2007-11-29 - 1 2 3 4 5 Rationality and contracts Types of...

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1. Rationality and contracts 2. Types of Solidarity 3. The Sacred and the profane 4. Totem and taboo 5. The theory of rituals Rationality and Contracts Rationality is imbedded in the bureaucratic state Rationality in its two forms is the most important way in which actions are understood Durkheim on the other hand thinks rationality alone cannot ensure the possibility of social order a. Social order not based on rational agreements b. Not based on contracts i. Contracts are a rational agreement on exchange ii. Both partners of the exchange have rational interests in the contract and conducting the exchange accordingly iii. Social based on exchanges between rational actors, called the market model c. Market Model i. Not only market exchange ii. Marriage and religion are markets iii. All exchanges can be interpreted as rational changes among actors iv. Markets for all kinds of resources that can be exchanged 1. resource – anything that is valued v. markets can be marriage, religion, and other things vi. exchanges of resources are performed on competitive markets vii. symbolic goods such as affection, approval, and loyalty viii. all of these are valid resources that are exchanged on competitive markets ix. all of social life looks like an economic exchange x. the version of this criticized by durkheim originates with Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes a. Wants to explain the emergence of the state b. 2 forms of social life i. 1 st societies without states 1. a war of all against all 2. in the absence of social order and a strong state to enforce it, the social life is very competitive and violent, attempt at maximizing selfish gains 3. at some point, the members of such a prestate society agree to relinquish their right to bear arms 4. and that is the origin of the state
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5. the agreement of citizens to renounce their right to violence and place it in the exclusive hands of the sovereign state which now has a monopoly on the means of violence 6. inexchange for it, the state guarantees social order and public safety 7. according to hobbes, the state is the result of a contract 8. the contract concerns an exchange a. what is exchanged is the citizens give up their right to arms in exchange for the guarantee of social order b. that idea is known as the contractual theory of the state, and that is what durkheim argues against it ii. 2 nd societies with states iii. Durheim’s Historical argument 1. it ovserves that such a contract never happened 2. there is no historical evidence showing any state ever coming into existence thru the contractual agreement 3. the contractual theory of the state is a myth, it never happened 4. no evidence that it happened according to the model iv. durkheim’s systematic argument 1. contracts are insufficient to ground social order 2. this systematic argument concerns what is called, public goods a. the provision of public goods 3. a public good is defined as a good that can only be produced collectively a. also called a collective good
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course SOC 302 taught by Professor Fuchs during the Spring '07 term at UVA.

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2007-11-29 - 1 2 3 4 5 Rationality and contracts Types of...

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