Summary_6_Wallerstein

Summary_6_Wallerstei - Summary 6 Wallerstein Summary Marxs legacy in social theory does not lie in his predictions of future utopias but rather in

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Summary 6 – Wallerstein Summary Marx’s legacy in social theory does not lie in his predictions of future utopias but rather in his analysis of the workings and contradictions of capitalism. Within contemporary sociology this tradition is very much alive in the work-systems theory, a perspective developed by Immanuel Wallerstein. According to Wallerstein, the modern nation state exists within a broad economic, political, and legal framework which he calls a “world-system” (Wallerstein p. 569). Individual societies or nation states cannot be understood without reference to the world-system in which they are embedded. Wallerstein believes that there are only three basic types of social systems. The first he terms as “mini-systems, which are the small homogeneous societies often studied by anthropologists. The second type of social system is a “world-empire.” This system has an economy that is based on the extraction of surplus goods and services from outlying districts. The third type of social system, according to Wallerstein, is the world-economies. Unlike world- empires, the world-economies have no unified political system; not is its dominance based on military power alone. However, like a world-empire, a world-economy is based on the extraction of surplus from outlying districts to those who rule at the center. Wallerstein argues that capitalism has had a division of labor that encompassed several nation states. For Wallerstein, the
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This note was uploaded on 10/23/2011 for the course SOC 169 taught by Professor Maryan during the Spring '10 term at UC Riverside.

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Summary_6_Wallerstei - Summary 6 Wallerstein Summary Marxs legacy in social theory does not lie in his predictions of future utopias but rather in

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