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How did Weber differ from Marx

How did Weber differ from Marx
9- What concerns did Durkheim have about society? How was his view on conflict different from Marx’s view on conflict?
chapter 1
sociology: study of human society
– looks at patterns of interaction between individuals; individuals and groups; between different groups
two (of many) ways to make divisions within sociology (distinction of micro / macro)
– macro: larger societal context
— social structures & how they are related to each other
– micro: within very small groups; can even be thought of as intra individual
— relationships between individuals & social structures
sociological thinking: analyzing our own assumptions about society; question those things we feel are ‘natural’ – not to be questioned
sociological imagination – C. Wright Mills
– if we want to fully understand our individual circumstances (personal troubles), we must see and understand the connections between our ‘ordinary,’ day to day lives and larger society (i.e. historical (including current issues such as the state of the economy) and cultural issues)
– to see the connection between personal and the larger society, it is important to acknowledge that humans are born into a pre-existing society
— this pre-existing society has expected roles
[roles: behaviors expected from a particular status (at this point the term ‘roles is being used to refer to both the behaviors and the
importance of social structure: roles that we think are individual, are actually imbedded within a social framework that includes multiple roles and social networks
– seemingly individual roles are imbedded within a framework of multiple roles and social networks
– therefore when a person is born, they are born into existing social networks
— we are born into a system with pre-defined statuses and roles; we are expected to fit within this system
Sociological Imagination (making the familiar strange)
– personal troubles (individual situations)
– public issues (larger society)
– what may appear personal is impacted by the public sphere (larger society)
– awareness allows greater understanding of links between individual situations and our social structure
social institution: one of numerous components of a society
– these institutions are interdependent with one another
– institutions’ existence transcends name, time, location, individuals involved (that is, an institution can change its name, exist over several generations, move and continue to exist when people enter into and exit it)
– institutions replicate themselves (not always exactly; the institution of education has been replicated in our society; but, the concerns of education have changed with new technology)
– institutions shape the behavior of individuals / groups that are a part of it
social identity: who we think ourselves to be, socially, impacted by groups we associate with
history of sociology
Auguste Comte – founder of what he called ‘social physics’ or ‘positivism’ – felt that sociology would become like physics – that absolute laws would be identified
– positivist sociology: attempts to reveal the social facts that affect social life by developing and testing hypotheses based on theories about how the social world works
– to understand society need to use logic, scientific laws
– this perspective not held by many sociologists today
Harriet Martineau – known for both translating the work of Comte, and for being a scholar herself
Karl Marx: set of complex theories
– historical materialism – the economy is the most important institution in a society; class conflict is behind all change; conflict is good because it brings about needed change
– wrote about what he saw – Industrial Revolution
— inequality / exploitation
— 2 and only 2 classes (bourgeoisie: those who own the means of production / proletariat: those who sell their labor for subsistence wages)
– conflict is the basis of change (Marx considered ‘father’ of power/conflict paradigm)
— conflict – resolution – social change
– most important factor in society: economy
– ‘father’ of power conflict paradigm
Max Weber
– agreed with Marx that the economy is important, but felt that prestige and power were also important
– emphasis on subjectivity (pre-curser to interpretive sociology)
– sociologists should be objective, value-free
– important to know patterns of behavior
— more important to know the subjective meanings attached to behavior
— ex: pattern of high divorce / important to consider how the meaning of marriage has changed
– proposed that capitalism emerged from early Protestant religious values of self-discipline, thrift, individualism
– proposed concept of ‘ideal type’ – not as what should be, but as a standard to measure
Emile Durkheim – associated with positivist sociology and structural functionalism (added to Comte’s idea of positivism)
– concern: order, stability in society (order, stability are important)
– concerned with ‘glue’ of society, solidarity
— type of cohesion, ‘glue’ of society impacts how different societies work (such as division of labor)
– individuals are constrained by the moral standards of socializing community
— confines our behavior
— &allows a feeling of ‘belonging’
– all parts of society are interconnected
— a change in one part effects changes in other parts
– ‘father’ of structural – functionalist perspective
— contrary to Marx, conflict is not good – not good is society is unstable
— if there is change, it should be gradual so that society is not made unstable
Georg Simmel — formal sociology, or a sociology of pure numbers (for instance, how a group of two is different than a group of three)
4 paradigms (lenses) to study society
– structural functionalist – macro (larger societal concept)
– power conflict – macro (larger societal concept)
– symbolicinteractionist – micro (more intimate)
– feminist theory
structural functionalism (macro)
– concerns: social organization & how it’s maintained
— society inter-related parts
— some parts are functional, others dysfunctional (what are the patterns in society? which are functional or dysfunctional?)
— — functional: positive impact on society
– assumptions: stability, harmony, slow evolution
– supports status quo
– avoid conflict
– if there is change, it should be slow so not to make society unstable
power conflict (macro)
– concern: stress & conflict in society
— what groups, individuals have access to power, resources (result in inequalities) asks the question: who benefits? (those who benefit work to maintain status quo & their position within status quo)
– assumptions: competition, structural inequalities, social change from conflict
symbolic interactionism (micro)
– symbolic: importance of symbols, subjective meanings
— humans concerned with subjective meanings associated with actions, interactions
– interactionism: through interaction we determine how symbols are created, maintained, negotiated
– assumptions:
— importance of symbolic meanings (specific behaviors, gestures, words can be interpreted differently due to differing meanings/symbols various groups put on them)
— meanings grow out of relationships (are not arbitrary); if relationships change, meanings may change
— meanings are negotiated
– asks: how do individuals & social structures shape each other?
feminist – specifically concerned with how the world is experienced differently according to being male or female (in general, acknowledging that throughout history, women have been pretty much ignored, or, at least, not given priority)
– assumption that males and females are perceived of as – and treated as – they are fundementally different (and that research, etc has considered the male model as the only valid one)
— therefore acknowledge that women’s experiences are valid and should be looked at separately from men’s experiences
– a lot in common with power conflict perspective (importance of power, competition, conflict and political reform)
— focus on inequalities based on gender
Interchangeable ‘lenses’
– none of 4 paradigms can fully understand, explain, predict all societal aspects
– exploring a social issue from at least 2 of these paradigms enriches our understanding of that issue
history of sociology in US
Charles Horton Cooley (Looking Glass Self)
George Herbert Mead (generalized other)
W.I. Thomas (definition of the situation)
W.E.B. DuBois (double consciousness)
Jane Addams (Hull House – applied and tested Chicago School ideas)
influence from the ‘Chicago school’ – focus on empirical research; belief that the behavior and personalities of individuals are shaped by our social and physical environments
Sociology and Its Cousins
– Sociology focuses on making comparisons across cases to find patterns and create hypotheses about how societies work now or how they worked in the past
– Sociology looks at how individuals interact with one another as well as at how groups, small and large, interact with one another.
– Distinctions are important, but a lot of overlap exists between the work done in different academic disciplines

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