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Unformatted text preview: Introduction to Sociology
Lecture 4: Capitalism, Stratification, Conflict
Monday, September 13 Consequences of rationalization Increased efficiency and speed of social action Meritocracy, social leveling Meritocracy, Greater emphasis on education, credentialism Subordination of emotion, tradition, and spirituality to rationality and calculation Rationalized society constitutes an "iron cage" or a "shell as hard as steel" that we can't escape Creates a society that feels like "the polar night of icy darkness" Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels
Marx Engels Marx: German political-economist, philosopher (1818-1883) Marx: political(1818who advocated activism over armchair theorizing Famous works include Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848), Capital, numerous essays "Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways the point however is to change it." Engels: German political-economist, collaborated with Marx, Engels: politicalalso advocated activism Famous works include Manifesto of the Communist Party, The Condition of the Working Class in England Capitalism The means of production are privately owned and controlled Everything is exchanged in the context of a market economy People own and can sell their own labor According to Smith and others, this is the best available system for increasing everyone's wealth and productivity Social stratification Under capitalism, inequality between the "haves" and the "have"havenots" increases
- Bourgeoisie: The group that owns the means of production - Proletariat: The majority class the workers who have only their labor to sell The bourgeoisie controls the State, which controls the proletariat (e.g., through law, the police force) (Government troops firing into a crowd of demonstrators in Petrograd, July 1917) Exploitation Proletarians are exploited by the bourgeoisie
- The exchange value of proletarians' labor power (i.e., wages) is lower than what the owners get by selling their products - Workers must sell their labor to survive (workers as commodities) (workers commodities) Alienation Proletarians are alienated... from the objects of their labor from the labor process from themselves from each other The destruction of capitalism The workers must replace their "false consciousness" with "false consciousness" "class consciousness" consciousness" Revolt against the government and the bourgeoisie Capitalism will self-destruct self Efficiency overproduction competition low wages unsold goods Downward mobility sends some bourgeoisie into proletariat Concentration of workers promotes solidarity, class consciousness Socialism emerges as a transitional state between capitalism and communism (Bolsheviks taking over the czar's Winter Palace, October 1917) ...
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- Fall '05