Soc203 Lecture 1

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  • Topic: Sociology, Social class, Communism
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SOC203 Lecture 1
January 7, 2013

INEQUALITY

1. French peasants before the Revolution: 1789 -- french revolution

2. French lords before the Revolution
- monopolized, concentrated power: economic, religious, political - the lord made law, held by ideological reasoning from the church - Tocqueville: why did the French revolution break out despite social conditions being better off than other nations? - his answer:

- 1) peasants rebelled b/c lords had unrestrained position (social position) - 2) the problem was not their position: but rather their relative position compared to the ideal position - raised expectations and dissatisfaction (anomie)

3. Inequality is a social fact
- social fact: e.g. Durkheim & suicide rates; constancy means that there is something about society - inequality is not a feature that can be identified by looking at individuals: to say - inequality it implies a comparison in the distribution of a social good

4. some main forms of inequality
- social goods comprises all societies
- things that are valued
- some are cultural bound e.g.. N. America & Leisure time (opportunity to do such) - N. America & wealth
- status
- power
**within societies- there are agreed upon qualities to have** **sociologists: concerned with the variation in the distribution of resources**

5. Some main sources of inequality
** see above**
- military strength also v. imp

6. Inequality in pre-modern societies:
a. hunter gatherer - a classless society - no real strong differences - rests on merely hunting and gathering
- generalized reciprocity: no expectation of immediate return; the system under where the food is distributed equally - subject to a gendered division of labour (men hunt, woman gather) BUT in general, not patriarchal - gender equality existed

- political equality existed
- economic equality existed
- importance of non accumulating materials contrasted with present day society where one can own an industrial...
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