal prosecutors disclosed a long-running scheme that may have resulted in $50 billion in losses - perhaps the biggest scam in Wall Street history. The one-time Nasdaq chairman, investigators charged, operated a classic Ponzi scheme, paying off early investors with funds from subsequent clients to keep the illusion of profit alive

23 Social Integration?  What term does Derber use in your readings to describe such behavior? What does he mean by this term?

24 The “Wilding” of America “America faces a wilding epidemic…Wilding includes a vast spectrum of self centered and self aggrandizing behavior that harms others. A wilding epidemic tears at the social fabric and threatens to unravel society itself, ultimately reflecting the erosion of the moral order and the withdrawal of feelings and commitments from others to oneself, to number one”. (Derber P.6) Anyone remember the two main types of wilding he mentions?

25 Wilding  Expressive Wilding  “Wilding for the sheer satisfaction of indulging one’s own destructive impulses” (Derber p. 6)  Bum Hunting; Flash Mobs  Puerto Rico Day Parade  Milwaukee kids  Woodstock riots  Sports Riots

26 Wilding  Instrumental Wilding  Wilding for money, career advancement, or other calculable personal gain  Charles Stuart  Corporate scandals at Enron, Tyco…  Bernie Madoff  Jack Abramoff, Vince Fumo

27 The “Wilding” of America  How does Derber’s term wilding relate to Durkheim’s ideas? This shouldn’t be a mystery…he explicitly talks about it…  “America faces a wilding epidemic…Wilding includes a vast spectrum of self centered and self aggrandizing behavior that harms others. A wilding epidemic tears at the social fabric and threatens to unravel society itself, ultimately reflecting the erosion of the moral order and the withdrawal of feelings and commitments from others to oneself, to number one” (Derber, p.6).

28 Durkheim’s ideas morph into Derber’s ideas…  “Expressive and instrumental wilding have in common an anti-social self centeredness made possible by a stunning collapse of moral restraints and a chilling lack of empathy”(Derber, p.7)  “Wilding partly reflects a weakened community less able to regulate its increasingly individualistic members. In this sense, the American wilder is the undersocialized product of a declining society that is losing its authority to instill respect for social values and obligations”(Derber, p.16)

29 Derber and Durkheim “It is individualism run amok … it is the face of America’s individualistic culture in an advanced state of disrepair. Individualistic culture promotes the freedom of the individual and in its healthy form nurtures development and individual rights. In its degraded form it becomes a license for unrestrained and sociopathic self interest”(Derber,p.9).

30 Wilding…  So…Derber looks around, observes the world, and develops a theory to explain it…  Do you think he is on to something…is wilding a serious problem in contemporary American society?  Has a lack of social integration let “greed and violence erode our nation’s character?”  Alternative Explanations?

31 Next…Max Weber and Marx  Is individual self interest organized by markets sufficient to coordinate things in modern society?  What are the consequences of markets in human labor?


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