comprehend how our basic drives and natural instincts governed andestablished the foundation for the surrounding worldo3. The Scientific Stage: where he claimed that we would develop a socialphysics of sorts in order to identify the scientific laws that govern humanbehaviorHe was convinced that we could understand how social institutionsworked (and didn’t work), how we relate to one another (whether onan individual or group level), and the overall structure of societies ifwe merely ascertained their “equations” or underlying logicHarriet MartineauHarriet Martineau, an English and social theorist, was the first to translate Comte intoEnglishShe also wrote important works of her own including, Theory and Practice of Societyin America (1837), in which she describes our nation’s physical and social aspectsShe addressed topics ranging from the way we educate children (which, she attestsaffords parent too much control and doesn’t ensure quality) to the relationshipbetween the federal and state governmentsShe claimed in How to Observe Morals and Manners (1838) that the institution ofmarriage was based on an assumption of the inferiority of womenRV
CHAPTER 1: THE SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION: AN INTRODUCTIONMartineau should be considered one of the earliest feminist social scientists writing inthe English languageClassical Sociological TheoryKarl MarxKarl Marx and his writings provided the theoretical basis for CommunismHe was essentially a historian but he also elaborated a theory of what drives history,now called historical materialismMarx believed that it was primarily the conflicts between classes that drove socialchange throughout historyIn Marx’s version of history, each economic system, whether small-scale farming orfactory capitalism, had its own fault lines of conflictoIn the current epoch, that fault line divided society into a small number ofcapitalists and a large number of workers (the proletariat) whose interestswere opposedThis political struggle, along with escalating crises within the economic system itself,would produce social change through a Communist revolution.oPrivate property would be abolished and the resulting ideology governing neweconomy would be “from according to his abilities, to each according to hisneeds”Max WeberWeber and others believed that Marx went too far in seeing culture, ideas, religion,and the like as merely an effect and not a cause of how societies evolve.Specifically, Weber criticized Marx for his exclusive focus on the economy and socialclass, advocating sociological analysis to accommodate the multiple influences ofculture, economics, and politicsIn an essay titled “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” he argued thatthe sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries laid the groundwork for moderncapitalism by upending the medieval ethic of virtuous poverty and replacing it withan ideology that saw riches as a sign of divine providence
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- Spring '08