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© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. Chapter 4 Society
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. Gerhard and Jean Lenski: Society and Technology Society: people who interact in a defined territory and share culture Sociocultural evolution: the process of change that results a society acquiring new information, particularly technology Societies with complex technology Develop large populations characterized by diverse, highly specialized lives Change quickly
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. Hunting-and-Gathering Societies Simple technology for hunting animals and gathering vegetation A few societies persist today, e.g., Kung of the Kalahari and Batek of Malaysia Based on kinship Men and women equal Few formal leaders, e.g., shaman Often ravaged by forces of nature
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. Horticultural and Pastoral Societies Horticulture: technology based on using hand tools to cultivate plants Became widespread by 6000 years ago Pastoralism: technology based on domestication of animals Could support a much larger population Leads to a division of labour and inequality Rudimentary government and military
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. Agrarian Societies Agriculture: technology of large-scale farming using plows attached to animals later tractors Larger population and food surpluses Greater specialization and inequality Men become dominant Elites gain great power
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. Industrial Societies Industrialism: technology that powers complex machinery with advances sources of energy Huge populations and increased communication Mass production and more specialization and greater inequality Anonymity and cultural diversity Trend away from traditional families and towards schooling and various rights
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. Fig 4-1
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. Post-Industrial Societies Post-industrialism: technology that supports and information-based economy Great change in occupational structure to service jobs Information replaces objects as the centre of economy Worldwide flow of information affects every one on the globe
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. Limits of Technology Poverty remains the plight of billions of people Individual opportunities at the cost of community Modern warfare could devastate the planet The physical environment is threatened by pursuit of material prosperity
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. Karl Marx: Society and Conflict Social conflict: the struggle between segments of society over valued resources is Marx’s key Capitalists own the factories and productive enterprises Proletariat provide the labour To maximize profits capitalists exploit the proletariat Proletariat will overturn the system (Cont’d)
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. Karl Marx: Society and Conflict (Cont’d) Social institutions: major spheres of social life, or society’s subsystems, organized to meet basic human needs All major institutions operated to shore up a society’s economy The infrastructure (economy) controls the superstructure (family, politics, religion) False consciousness: explanations of social problems grounded in individual’s, not society’s shortcomings
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. Conflict Over history new productive forces undermined old orders and new social categories of people gained ascendance, e.g.,the bourgeoisie over the nobility Class conflict: antagonism between entire classes over the distribution of wealth and power in society Class consciousness: the recognition by workers of their unity in opposition to capitalists and to capitalism itself Capitalists would contribute to their own undoing
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. Capitalism and Alienation Alienation: the experience of isolation resulting from powerlessness Capitalism alienates workers in four specific ways: From the act of working: Workers have no say in production, From the products of work: Workers have no ownership From other workers: Work has become competitive From human potential: Workers do not fulfill themselves in their work
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. Max Weber Rationalization of Society: the historical change from tradition – sentiments and beliefs passed from one generation to another to rationality – deliberate, matter-of- fact calculation of the most efficient means to accomplish a task, as the dominant mode of human thought Protestantism, Calvinism, and industrial capitalism – Calvinists believed in predestination – not knowing fate was intolerable – economic success showed God’s favour – religious ethic transformed to work ethic
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. Weber’s Rational Social Organization Seven characteristics of today’s social life: 1. Distinctive social institutions 2. Large-scale organization 3. Specialized tasks 4. Personal discipline 5. Awareness of time 6. Technical competence 7. Impersonality Expressed in bureaucracy, stifling the human spirit
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. Durkheim: Society and Function Structure: society beyond ourselves. There are social facts that have objective reality beyond individuals Function: how social facts help society operate as a complex system Personality: society is also in ourselves. We internalize social facts Society regulates humans through moral discipline (Cont’d)
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. Durkheim: Society and Function (Cont’d) Warned that modern society creates anomie, a condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals Evolving societies Change from mechanical solidarity, social bonds based on common sentiment and shared moral value that are common among members of pre-industrial societies To organic solidarity, social bonds based on specialization and interdependence that are strong among members of industrial societies Key to the change is an expanding division of labour, specialization of economic activity
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. What Holds Societies Together? Lenskis: A shared culture and patterns that vary by technology Karl Marx: Elites force an ‘uneasy peace’ Max Weber: Rational, large-scale organizations Emile Durkheim: Specialized division of labour
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. How Have Societies Changed? Lenskis: Changing technology; modern society has enormous productive power Karl Marx: Social conflict is now in the open Max Weber: From traditional to rational thought Emile Durkheim: From mechanical solidarity to organic solidarity
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc. Why Do Societies Change? Lenskis: technological innovation transforms society Karl Marx: struggle between social classes is the engine Max Weber: modes of thought contribute to change Emile Durkheim: expanding division of labour causes change
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