Sociology 101 Comparing theorists

  1. Understanding of religion
    [Weber & Durkheim]
    • Weber: Religion helps people psychologically cope with anxiety,suffering and dying it helps people find meaning in one’s life
    • examples of protestant ethic, religion a way to creating meaning for strong work ethic Durkheim: Religious experience is highest and most intense form of collective experience —the experience of immense and active cooperation. for Durkheim religion is the most obvious expression of collective effervescence people brought together and experiencing society outside themself for Durkheim religion is an active expression and shaper of society not merely a coping mechanism as in Weber, or opium for the soul as in Marx
  2. Social Action
    [Weber & Durkheim]
    • Weber: solidarity/communal action that leads to effervescence is NOT social action  
    • For Weber, doing something just because other people are doing it (ex: pulling out an umbrella when it is raining because everyone else pulled out an umbrella) is not social action because it isn’t in reaction to anything; always based on how people perceive you; if you do it because it is second nature it is not social but if you do it to shape how people think of you it is social
    • Weber: acting in a mob is not considered social action, BUT one could argue that the recent protests (blacklivesmatter) would be considered social action to Weber. This is because the protests occurred in response to the lack of justice
    • For Durkheim, any sort of communal action (ex: jumping up and down at a concert) is considered social action
  3. Anomie vs. Alienation
    [Durkheim & Marx]
    • Anomie: Absence of regulation (main problem) this happened between the transitions from mechanical to organic.
    • -Little moral guidance
    • - people become isolated from society and are thus not able to feel part of the whole

    • Alienation: Overly regulated-not in control of your own life
    • - Problem comes from society, not the individual
    • - People are social, collective by nature- Removal from people equals alienated
    • -1)alienation from self 2) alienation from others 3)alienation from work 4)alienation from nature
  4. Anomie vs. Disenchantment
    [Durkheim & Weber]
    • Disenchantment: Enchantment means “magic” in German
    • -Predestination- rationalization got rid of the magic, either in or out.
    • -Weber was nostalgic (depressed) about the time when relations were “enchanted” (spiritual)
    • -Magic moved out of life as modernization occurs·capitalism and consumerism has caused people to become disenchanted “cogs in the machine”workers without meaning, taking the spirit out of spirit of capitalism

    • Anomie
    • -Things not getting better
    • -Less control, regulation, in their lives
  5. Causes of DoL
    [Durkheim, Marx, Smith & Elias]
    • Durkheim: increasing volume and material density of societies and  turn to more specialization of tasks/jobs/career
    • Marx: Class relations and the increased need by capitalism for maximum surplus through increased efficiency and specialization (self interest and class consciousness on the part of the capitalists)
    • Smith: Man’s self interest, the natural propensity to truck barter and exchange
    • Elias: social morphology; increase population & communication/interdependence
    • centralization of power to the state - state monopoly on legitimate violence
  6. Collective consciousness v Class consciousness
    [Durkheim & Marx]
    • Durkheim: normativity - morality in society plays a pivotal role*
    • no mention of power relations
    • through collective consciousness, majority rule
    • Marx: *normativity is not the norm. it is based on the ideology of the Bourgeoisie having access to the mental means of production
    • -there is no collective consciousness, only class consciousness
    • there is a divide between Bourgeois & Proletariat 
    • dominant ideology is from Bourgeois
  7. Religion
    [Marx, Weber, & Durkheim]
    • Marx: man creates God because life is miserable
    • pacifies people (flower in the chain/opium of the people)
    • part of superstructure* (used as a distraction)
    • religion serves as a way to control and prevent P from realizing harshness of life
    • he doesn't go deep into subject; it is not that important for historical change
    • Weber: *searched for meaning through rationalization
    • religion was the cause for the rise of capitalism
    • infuse everyday practice with meaning
    • used as a coping mechanism
    • Durkheim: maintains solidarity
    • source of knowledge (categories of world) and moral feelings (importance of rituals & symbols)
    • establish divisions of sacred/profane, becomes meaningful & sustains us
  8. Power
    [Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Mauss, & Elias]
    • Marx: power in having private property & capital
    • owning capital=dictate material conditions (mode of production & exploitation of workers)
    • Weber: Power=your will is carried out despite resistance (3 types)
    • 1) traditional (lineage) 2) legal-rational 3) charisma
    • 1) class 2) status group 3) parties (political)
    • Durkheim: power in social constraint maintained from collective conscious
    • external - law / internal - social norms*
    • Mauss:  place others "in debt" through obligation to give, receive, reciprocate
    • Freud: social constraint & super ego
    • Elias: power transitioned from all to state (monopolization of legitimate violence)
    • internalize social norms* & self-regulate behavior
  9. Functionalism
    [Durkheim & Marx]
    • is the way to analyze based on how society functions
    • Marx: ideology happens b/c capitalist need it
    • need capitalism to get to socialism
    • Durkheim:  DoL purpose to interact w/ others & reaffirm collective consciousness
    • in order for society to function, everyone has to contribute
  10. State
    [Marx & Durkheim & Elias]
    • smith: the state has a responsibility to stop stupefication process by providing education for intellectual stimulation
    • marx:  executive committee of affairs of the bourgeoisie
    • state exists to guarantee private property & interests of bourgeoisie through law.
    • state depends on bourgeoisie for access to credit (with bourgeoisie financiers and private banks) [similar to Ben Franklin’s motto about money & Mauss’ notion of being indebted]
    • weber: legal-rational the state is part of the bureaucratic system
    • social structure: parties share communal action/association oriented to capture the state because the state is the ultimate source of power
    • durkheim: the government can’t perform the integrative process. state is a reflection of underlying morality
    • state embodies collective consciousness (in ideal state)
    • elias: the state has a monopolization on the legitimate violence
    • it can't be arbitrary and must follow certain rules
  11. Logic of History
    [Marx, Weber, Durkheim & Elias]
    • Marx: dialectical process (contradiction) history does not occur linearly rather through a series of contradiction;
    • class struggle and ideology, primitive > feudal > bourgeois-capitalism > capitalism
    • Weber: rationalizing process;
    • unintended consequences of individual action (it’s all about meaning)
    • protestant ethic - society shapes the religious process where people break off from the church and people need to find a calling or predestination
    • “puritans chose to work and we have to” - iron cage
    • Durkheim: change in social morphology;
    • drive for solidarity (more population. more density)
    • collective effervescence and collectivity;
    • rituals that bring people together;
    • intense collective actions shift history
    • Elias: historical progression: upper class distinguishes themselves, being copied, and evolving to further differentiate themselves;
    • norms are internalized through parenting
  12. Controlling Agency - Power & State
    [Marx, Durkheim, Freud & Elias]
    • durkheim: solidarity and morality offends the collective conscious
    • the collective decides what is right and wrong = normativity
    • marx: mental means of production shaped by those in power
    • normativity is not really there, the norm is established by those in power;the dominant ideology
    • freud: society forming superego and restraining instinct
    • elias: (tie b/t durkheim and freud)
    • psychogenesis and sociogenesis 
    • society shapes the individual and the individual shapes society
  13. How are we miserable? What is the cause and solution?
    [Smith, Marx, Weber, Durkheim & Freud]
    • Smith: M) stupefication C) DoL S) Govt provide education
    • Marx: M) alienation C) capitalism S) revolution & socialism
    • Weber:  M) disenchantment C) rationalization S) re-enchantment through charisma
    • Durkheim: M) anomie C) DoL w/o solidarity S) rituals; repetition of actions with moral community
    • Freud: M) repression of instincts C) civilization S) therapy (train super ego)
  14. How does Elias connect with other theorists?
    • Marx: The upper class/ruling class wants to distinguish itself from others (ruling class controls the means of mental production or the ideologies of society) shape what is socially acceptable manners
    • Durkheim: Morphology/ interdependence with other individuals as a driving force
    • Weber: Similar- Rationalization of conduct and habit (our hunt for meaning and reading into actions (ie disgust)
    • Different- Weber sees rationalism located in bureaucracy, science and capitalism
    • Freud: Similar- Conflict between individual and civilization taking historically specific forms
    • Different- Super Ego is different in every place & time; it is more about developing shame than aggression and sexual feelings being suppressed
  15. Social Facts & Total Social Facts
    Definition & Differences
    [Durkheim & Mauss]
    • Durkheim:  it is based on society
    • 6 characteristics - collective / external / coercive / internalize / objective / constructed
    • Mauss:  it is the underlying fact that bounds all institution
    • fundamental social structures that are part of a whole series of social institutions that brings society together for morale and solidarity
  16. Consequences of DoL (Pros)
    [Smith, Marx, Durkheim]
    • Smith: individual - creativity, dexterity, efficient
    • society - universal opulence; trickle down
    • works in a well-governed society
    • Marx: efficient
    • Durkheim:  increase of individual; organic solidarity; interdependence & cohesion of individuals working together
  17. Consequences of DoL
    • cooperation
    • social differentiation
    • creation of new norms
    • pacification (from warrior to pacified state of mind)
    • DoL is not good or bad
    • all we know is that it will and can change
  18. Consequences of DoL (Cons)
    [Smith, Marx & Durkheim]
    • Smith:  stupefication [education]
    • Marx: alienation / exploitation / pauperization [revolutionize & socialism]
    • Durkheim: anomie - not aware of interdependence, no cohesion
    • caused by lack of social integration
    • incomplete DoL (under-over employment) or Forced (slavery)
  19. Focus of DoL
    [Smith, Marx, Durkheim & Elias]
    • Smith:  economic
    • Marx:  economic
    • Durkheim:  society
    • Elias:  society
Card Set
Sociology 101 Comparing theorists
theory comparisons