Interpersonal, Organizational, and Global Dimensions
Monday, 24 October 2005
How do power differentials arise: Lessons from classical social theory, continued.
review of last time:
Class, Status, and Party
distinguishes different ways groups organize on basis of shared
lifestyle (status), shared opportunities in market (class), to gain power explicitly (party)
explicitly defined power
– Dennis Wrong and other analysts use and develop it
Where do power differential come from?
Weber gives no clear answers but argues that the
bases of power may differ and vary on social context – may depend on class/status, historical
circumstances – his was an
Class, Status, and Party,
he encourages us to recognize that power may be sought for a
variety of reasons – for enrichment, for own its sake, for symbolic reasons, for status.
various bases of power and authority
His recognition and description of increasing rationalization of human action suggests
that the bases of power may be increasingly located in expert knowledge, ability to
understand and manipulate the processes of rationalization.
born to Jewish family that became Protestant in Trier, Rhineland, Germany, just east of
upper middle class family but spent most of life as outcast from family and Germany
Marx’s contributions to social science are enormous.
It is difficult to overestimate the
consequences of his work in relation to how we think of ourselves, our modern lives, and the
present state of world economy, e.g. the resurgence of
, which was the
subject of Marx’s work.
1991 – with the dissolution of USSR, many Marxist scholars (not communists but those who
thought that Marx had a persuasive account of social life) thought that Marxism was dead as an
interpretive framework, showing how they were more ideological than sociological/theoretical.
why should the USSR matter?
Marx wrote an analysis of
, not what the
should be like (that interpretation was Lenin’s doing)
people called themselves Marxists but Marx himself didn’t give a blueprint for a new society
Yet, suggest that they were quite wrong and the evidence is persuasive: example,
1992 – major program on national public TV celebrating 500
anniversary of Christopher
Columbus’ “discovery” of America; presented a history of global trade routes that had been
functioning in 13
this several hour history was Columbus
introduced– how he was engaged in looking for new markets for European goods.
The standard Columbus account is now an
account, not about tyranny or a search for
freedom – he was employee of the Spanish crown and Italian merchants, a salesman – this was a
account because Marx gives us an account of
social relations driven by economics
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