“...his multiple -class model of class meant that there is no simple relationship between class position and class consciousness.” This makes a lot of sense, and brings to mind kids who live on Wellington and dress crust punk and panhandle, as well as obviously upper-middle class kids who call themselves ‘middle - class’. Identification with, or de -identification from, a particular class, seems to be a fairly fluid thing, at least among younger people. Weber’s point about honour being a significant determinan t of status is really interesting, and seems to account for a lot. As impossible as it may be to grasp other people’s motives in their entirety, it is obvious that so much of how we regard other people is based upon doing so. I do not know of any cultures that uphold dishonour, and I doubt if even the death of God is going to change this anytime soon, at least in the ideal sense. As for the practicalities of actually living an honourable life, it is clear that those have changed a lot in the wake of everything getting more secularized. What comes to mind is being invited to sweat lodges by ambiguously deist/pantheist/depends on the day friends. I don’t have a problem with sweat lodges generally, and nor do I have a problem with people who do not specifically believe in Indigenous spirituality going there if the people running the sweat are okay with that. But it feels weird for me, as someone who does not believe in Indigenous spirituality specifically, to get invited to something as if the aesthetics of “just being spiritual” are enough to make it a helpful thing for me and a respectful thing to partake in (both to myself and to the tradition which I do not believe in). That seems like an example in the change of the practicalities of what living out an “honourable” life is like, and makes me curious as to what the limits are and how meaningful an ideal really is as its practical groundings turn more and more to sand. Weber’s categorization of slavery as impractical and expensive makes a lot of sense. It seems tough enough to raise a child with a good shot at the good life, let alone own another human whose subjugation to one’s whims somehow interferes with one’s conscience less than it practically helps one out. I am curious as to why - if Weber’s thesis is in deed correct and religion can influence even people’s descendants who do not share their ancestors’ faith to do some of the same things as their forefathers and foremothers did - work ethic had longevity when various other cultural aspects of religion did not. Does the impressive longevity of industriousness, of all the possible habits derivable from religion, stem in part from the fact that industriousness is practical, where many other parts of religion have less immediate benefit and may even interfere w ith perceived benefits in one’s life (e.g. close community)? I wonder if there are other aspects of religion in North America which help people to tolerate living under capitalism, much as inherited industriousness does. I heard at one point that brain scans of
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- Spring '11
- Rosemarie Tong