Reference style: Harvard or Chicago 12pt double or 1.5 spacing 1. What does Kant mean by Enlightenment 2. The final line in the opening chapter o
Reference style: Harvard or Chicago
12pt double or 1.5 spacing
1. What does Kant mean by Enlightenment
2. The final line in the opening chapter of Marx and Engels Manifesto of the Communist Party is "What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable". What do they mean
3. According to Durkheim, why is social solidarity threatened by the forced division of labour
4. Define Goffman's term impression management and how it is connected to the work of George Herbert Mead.
5. Briefly define the culture industry and how individualisation plays into it.
How does Weber's definition of rationality in Bureaucracy differ from Horkheimer's definition of Reason
Critical Theory: Mass Culture, the destruction of reason, Ideology and deception
SOC207 Lecture Five
Dr Jordan Mckenzie
The world wars and the
•World War one (1914-1918)
•Approximately 16 million deaths (soldiers & civilians)
•France, UK, US, Russia, Germany, Japan (approx. 70 million people involved)
•Great Depression – USA and Europe (1929-1939)
•Global economic collapse beginning in USA and spreading around the world.
•Throughout Europe unemployment doubled or tripled.
•In the US it increased by over 600%
•Effected almost every corner of the economy; agriculture, manufacturing, white collar jobs etc.
•World war two (1939-1945)
•Over 100 million people involved.
•As many as 85 million fatalities (soldiers and civilians)
•Russia, China, US, UK, Germany, Italy, Japan
Post-war America and Europe
•From the end of WWII to early 1970s, North America and Europe experienced an incredible economic boom.
•Technological innovations (many of which came out of the war) resulted in dramatic growth in profits in manufacturing and agriculture.
•Suddenly, unemployment rates dropped dramatically. Living standards grew almost exponentially.
•Arguably the birth of the welfare state as we know it
•The new dominance of consumer culture
•The dramatic growth of the middleclass
•The ‘Space Race’
•For many theorists a new kind of modernity developed in the second half of the 20th century.
So where is the revolution that Marx predicted?
A Very brief history of the Frankfurt school
•Term coined by Horkheimer in early 1930s.
•Adorno became the prominent leader of the Frankfurt School in the 1940s.
•School moved to Geneva in 1933, then NY in 1935 and finally California in order to escape Nazi rule.
•The School returned to Frankfurt in the 1950s and is still operating
What is critical theory?
•If the task of theorists is to improve society, then this can only be done through a critical analysis
•The job is not to affirm the status quo, but to highlight the problems.
•Project in revisionist Marxism
•Critical theory is more of a methodology than a unified theory or perspective
•Critique as an entirely different kind of knowledge.
•Critical of Rationalisation, Critique of Enlightenment
Horkheimer, Instrumental Rationality and Reason
•The modern idea of reason is such that we consider the means to be more important than the ends. We seek to reason How/What more than Why.
•We have precise technical knowledge about how to do things, but lack the ability to understand the purpose or direction of action
•Rationality in modernity is irrational!
•Despite the perceived rationalization of reason, reason itself possess the ability to negotiate and navigate through information in order to avoid being misled.
•Rationalisation is an oppressive process (i.e. Weber’s Iron Cage)
•Reason is the ability to understand ideas without being manipulated by them (i.e. Kant)
•NB: this gets confusing as these terms are not always used consistently in this way.
•Subjective reason is “essentially concerned with means and ends, with the adequacy of procedures for purposes more or less taken for granted and supposedly self-explanatory. It attaches little importance to the question whether the purposes as such are reasonable” (Horkheimer 1947:3).
•Objective reason speaks to the relative value of the ends of action and thus provides a basis for determining what is ethical, right, and just.
“If by enlightenment and intellectual progress we mean the freeing of man from superstitious belief in evil forces, in demons and fairies, in blind fate – in short, the emancipation from fear – then denunciation of what is currently called reason, is the greatest service reason can render” (1947).
Horkheimer & Adorno:
The Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947)
•Horkheimer and Adorno argued that the Enlightenment is a myth.
•It appears to be real, and has real consequences, but it is fiction.
•Individuals are no more enlightened or rational, they simply worship different gods.
•New gods are celebrities, money, consumerism, fame, and capitalism itself.
•The exploitation that Marx identified is now voluntarily adopted in mass culture.
Adorno: The Culture Industry
•For Adorno, the manipulation of individuals occurs (voluntarily) through mass culture.
•While Nazi propaganda utilised film, music, art and celebrities to popularise fascism, capitalist ideology works in similar ways.
•And we love it!
•Artistic ventures have been commodified to the extent that they have no recognisable value beyond their ideological power and their ability to make money.
•“The customer is not king, as the culture industry would like to have us believe, not its subject but its object.” (1975: 12)
•“The culture industry not so much adapts to the reactions of its customers as it counterfeits them. It drills them in their attitudes by behaving as if it were itself a customer.” (1951: 200)
•“The phrase, the world wants to be deceived, has become truer than had ever been intended. (1975: 16)
•“They force their eyes shut and voice approval, in a kind of self-loathing, for what is meted out to them, knowing fully the purpose for which it is manufactured. Without admitting it they sense that their lives would be completely intolerable as soon as they no longer clung to satisfactions which are none at all.” (1975: 16)
Dimensional Man (1964)
•How do you convince the average American that capitalism is bad for them during an economic Golden age?
•The first world has become comfortable and lazy. Depoliticised. What appears as freedom is the opposite.
•Consumerism is a distraction from terror
•“Independence of thought, autonomy, and the right to political opposition are being deprived of their basic critical function in a society which seems increasingly capable of satisfying the needs of the Individuals through the way in which it is organized.” (1964)
•Repressive Desublimation: the substitute of meaningful and dangerous experiences with safe and controlled consumer experiences
Marcuse and the revival of Freud
•Marcuse used Freudian concepts like repression, the unconscious and the pleasure principle alongside Marxist ideas of exploitation
•During times when things seem to be at their best, we must be most cautious.
•“No matter how much such needs may have become the individual’s own, reproduced and fortified by the conditions of his existence; no matter how much he identifies himself with them and finds himself in their satisfaction, they continue to be what they were from the beginning – products of a society whose dominant interest demands repression.” (1964: 5)
Fromm: Fear of Freedom (1941)
•Modern freedom leads to isolation, loneliness and detachment.
•Freedom has been constructed as breaking free from social restrictions, but it is these restrictions that offer us security, predictability and comfort.
•We are desperate for freedom, but we don’t know what it is.
•For Fromm, the willingness to abandon freedom lead to the popularity of fascism/Nazism.
•So what does freedom mean when we are unable to know the extent of our own manipulation? How can a revolution take place if we are detached from ourselves?
•What is the role of critique in social theory? Is all good theory inherently critical?
•Can Marxism be saved by reframing the place of revolution?
•Does Adorno reduce people to ‘dopes’ or are we able to engage with culture on our own terms?
The Self and Culture: Identity, reﬂexivity and intimacy
SOC207 Lecture four
Dr Jordan McKenzie
- Beck/Giddens: Reﬂexive modernisation
- Giddens: The transformation of intimacy
- Bauman on Liquid Modernity and the loss of intimacy
- DuBois on Double Consciousness
- Honneth and Fraser on recognition
“Moreover, any inner experiencing, through which I become aware of my own disposition, can never by itself bring me to a consciousness of my own individuality. I experience the latter only through a comparison of myself with other people; at that point alone I become aware of what distinguishes me from other” (1972: 231)
“Structure refers, in social analysis, to the structuring properties allowing the ‘binding’ of time–space in social systems, the properties across varying spans of time and space and which lend them ‘systematic form’. To say that structure is a ‘virtual order’ of transformative relations means that social systems, as reproduced social practices, do not have ‘structures’ but rather exhibit ‘structural properties’” (Giddens 1984: 17)
Ulrich Beck Continued
“The ‘reﬂexivity’ in ‘reﬂexive modernization’ is often misunderstood. It is not simply a redundant way of emphasizing the self-referential quality that is a constitutive part of modernity. Instead, what ‘reﬂexive modernization’ refers to is a distinct second phase: the modernization of modern society. When modernization reaches a certain stage it radicalizes itself. It begins to transform, for a second time, not only the key institutions but also the very principles of society. But this time the principles and institutions being transformed are those of modern society.” (Beck 1994: 1)
Giddens: The Transformation
of Intimacy (1992)
- According to Giddens, this new reﬂexive era has made relationships more democratic.
•Passionate love – Universal
•Romantic love – Cultural
- Relationships no longer based on reproduction, income, or tradition.
- ‘Plastic Sexuality’
- Newfound freedoms of intimate self expression have led to new kinds of relationships.
- New negotiated roles, terms, and agreements.
Lynn Jamieson: Intimacy Transformed? (1999)
- Jamieson is not convinced, despite these changes she writes that “Much of personal life remains structured by inequalities” (1999: 477)
- Giddens is individualising intimacy, which ought to be based on connections.
•Furthermore, to say that there are no longer power dynamics in relationships is absurd.
- “While drawing on particular pieces of feminist work, there is no sustained discussion in The Transformation of Intimacy of the feminist scholarship that has subjected the interrelationships between ‘private’ and ‘public’, ‘personal’ and ‘political’ to intensive theorising and empirical exploration over the last decades” (1999: 481)
- is conclusively documented that the early sexual experiences of most young people involve neither the negotiation of mutual pleasure nor a fusion of sex and emotional intimacy” (1999: 484)
Bauman: Liquid Modernity (2000)
- Bauman is skeptical about all this new freedom.
•It seems to be making us unhappy
- are in a period of ‘Liquid Modernity’ where social structures are ‘melting’ and ‘resetting’, but this can make society a hollow and meaningless place.
- Individuals are seeking to consume relationships, rather than produce them.
- Love is irrational, not calculated or negotiated according to rules.
Simone deBeauvoir: The Second Sex 
"Man is deﬁned as a human being and woman as a female – whenever she behaves as a human being she is said to imitate the male."
"One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”
“Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with absolute truth.”
W.E.B. Du Bois:
“The Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second sight in this American world — a world which yields him no self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world. It is a peculiar sensation, this double consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness — an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” (270)
Du Bois: The Veil
The Veil represents the distance between the experiences of whites and blacks in the work of DuBois.
The Souls of Black Folks (1903) is an attempt to allow whites to see behind the veil and into the subjective experiences of being an Other.
Why is this important?
Because for Du Bois, White people have no idea what the subjective experience of being Black involves.
It would never have occurred to them to consider it.
The Souls of White folk (1920)
Building on the notion of double consciousness, Du Bois argues that White people have no sense of ‘Whiteness’. They do not know the extent of their own privilege and therefore, cannot grasp the depth of racism.
Yet, for Du Bois, Blacks are intimately aware of this process of ‘othering’. This leads Du Bois to claim that
- them I am singularly clairvoyant. I see in and through them. I view them from unusual points of vantage. Not as a foreigner do I come, for I am native, not foreign, bone of their thought and ﬂesh of their language.” (285)
- know their thoughts and they know that I know. This knowledge makes them now embarrassed, now furious!” (285)
“They deny my right to live and be and call me misbirth! My word is to them mere bitterness and my soul, pessimism… [but] I see them ever stripped, – ugly, human.” (285)
Axel Honneth: The Struggle for Recognition (1992)
- Honneth argues that the self develops through experiencing recognition from others.
- Heavily inﬂuenced by Hegel – the self is intersubjective.
- calls this ‘Mutual self-realization’. This is a social process that we all experience. Not strictly individual.
- Recognition is a cultural phenomenon, but it is not ‘merely cultural’. To deny the self through a denial of recognition is a matter of civil rights.
- Therefore the symbolic denial of rights/self is an injustice on the same level as the loss of legal or political rights.
- Freedom’s Right (2014). A theory of rights based in the analysis of social life, not in universality, natural justice, subjective or objective epistemologies or ontologies.
Honneth: Disrespect (2007)
- Autonomy has become ‘decentered’ in modernity. This is largely the result of a distorted use of reason in social interaction.
- Therefore freedom is highly problematic.
- This leads to a problematic mode of self-understanding, and results in a damaging form of self limitation.
- ‘Decentered Autonomy’, is the notion that the individual can no longer be presumed to be “transparent to or in command of itself” (2007: 182)
Post Structuralism: Foucault, power, surveillance
Dr Jordan McKenzie
SOC207: Lecture 6
What is Structuralism?
- THE SOCIAL SYSTEM – Talcott Parsons (1951)
- With this work, Parsons moves away from social action to view society as a ‘system’ comprising:
- personality system (motivations and needs);
- cultural system (values and beliefs);
- social system (roles and norms).
- Social integration requires bringing these systems into alignment – e.g. individual need (for resources and rewards) must be met, but individuals must also be supplied with the right motivations and values (through socialization) to perform their roles.
Parsons: Functional Prerequisites Of All Societies And Social Systems (AGIP Model)
- Adaptation (use of resources, relation to external environment)
- Goal attainment (directed towards a collective goal)
- Integration (coordination of parts/subsystems)
- Pattern maintenance (which he also called latency) – society’s symbolic order
Foucault as a Poststructuralist
- For Foucault, societies are not logical or rational, they do not abide by rules or consistent phenomena
- Society can be unpredictable
- Lack of cause and effect
- can not assume that there are universal truths about societies or cultures.
- Cultures do not evolve like ecosystems.
- what should we study?
- Discourse, power, genealogies, taboo, oppression.
Foucault’s Method: the Chomsky debate
- Foucault is concerned with the meaning and use of terms to imply answers within social discourse.
- Power is not simply a matter of control over action, but also over ideas. Further, it determines who gets to decide whether a claim is legitimate or not, what words mean and how they can have ‘loaded meanings’.
- Rather than answering ‘What is human nature?’ Foucault asks ‘is there human nature’? And then ‘How has the concept of human nature functioned in our society?’
- See Rabinow (1984) The Foucault Reader and footage of the debate on Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wfNl2L0Gf8
Foucault (1982: 779)
‘Shall we investigate this kind of rationalism which seems to be specific to our modern culture and which originates in Aufkldrung [Enlightenment]? I think that was the approach of some of the members of the Frankfurt School. My purpose, however, is not to start a discussion of their works, although they are most important and valuable. Rather, I would suggest another way of investigating the links between rationalization and power’
Foucault (1982: 780)
“Rather than analyzing power from the point of view of its internal rationality, it consists of analyzing power relations through the antagonism of strategies.
For example, to find out what our society means by sanity, perhaps we should investigate what is happening in the field of insanity.
And what we mean by legality in the field of illegality. And, in order to understand what power relations are about, perhaps we should investigate the forms of resistance and attempts made to dissociate these relations.”
Foucault on Power
- Power is not a thing or an object.
- is something that happens in all forms of interaction
- Therefore, a study of power as a structural property (i.e. Marx) inevitably fails.
- For Foucault, power is an aspect of every relationship
- is embedded in language, sex, education, religion and health.
The ‘Micro-Physics’ Of Power
‘Power must be analysed as something which circulates, or rather as something that functions in the form of a chain. It is never localized here or there, never in anyone’s hands, never appropriated a commodity or piece of wealth. Power is employed and exercised through a net-like organization. And not only do individuals circulate between its threads; they are always in the position of simultaneously undergoing and exercising this power […]: In other words, individuals are the vehicles of power, not its points of application.‘ (Michel Foucault 1980: 98)
Punishment and the Condemned Body: Pre-Enlightenment
- Discipline and Punish opens with a vivid account of the torture and execution of Robert-François Damiens, who had attempted to kill Louis XV, on 2nd March 1757. Why?
- Foucault wants to trace the ‘disappearance of punishment as a spectacle’ (Foucault 1977: 8); a process in which punishment will ‘tend to become the most hidden part of the penal process.’ (ibid: 9).
- tend to view this as civilizing – cf. Durkheim’s ‘restorative justice’ with its Enlightenment faith in progress. It is just such a faith that Foucault seeks to relativize or subvert.
- not progress, then what? a different modality of power and control: ‘From being an art of unbearable sensation punishment has become an economy of suspended rights.’ (ibid: 11)
Pre-Modern Vs. Modern Punishment
- ‘For a long time, it has been regarded in an overall quantitative phenomena: less cruelty, less pain, more kindness, more respect, more ‘humanity’. In fact, these changes are accompanied by a displacement in the very object of the punitive operation. Is there diminution of intensity? Perhaps. There is certainly a change in objective.’ (ibid: 16)
- ‘Knowledge of the offence, knowledge of the offender, knowledge of the law: these three conditions made it possible to ground a judgement of truth. But now a quite different question of truth is inscribed in the course of the penal judgement. The question is no longer simply: “Has the act been established and is it punishable?” But also: “What is this act of violence or this murder?”’ (ibid: 19)
Modern Discipline: The Docile Body
- ‘The classical age discovered the body as object and target of power. It is easy enough to find signs of the attention then paid to the body – to the body that is manipulated, shaped, trained, which obeys, responds, becomes skilful and increases its forces.’ (Foucault 1977: 136)
- The body and bodily becomes not merely the object of discipline but also of new form of knowledge, of technique (think of the two meaning of the word ‘discipline’).
- The body is a liability, a site of punishment and control
From Body To Soul: Training, Self-Discipline And Care Of The Self
- The Panopticon is also a technique of teaching the internalization of discipline.
- was accompanied by the increasingly scientific understanding of the criminal, insane, etc. mind.
- That knowledge was grounded in a mix of subjectification, division and classification (e.g. into normal/ abnormal; sane/ insane; healthy/ unhealthy, etc.).
- The aim was to ‘normalize’ and ‘responsiblize’ the subject (see Nikolas Rose 1999).
Power As A Technology
- Foucault traces the emergence of modern social scientific disciplines – criminology, scientific management, medical hygiene psychology, sociology – back to the period (late 17th century) when knowledge-based techniques of bodily control were emerging.
- The social sciences emerged alongside, and in close association with, the two central, and intimately linked, institutions of modernity: the state and the market (e.g. as Cameralism and Polizeiwissenschaft):
- ‘These [techniques] were always meticulous, often minute, techniques, but they had their importance: because, they define a certain mode of detailed investment in of the body, a ‘new micro-physics’ of power; and because, since the seventeenth century, they had constantly reached out to ever broader domains, as if they tended to cover the entire social body.’ (Foucault 1977: 139)
While these techniques may have been perfected in institutions (prisons, mental hospitals, workhouses) they can be applied elsewhere: schools, factories, etc.
The Subject and Power
- is not power but the subject which is the general theme of my research. (1982: 778)
- sum up, the main objective of these struggles is to attack not so much "such or such" an institution of power, or group, or elite, or class but rather a technique, a form of power.
This form of power applies itself to immediate everyday life which categorizes the individual, marks him by his own individuality, attaches him to his own identity, imposes a law of truth on him which he must recognize and which others have to recognize in him.” (781)
“The conclusion would be that the political, ethical, social, philosophical problem of our days is not to try to liberate the individual from the state and from the state's institutions but to liberate us both from the state and from the type of individualization which is linked to the state. We have to promote new forms of subjectivity through the refusal of this kind of individuality which has been imposed on us for several centuries.” (785)
“In effect, what defines a relationship of power is that it is a mode of action which does not act directly and immediately on others. Instead, it acts upon their actions: an action upon an action, on existing actions or on those which may arise in the present or the future. A relationship of violence acts upon a body or upon things; it forces, it bends, it breaks on the wheel, it destroys, or it closes the door on all possibilities. Its opposite pole can only be passivity, and if it comes up against any resistance, it has no other option but to try to minimize it.” (789)
Micro-sociology: Interaction, symbolism and language
Dr Jordan McKenzie
SOC207: Lecture Three
Macro or Micro sociology?
- Micro approaches:
- Study society by analysing the interaction between individuals
- Develops theory out of observation
- Meaning, symbolism etc is understood by seeing it in practice.
- Seeks to connect micro phenomena with large scale events
- ‘Bottom up’ or grass roots style analysis.
- Macro approaches:
- Look for patterns and trends in society.
- Place greater emphasis on structure than agency
- Seeks to make generalizable claims by studying the big picture.
- ‘Top down’ analysis.
- Values theory over pragmatism.
- e. historical materialism
- These characteristics are very general. Views vary between theorists.
- the task of sociologists…
- explain/oﬀer causal explanation (Erklären/Positivism).
- understand/to interpret (Verstehen/Interpretation)
Positivists argue that the social sciences should be modelled on the natural sciences and thus should only explain. (Eg. Durkheim, Comte)
Interpretivists argue that as human subjects – whose actions are intentional, meaningful and symbolic – are diﬀerent from natural objects and that interpretation is the appropriate method. (Weber, Simmel)
Erklären or Verstehen
- Interpretive approaches oﬀer an insider’s rather than an outsider’s knowledge of the social world (Merton 1972).
- For Interpretivists, social action is:
•Conventional – i.e. framed in terms of local rules; a ‘form of life’ (Wittgenstein).
- Therefore, social action can be understood in terms of these local conventions/language games/forms of life.
- attempt to bridge understanding and explanation.
- The researcher is a part of the research. There is no ‘view from nowhere’.
- Therefore the principles of the natural sciences to not apply to human societies.
•The art or science of interpreting text, knowledge, meaning.
•Originally aimed to uncover the ‘true meaning’ of sacred tex
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