objectives 1. Briefly talk about the different types of societies 2. Watch a short film on the evolution of technology and its influence on changes in society (illustrate point 1) 3. Reflect on the analysis of 3 classical thinkers in sociology on the nature of changing societies (Marx, Weber and Durkheim) 4. Watch the documentary: “Time for change” and discuss the classical analysis on changing nature of society and contemporary questions on where social change is heading (discuss point 3) 4 prominent changes during time: • New industrial economy: the growth of modern capitalism • The growth of cities • Political change: control vs. democracy • The loss of ‘gemeinschaft’ community binding elements in society Sociocultural evolution “I studied the process of change that results from a society’s gaining new information, particularly Technology and came with a classification of 5 general types of societies through history” Gerhard Lenski 5 types of societies (Lenski, 1995) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Hunting and gathering Horticultural and pastoral Agrarian Industrial Post-industrial Technological development as 1 metric for changes in society • Before we briefly explore the main characteristics of the different types of societies as categorized by Lenski, let’s watch Kevin Kelly’s story of technology Technology is alive! What does technology want? How has technology influenced human development? Kevin Kelly Technological (determinism) ! Discussion: • What are the disadvantages of analyzing social change from a technological perspective? • What are other possible perspectives for the analysis of social change? What are other metrics? Hunter and Gather societies Hunting & gathering societies • Refers to simple technology for hunting animals and gathering vegetation • From the emergence of the human species until 12.000 years ago, all humans were hunters and gathers • There are still about 300 million indigenous people that organize their society as hunters & gathers Indigenous societies around the world Main characteristics of H&G societies: Small bands of a few dozen people living at some distance from each other. NOMADIC societies! Social organization is simple and egalitarian Based on kinship (family bonds). Family obtains food, distributes this and secure each other Most activities are common to everyone and centre on seeking food, some specialization corresponds to age and sex Rarely used their weapons (the spear, the bow, knife, arrow) to engage in war Few formal leaders (often a shaman). Believed in different spirits inhabiting the world Horticultural and pastoral societies Horticulture societies • Horticulture refers to technology based on using hand tools to cultivate plants – hoe to work the soil & digging stick to punch a hole in the ground • About 6.000 years old • Pastoralism is based on the domestication of animals Main characteristics of H&P societies: The domestication of plants and animals greatly increased food production enabling societies to support hundreds of people Material surplus frees some people from the job of securing food, that other kind of professions emerged. E.g. crafts, priests, engage in trade, cut hair etc. Pastoralists remain nomads, leading their herds to fresh grazing lands/Horticulturalists formed settlements, moving on only when they depleted the soil Religions emerged, based on the worship of God, the creator. God is directly related to well-being of the world (Christianity, Islam and Judaism) Domesticating plants and animals generates material surplus. Trade emerged between settlements. Social inequalities increased. Rich and poor (even slavery). Warfare. Agrarian societies Main characteristics of agrarian societies: The technology of large scale farming using ploughs harnessed to animals or more sources of energy Population and areas of settlements expands (e.g. Roman Empire, Inca and Mayan Civilizations) Technological innovations of that period: irrigation, writing, numbers and explanding use of metals Increasing production meant greater specialization: the rise of occupations Large food supplies, large food surpluses. Trade, growth of cities, dramatic social inequalities Industrial societies Main characteristics of Industrial societies: Technology that empowers sophisticated machinery with advanced sources of energy Urbanization: emerging of cities Dawns with the Industrial revolution, approximately in 1750 Power supplies, electricity, steam, revolution in transportation and communication Diminishing traditions: family and religion. Literacy emerges Social inequalities increased. Poverty and Richness . Sociology is born • We wanted to understand social change. How society transforms. Sociology reflects upon the past, tries to explain the present time and envisions future changes. Explaining modern industrial society from different perspectives : 3 classical sociological accounts How do the societies of the past and present differ from each other? How and why does a society change? What forces divide a society? hold it together? Are societies getting better or worse? Karl Marx Emile Durkheim Max Weber Marx’s materialist analysis of society Marx analysis of changing patters of society: “critique on capitalism” In a society so rich, how could so many be so poor? And how can we change this situation? There are two groups in conflict: 1) Capitalists people who onw factories and other productive enterprises 2) Proletariats: people who provide labour necessary to operate the productive enterprises of the capitalists Marx’s analysis of social inequalities with the rise of industrial societies: Social conflict: struggle between different segments of society over valued resources: Capitalists vs. proletariats Social inequalities increased during history: agrarian societies were much equal. To conflict between capitalists and proletariats has its roots on the ‘process of production’ itself: low wages, maximum profit Capitalism is grounded in other social institutions: religion, political order and morality Social change will come if we all abandon the capitalist system. Transform what he calls False consciousness into Class consciousness Alienation keeps inequalities in place and prevent social change: alienation from the act of working, from the products of work, from the workers, from human potentials Capitalism is the natural order! I don’t have any talents, I deserve to be poor and remain poor False consciousness: explanations of social problems grounded in the shortcomings of individuals rather than the flaws of society itself I am captured in a system. Hey, I don’t deserve this and hey, I’m not alone, I’m in the majority Revolution! Marx idealized socialism as the opposite of capitalism! “a more equal society”, according to Marx Class consciousness: the recognition by workers of their unity as a class in opposition to capitalists and ultimately to capitalism itself Weber’s rationalization of society Tradition and Rationality Ideas, especially beliefs and values have transforming power. Society is the product (not just of new technology and capitalism) of a new way of thinking. Growing out of changes in religious belief, the modern world can be characterized as an increasingly rational world Sentiments and believes passed from generation to generation. Deliberate, matter of fact calculation of the most efficient ways to accomplish a goal. Rational social organization (Weber) Distinctive social institutions Specialized tasks bureaucracy Technical competency Large scale organization Personal discipline impersonality Awareness of time Bureaucracy became the symbol of rationalization and modernization. But it has a dehumanizing effect Durkheim’s notion of solidarity in society “To love society is to love something beyond us and something in ourselves” “Patterns of human behaviour form established structures, these are social facts that have an objective reality beyond the lives and perceptions of particular individuals” “Cultural norms, values, religious believes all endure social facts. Society is larger than individual lives: it shapes individual lives” Durkheim’s notion of solidarity • Modern societies impose fewer restrictions on everyone but this gives rise to anomie. A condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals • The fall of morality: guiding values • Traditional societies are characterised by mechanical solidarity • Industrial societies gives way to organic solidarity based on productive specialization Assignment: concept exploration Question : 1. What does Durkheim mean with the concepts of “mechanical solidarity”, “organic solidarity” and how does this relate to “division in labour”, “morality” and “anomie”? 2. How does an expanding division of labour contribute to social change, according to Durkheim? Post-industrial societies Main characteristics of post-industrialist societies: (more in Unit 8, 9 and 10) Computer-linked technology that supports an information based society (term coined by David Bell ) Liquid society: living in times of uncertainties Information society, network society, post-modern society Globalization, unequal world Contemporary thinkers: where are we heading? Liquid society, a new form of society that is much more fluid than previous modern and traditional ones. Everything changes, we live in times of uncertainties, everything flows. Mobility is the key Zygmunt Bauman Manuel Castells: information/network societies A new form of society dependent upon new information technologies and networking Manuel Castells Question: • Why do you think inequalities increased the more societies changed from hunter& gather to post-industrialization? Documentary: Time for change Reflect upon the following questiosn: • Do Marx’s , Weber’s and Durkheim’s ideas/analysis of society still apply to contemporary problems in society? • Reflect upon the following concepts: change, anger/rage, alienation, false-, class- and any kind of ‘new’ consciousness that emerges in these times, bureaucracy, good governance, debts, after watching the documentary.