Week_4___DSoc_1101 - DSoc 1101 Sections 207 & 208...

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DSoc 1101 Rachel Reichenbach
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Problems with the Economic Paradigm History and social structure constrains individual choices. Adaptive Preferences (Amartya Sen)
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Things to cover today Labor theory of value (Marx) Information capitalism (Hirschl) Historical materialism (Marx) Social Being Determines Social Consciousness (Marx) Power elite (Domhoff)
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Marxian thought Social theorists were trying to make sense out of the rapid social, political and economic change that had occurred in Europe in the late 18 th and early 19 th century. Marx also was specifically reacting to the German philosophers who based their theories on Hegel.
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Major societal changes affecting Marx Increased division of labor Increased concentration of wealth and poverty Increased private property ownership Increased technology and industrialization Beginnings of a global economy and imperialism All of these influenced the rise of capitalism, not just as a economic system, but as a social system.
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Primitive Accumulation People were forced from their land to work for others through privatization laws Created a large disenfranchised working class The wealthy gained control of the land and labor of these peasants. They paid the peasants less than they deserved. This is where Marx’s Labor Theory of Value (LTV) comes from.
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Labor Theory of Value The price of commodities is determined by the cost of human labor. Constant capital – the value of the inputs Variable capital – the value of the human labor involved in production C + V = Price Capitalist system = C + (V - x) + Profit = Price Central to this theory is that only humans can give things value. To be valuable, items must have use and exchange value. Use value – based on how much the item satisfies a need or want. Exchange value – based on the amount of labor needed to make the product.
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LTV Example A worker in a factory is given $30 worth of material, and after working 3 hours producing a good, and using $10 worth of fuel to run a machine, he creates a product which is sold for $100. According the Marx, the labor and only the labor of the worker increased the value of the natural materials to $100. The worker is thus justly entitled to a $60 payment, or $20 per hour. If the worker is employed by a factory owner who pays him only
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Week_4___DSoc_1101 - DSoc 1101 Sections 207 & 208...

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