DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Notes: Chapter 12 (modernization); Heilbroner- Adam Smith; Mills- On Liberty

Classical Liberalism and the Bourgeois State - Chapter 12

-        Classical Liberalism= “ the more the individual receives free scope  for the play of his facilities, the more rapidly society will advance”

-        Scientific Revolution let people realize that they can have more control over the world

-        Liberalists- see people as good, can imagine a world in which government can leave people alone without dire consequences

-        John Locke- government can be based only on the consent of the governed , must protect the rights of the individual , division of power

-        Democracy- rule of the people; Locke disapproved it b/c he believed that only people with property should be allowed to be in government

-        Montesquieu- wrote “ the spirit of the laws” : constitutional government based on idea of separation of powers

-        Alexis de Tocqueville- agreed with idea but said representative government was no guarantee of freedom for the individual …equality might threaten liberty?

-        Jeremy Bentham- founded the school of thought of Utilitarianism: only policies that work well and are conductive to human progress and happiness are useful and therefore worth pursuing: believed in public good…not individual rights

-        Adam Smith: economy is motivated  by the individual self-interest and regulated not by the government, but by competition; said theta mercantilism does more harm than good because protected monopolies  did not provide consumers with the best goods at the best prices

-        Laissez Faire- leaving people alone to pursue their own self-interest

-        David Ricardo- argues: since specialization  and division of labor yielded high productivity, international specialization id desirable

-        John Stuart Mill- argued that women should vote; personal freedom of each individual; greatest good for greatest amount of people

On Liberty- Mill

-        Ch. 1: introductory- Liberty  ( protection against tyranny) vs. Authority –trying to show positive effects on liberty- focuses on civil ( social) liberty- majority may oppress minority;

-        Ch. II: of the liberty of Thought and Discussion- “liberty of the press”- should people be allowed to limit anyone else’s freedom of opinion; human beings don’t have authority to decide anyone else’s freedom; criticizing the truth is bad

-        Ch. III: of individually, as one of the elements of Well Beings; the popular opinion shouldn’t be taken for granted

-        Ch. V: Applications: the individual is not accountable to society for his actions; act on opinion without legal action?

Chapter 3- Heilbroner

-        Went to Oxford then Glasgow

-        Was absent mindedàgave many lectures

-        Foremost economic thinker in France: Francois Quesnay

-        He met ben franklin

-        “The wealth of nations” – covered everything from poverty to army- shows England in the1770s

-        Self- interest of similarly motivated people will result in competition-drives men to action

-        Specialization of labor

-        Law of Accumulation **

-        Supply and demand

-        Public investment of projects is important but doesn’t like the gvt  meddling with the market mechanism


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Candide- Voltaire NOTES

-        Pangloss- is a satirical character because Voltaire is making fun of the overly optimistic philosophers of the Enlightenment: the events in his life contradicts his own philosophy… “best of all possible worlds”

-        Martin- the foil of Pangloss because he has a very pessimistic philosophy  although he seems smarter than Candide or Pangloss

-        Cacambo-  A very realistic, practical man of action

-        Candide- has doubts about optimism but ends up still following other people’s philosophies

-        Voltaire talks about the folly of optimism; shows religion as corrupt


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Chapter 10 –French Revolution

-        French Revolution started on misconceptions and became an open rebellion against royal authority

-        Absolutist state became a solution to French Revolution to provide stability. It actually encouraged economic growth that fueled social change

-        Crisis of Monarchy: France in debt b/c of supporting American War for freedom; price of bread rose

-        1st  two estates : Church an nobility still immune to taxation

-        Loans and debt had gotten so high that Louis summoned meeting of Estates- General  to try to create gvt reforms- failed b/c of procedural issues

-        National Assembly: wanted to transform the absolute monarch into constitutional monarch with division of powers

-        The Great Fear- period of confusion- close to a place of anarchy

-        Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen- intended to be a full constitution- relied on ideas of enlightenment ( Locke and Rousseau) – vague; dedicated to individual rights and freedoms

-        National Assembly à Constituent Assembly: it had limited kings power, abolished privileges of birth, asserted the right of the people

-        Role of Catholic church:  The Assembly began to limit the church’s income and confiscate its property à was eventually made into a department of the political administration

-        Jacobins??- they were republic

-        Maximilien Robespierre: a lawyer trained and disciple of Rousseau

-        Legislative Assembly: dominated by Jacobins

-        Guillotine: revolutionary tribunals that seek out traitors and sentence them to death

-        National convention: copes with emergencies of warfare

-        Community of Public Safety: to provide more efficient executive power

-        Reign of Terror: against “enemies of the revolution”

-        Directory: rotating 5 person executive power

-        Napoleon Bonaparte: battlefield victories; aggressive tactics; charismatic leader; created the Napoleon Code- unified legal system in Europe




DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

The Declaration of Independence:

-        Declaration of the 13 original states of America

-        All men are created equal; unalienable rights- life, liberty and pursuit of happiness

-        Right of the people to abolish/alter the Government when it becomes corrupt

-        Talked about the “evils” of Britain rule

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

-        Originally drafted by a committee of five- approved by French National Assembly

-        Preamble to constitution- embodied enlightenment principles

-        Men are born free and equal; special distinction sonly on job

-        Inalienable rights: liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression

-        Free- BUT limited.  cant injure another person b/c everyone has the same rights

-        Law is expression of general will

-        No man can be accused , arrested or detained unless determined by law

-        Every person presumed innocent b4 guilty

-        Freedom of speech and press

-        Private property

The Declaration of the Rights of Women

-        Olympe De Gouges: Mary Gouze- wrote plays on slavery, greed, and prejudice

-        Marriage contract for sharing of property

-        Women are born free and remain equal to men’s rights…especially resistance to oppression

-        No women is exempted- women like men need to obey law

-        The rights of women are same as of man but are specific to women

-        A women should not be ashamed if she had a child when she was unmarried

-        Taxation should be equal for men and women

-        Women should also partake in painful tasks- should be equal within the workforce

-        Property belongs to both sexes united or separated

-        Criticize women for not realizing their own potential

-        Marriage should be taken more seriously on the man’s part- he can’t be excused from it

Justification of the Use of Terror

-        Maximilien Robespierre: leader of 12 man committee of public Safety; liberal thinker ( followed Rousseau’s philosophy)

-        Public Virtue

-        Love of country and equality

-        When people themselves are corrupt, liberty is lost

-        Characteristic of popular gvt: confidence in the people and severity towards itself

-        Virtue and Terror go hand in hand

-        Terror without  virtue is powerless

-        Terror: justice, prompt, sever, inflexible

-        Virtue: general principle of democracy applied to our country’s most urgent needs




DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Notes: Sadler Report and Exploitation

Sadler Report

-        Official study to investigate factory working conditions

-        People start working since they were 10 years old

-        Only had a 40 min. break for dinner...no breaks for dinner or bathroom

-        People were strapped on a daily basis when they got tired

-        Workers became ill quickly and died at very young ages

-        There were frequent accidents with machines

-        Very dirty and sandy conditions

-        Would not sleep for days


-        Thompson was a British historian, peace advocate, socialist leader

-        Regarded as authoritative work on impact of industrialization on the British class system

-        Compares a black slave in the West Indies to an English spinner slave and saying that at least the black slave can have some breeze of air

-        Workman can take the master to court but it doesn’t help him b/c voting is against him

-        People can consume more goods but become more unhappy or less free at the same time



DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Herlihy, “The New Economic and Demographic System”

-        Food costs were high and famine was prevalent

-        The black Death gave Europeans a chance to rebuild  their society  along different lines

-        The demographic system ( deaths, marriages, births, economic performance) of the middle ages was greatly altered  in the period of the plague

-        Gravediggers, physicians, and priests were needed the most for services during the plague

-        The system was forced to change as certain people were needed…and those who wouldn’t usually take such positions had to- women could serve as witnesses- allowed unlicensed people to take positions

-        Depopulation

-        Europe adopted the modern Western mode of demographic behavior


Hunt, “Christian Paternalist Ethic”

-        Duty of the wealthy to take care of poor

-        Having money doesn’t make u bad but have to use it for greater good

-        Paternalistic bc rich = father figures and the poor are the children

Saint Augustine, “City of God”

-        God had 2 purposes in deriving all men from one man: 1. Give unity to the human race 2. Bind mankind by the bond of peace

-        People have to act good in order to be good

-        City of man (follow their own way)  vs. city of god (satisfy needs through god..achieve greater salvation)

-        Both ways gaining pleasure..but one is greater than the other

Pirenne, “Cities and European Civilization”

-        Before cities, there was only 2 active orders: the clergy and nobility

-        The middle class was itself a privileged order- they believed freedom was a monopoly

-        The formation of city groups disturbed the economic organization of country districts

-        Seigneurs were founding “new” towns = free towns

-        Old peasant: had selfdom and characteristic – New peasant: enjoyed freedom

-        Inhabitants of new towns were called rural burghers- they received a legal constitution

-        Trade became more active

-        Increasing importance in liquid capital...less of landed capital

-        There was  a new notion of wealth: mercantile wealth- no longer in land but in commodities of trade measurable in money

-        There were now bailiffs = political progress



Chapter 3 (modernization of western world)

-        Europe in the Medieval era- had unique  foundation for modern western civilization

-        Early Middle Ages (Dark Ages): not much written historical records- large-scale movements of people

-        High Middle Ages ( Age of Faith- Christianity): Feudal ( classical) vs. Urban and commercial Italy

-        Late Middle Ages: Rapid, violent, dramatic change- pop. Growth changed bc of famine, warfare and because of the Black Death….this altered the process of modernization as imp. Institutions were destroyed

-        Estate system: status of the individual was dependent  on the function of working of the overall society…3 estates:

  1. 1.     Roman Catholic Church- clergy- had its own hierarchy
    1. a.     Secular clergy- members lived and interacted with the secular world
    2. b.     Regular clergy- members sworn to follow the rules  of a particular religious order
  2. 2.     Political system of feudalism – nobility: military service and secular political authority
  3. 3.     The economic institution of manorism- the common people – responsible for providing work that met society’s material needs

-        Limited social mobility- ex. unless knighted for doing a grand honorable deed

-        Fiefs & Vassals

-        Bourgeoisie

-        Christian Paternalistic Ethic


Chapter 4 (Modernization of the Western World)

-        Avignon Papacy- Babylonian captivity of the church

-        Great Schism of 1378

-        Hundred Year’s War- France and England

-        Big shift in the economic equilibrium- higher wages, food prices were very low b/c there was low demand

-        Literature and art changed from religious to gruesome depictions of death and the corruption left over from the Christian paternalistic ethic

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

"Religion and Social Activism" - Cousineau

  • Supposedly secular world is interacting with religion
  • Instances of interaction
  1. Inspired Revolutions in Latin America and the Middle East
  2. Religious conflicts in Ireland, Israel, and Islamic Nations,
  3. Emergence of religious pluralism in post-soviet Russia
  4. Links of religious groups to social issues: ecology, feminism, and economic justice
  • Globalization of religion
  • Religion = agent of globalization
  • Missionaries, conquers, and other migrants helped diffuse culture and social practices

Religion is away in which people can make sense of their lives-

  • People have a set of values  that they connect to something beyond the here and now= this can shape thee great and small decisions they make
  • Choices exist because  modern societies are pluralistic
  • Secularization= society is not dominated by one  particular belief system
  • However, religious values can cause conflict
  • US are based on religion as well “in God we trust”. We swear in using a bible
  • But some religious beliefs like churches can bring positive social change
  • Karl Marx believed that religion oppresses activism and encourages conformity
  • Social change is not the main purpose of religion

4 Factors that decide whether religion will encourage believers to be quiet or shake up their society:

  1. 1.     Quality of belief and practices: belief system should provide a critical standard  against which the existing society can be measured…ex. defining that the current system is unjust
  2. 2.     Cognitive framework of the culture: Religion has to be the center for which people think
  3. 3.     Social location  of the religion: has to be ties b/w religion and social institutions
  4. 4.     The internal structure of the religious organizations: ordinary church members must have access to religious power
  5. 5.     (By Otto Maduro) revolutionary situation: for religion to serve a revolutionary role there needs to be objective conditions where the larger society makes it possible for people of poorer classes to become organized. A large # of poor people need to be conscious of the fact that  there needs to be a transformation of the social structures


The Preferential option for the poor:

  • Preferential option for the poor= social justice ( bishops took an official position on this in order to try to keep the church  preserved as something  influential over society)
  • Created a “religious movement” so that people wouldn’t leave the church in the  modernizing world
  • modernizing world
  • social programs & village chapels formed basis of base communities
  • Forces of Change and Resistance
  • The Church and the Land Struggle:
  • Urban Base Communities
  • Urban vs. rural=  Maduro supports idea for revolutionary situation I religion is to support social change
  • Base communities only flourish in  in places where bishops encourage them

Look at beliefs of a particular religion and internal dynamics. And broader political-economic context


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

The Economic Problem- William Milberg

  • Need to understand what economic history is, and what we mean by economics
  • Economics – study of a process we find in all human societies- the process of providing for the MATERIAL well-being of society
  • Economic history: begins with problem of survival
  • Helplessness as economic individuals- no matter what class
  • More modern= more dependent
  • Division of labor-enhances our production possibility a lot, and lets us benefit  from other peoples skills as well as our own 
  • Our abundance is assured only insofar as the organized cooperation of many regiments, even smaller armies , of people is to be counted upon
  • We are not rich, not as individuals, but as members of a rich society
  • Human kind, NOT nature is the source of most of our economic problems
  • If goods were as free as air, economics would cease to exist as a SOCIAL preoccupation
  • ** If Americans today, were content living at the level of Mexican peasants, then all our material wants would be fully satisfied within  an hour or 2 of daily labor
  • scarcity” is a physiological experience
  • Society must:

1. Organize a system to assure the production of enough goods services for its own survival

2. Arrange the distribution of the fruits of its production so that more production can take place


  • The basic problem of production is to devise social institutions that will mobilize human energy for productive purposes
  • US during depression failed to find work for large numbers of willing workers
  • In addition to assuring a large enough quantity of social effort, the economic institutions of society must also assure a viable allocation of that social effort
  • The act of production SOLEY does not  fully answer the requirements for survival, they also need to distribute these goods so that production process can move along
  • Societies CAN exist with badly distorted productive and distributive efforts- usually a revolution occurs though
  • Tradition:
  • A mode of social organization in which both production and distribution are based on procedures devised in the past, by trial and error- social continuity
  • They deal with situation of assuring that needful tasks will be done- by assigning the jobs of fathers to their sons
  • Repetitive cycle of society
  • Even in US: people pass on same type of work from  one generation to another
  • The solution of TRADITION to the problems of production and distribution is a static (immobile) one
  • Tradition solves the economic problem, but it does so at the cost of economic progress
  • Command:
  • Imposed authority/economic demand
  • Ex. Pyramids and Great Wall created by this
  • US: martial law when people affected by a natural disaster
  • Exercise of authority Is the most powerful instrument in society for enforcing economic change
  • Can use taxes, or physical force
  • If tradition is the great brake on social and economic change, economic command can be the great spur to change
  • Market:
  • Market organization of society- allows society to ensure its own provisioning with a minimum of resource to either tradition or command
  • In a market economy, no one is assigned any task  the  main idea is to let the individual to do what they want
  •  Assumes that :Its in peoples advantage to take jobs
  • People will behave the way you want  them to behave


  • The Division of Labor- Adam Smith
  • Pin-maker- can produce more, if people do specific parts of the pin, not each person do a whole one
  • Separation of different trades
  • In agriculture, it is more difficult to divide labor into many subdivisions
  • Increase in quantity of work comes from:
  • Dexterity ( skill) in every particular workman
  • Saving of time which is commonly  lost in moving from one type of work to another
  • Invention of a great number of machines which facilitate and abridge labor, and enable man to do a job of many


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

On Bureaucracy- Max Weber

- Jurisdictional areas- ordered by laws or administrative regulations

  1. Regular activities in bureaucracy are assigned as official duties
  2. Authority gives command to discharge of these duties- distributed in a stable way so that the rules balance out the authority
  3. Methodical provision is made for these duties ; only persons who qualify under general rules are employed

- In sphere of the state= three rules are the bureaucratic agency

- In sphere of the private economy =bureaucratic enterprise

- Bureaucracy only developed in modern states; private economies in even more advanced conditions

Office hierocracy  ( monocratically organized)and “channels of appeal” ( Instanzenzug)= clearly established of supervision  of the lower offices by the higher ones

  • This kind of government lets the government have possibility of appealing

- Bureaucracy: it is  in the state, in private businesses, in large party organizations

- When jurisdictional “competency” ( at least in public office) – the higher authority is not allowed to simply take over the business of the “lower”… opposite happens- once an office has been set up, a new incumbent will always be appointed if  a vacancy occurs

- BUREAU-  made up of a body of officials working in an agency along with a respective apparatus of material implements and the files

- The public is divided from the private

- Office management- modern because there is training in a field of specialization

- Management follows general rules( can be learned, more or less stable)

- “Without regard for persons”?? Individualistic performance??

- The more perfectly bureaucracy develops, the more it dehumanizes

-  Bureaucracy accompanies Mass democracy, contrast to a democratic  self-government of homogenous units


Was Democracy Just a Moment?- Robert D. Kaplan

- Democracy may not be the system that will best serve the world- or even prevail in places that now consider themselves bastions of freedom

- Christianity did not make the world more peaceful, it made it more complex. Democracy is doing the same as this  

- Democracy the US is encouraging in poor part of the worlds is creating a transformation  of new forms of authority

-  History teaches that in times of prosperity, we have to be weary

- Hitler and Mussolini came into power through democracy- it doesn’t make societies more civil- exposes the health of the societies in which they operate

- If society is not in good health then democracy is dangerous

- 1st create an economy, then worry about elections

- Democracy only emerges successfully when there are social and economic achievements helping it

- A structured division  of the population into peacefully competing interest groups was necessary if both tyranny and anarchy were to be reversed

-  Bringing democracy to countries by putting gun to head and saying that pretend that u experienced the enlightenment like we did=bad

- Ethnic cleansing has formed states?? NOT by elections

- Because democracy neither forms states nor strengthens them initially, multi-party systems are best suited for nations that already have efficient bureaucracies and middle class that pays income tax

- Social stability results from the establishment of the middle class

- Hobbes- human beings are governed by biology and environment

- Hobbes- enlighten despotism is better than democracy

- Governments are determined not by what liberal humanists wish, but rather by what business people and others require

-  Regimes will still be seen as legitimate if they can provide security for their subjects and spark economic growth

- Of the world’s hundred largest economies, 51 are not countries BUT corporations

- **The government of man will be replaced by the administration of things**

- Apathy= the political situation is healthy enough to be ignored

- Oligarchy is to the advance of the rich as democracy is to the advantage of the poor ( the middle class and below)

- What separated the rulers from the ruled= illiterate masses



DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

The Federalist Papers No.10 -James Madison


-        Federalist papers- articles written to defend provisions of the new US constitution: 85 essays- 50 written by Alexander Hamilton & others by James Madison and John Jay.

-        # 10 was written by Madison dealt with problems of factions (interest groups)and rising in a democratic government.

-        Faction: group of people who are united by some common passion of interest

-        2 ways of fixing factions:

1. Removing its causes: by a. destroying liberty, which is essential to its existence b. by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests

 2. Controlling its effects.

- liberty nourishes factions- as long as this exists, then there will be differences in opinions

- Main cause of factions is  unequal distribution of property- people who own vs. buy land have different ideas

- The CAUSES of Factions cannot be removed- can only control its effects

- To secure public goods and private rights  against the danger of factions is  abig problems

- Democratic state :small number of citizens elected by the rest ( the public). Cant have people representing individuals because these people can betray the interests of the people

-  I don’t understand p. 96-97!!


The Power Elite in Retrospect-Alan Wolfe


-        C. Wright Mill:  The Power Elite- written at a time when America was living through a material boom, nationalist celebration, political vacuum. The book concentrated on 35 year olds of the time

-        The complacency  of the Eisenhower was not enough

-        The government had left its people in a state of ignorance and apathy resembling the othe countries America had fought

-        Power had been local, but now has been nationalized, and as a result, interconnected

-        Businesses shifted from regional to national interests

-        “permanent war economy”

-        “political  directorate”- local elites had been represented in congress, but congress itself had lost power to the executive branch

-        Mills understanding of Capitalism wasn’t RADICAL enough

-        Foreign competition is now the rule of thumb for most American companies, making them move companies overseas

-        Mills borrowed from Weber the idea that: a heavily bureaucratized society would also be a stable and conservative society.only in a society that changes releativly little ia ir possible for the elite to have power in the first place

-        Events control people rather than people who change the events

-        More space for change in system nowadays



DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Milgram, "Dilemma of Obedience"

-        Obedience: basic element in the structure of social life; unless an isolated human being

-        Ex. innocent people slaughtered on command- Nazis in the Holocaust- happened only because everyone followed and obeyed orders

-         Obedience links individual action to political action

-        Impulse rides over (vs.) ethics, sympathy, and moral conduct.

-        Hobbes : Disobedience= ruins society, better to carry out the bad act. It wouldn’t be the fault of the person who carried it, but the authority who ordered it

-        Humanists say that moral judgments should override authority when the 2 are in conflict.

-        Experiment @ Yale University: 2 people come and one is the “teacher” and the other “learner”. Every time the learner gets something wrong, he gets executed in intensifying shocks.

-        The point of it is to see how far a person will proceed until he reaches a point where he refuses to obey the experiment; when would people defy authority for clear moral imperative.

-        They go on no matter  how much screaming and pleading there is: they aren’t monsters but normal people

-        Banality of truth – the “teacher” shocked the other because of a sense of obligation NOT aggression:  it is the commonplace of evil Arendt created the word. 

-        Actual behavior changes  under the pressure of circumstances

-        “I wouldn’t have done it by myself. I was just doing what I was told”

-        Social location= reason why  something happens- when & where

Zimbardo, Mind is a Formidable Jailer


-        Study prison relationship & behavior

-        There were prison guards

-        Power of the situation

-        People caught u in their roles, as well as the experimenters\

-        Made it TOO real..took away names, disorienting time, dehumanized, human rights taken away


-        Masculinity taken away- emasculated the prisoners…however, the gaurds gained more masculinity

-        The roles were SO strong that they overrode the identity; had trouble holding moral sense





DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

"The Road to Wigan Pier"- George Orwell

( English society- contributions by the coal miners)


-        Civilization founded on coal: machines we depend on and how we live

-        Coal man= grimy worker that holds up everything that isn’t grimy

-        Coal mine compared to hell b/c of: heat, noise, darkness, unbearable cramped space

-        Coal face= shiny black wall 3-4 feet high

-        Very specific imagery an description of the coal mine vs the beginning which is very metaphorical and general ( the public vs. individual problem)

-        Simply getting to the coal face is a difficult task that takes away all your energy

-        It’s a hidden place where no one would think it affects society

-        “It’s an absolutely necessary counterpart of the world above”  p.16

-        Coal needed: transportation, baking bread, writing

-        We owe our lives of decency too these underground workers who work 10x as hard as us

-        By giving very specific details of the coal mines= more personal and makes it more real to the reader




Martin/McGrath- "Over and Under the Rainbow"

-        Individuals molded by society; behaviors ideas, and values are affected by social forces

-        Process which allows us to cope  with our social environment and gain acceptance into society (social identity) = socialization

-        Sociobiology- an attempt to explain human behaviors in light of biological factors

-        Aggressiveness, sexual prefrences, or particular intellectual  skills may be “genetically programmed” instead of acquired through socialization

-        “nature vs nurture”

-        Socialization- learning process= achieve knowledge of what’s acceptable behavior

-        Self-identity: a sense of how we “fit in” in relation to the rest of society

-        Personality: reflection  of ones emotional  and interactive qualities as they are manifested in social behavior

-        Sigmund Freud- argued that early life experiences largely shape ones personality and thus behaviors through out the life span

-        ID vs. Ego vs. Superego

-        Erik Erikson: divided  life span into 8 distinct stages: “infancy” to “old age”

-        Independecy vs.  feeling loved by others; Failure to resolve leads to low esteem and other problems

-        Socialization agents- family, school & peer groups, religion, community, mass media

-        George Herbert Mead: symbolic interactionism ( see lecture notes)

-        Role theory-idea that as individuals  learn about society, they learn  what  behaviors are expected  by people in different situations

-        Charles Horton Cooley :  explained the way people adapted themselves to roles

-        Looking glass theory: people’s self-identities are formed by the way people react to them  in a SUBJECTIVE way à not always  accurately perceived reactions( social feedback)

-        “ I am what I think you think I am”

-        Sociology of knowledge- how and why people believe what they believe


Newer version: Wizard of Oz:


-        Social roles- guiding human discussions and conduct

-        Role play- actors playing out roles on stage to explain the importance of the roles in our daily social interactions

-        Self-identities- who we believe we are

-        Dory played the beloved school girl, child: conflict  in relationship to her family vs. protects her dog (she decided to rescue the dog)

-        Conflict between roles: defend dog and being obedient

-        We interpret circumstances through the subjective lens  of our own perception

-        “looking glass self”- Dorothy acts different in different situations

-        “social rules” are different in Kansas Vs. Oz

-        “definition of situation” – if we define things as real, then they are real in consequences:

Ex. Dorothy changes from a realistic point of view to a having fantasy companions which becomes normal and real to her

-        Social recognition:  Dorothy’s companions only fully realize their roles when the larger society allows them to do so. ( having society’s permission to act in a certain way)

-        As the social messages that define us change, we ourselves change

-        Reference groups: consists of people one is surrounded by, with whom are almost automatically, and often unconsciously compares his/her actions or beliefs

-        These reference groups can help individuals carry out a task that appears courageous OR it can be destructive.

-        Ideology- set of commonly held ideas that help unify society.



Modernization chapter 1: Introduction

-        Different societies’ encourage different behaviors

-        Humans work best in groups; “social animals”

-         As modernity increases , the dependency of humans on each other increases

-        We can’t understand history without understanding people

-        Karl Marx ( 1818-1888): capitalism is bad because it promotes inequality and monopoly AND he talks about the CONFLICT THEORY.

-        Emile Durkheim: empirical methodology- studies how societies functioned  and evolved. What holds a group together? He talks about : normlessness= anomie in which a person can’t follow social norms because there is none.

-        Max Weber: Modern sociological analysis: the impact of modernization which makes people feel helpless...

-        Verstehen- appreciation of cultural value vs. views

-        Wertfrei – value free


Study Questions:
How does Orwell use his sociological imagination to think about coal miners?
Pay attention to the following concepts:
role theory
symbolic interactionism
looking glass theory
sociology of knowledge
definition of the situation
reference group

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.


Man in Society – Peter L. Berger

-        Children can be intrigued by looking at a map, and seeing where they are or where in the world.

-        A person “grows up” by understanding that strangers made these coordinates. One participates in the real world of grown-ups by having an address. [ “to my grandfather” vs “ 3 villa street Waltham ma”

-        “The sane child is the one who believes in what it says in the school records. The normal adult is the one who lives within his assigned coordinates” p.1

-        A certain location  tells an individual just what s/he  may do and expect of life

-        “ location in society constitutes a definition  of rules that have to be obeyed”

-        “commonsense view of society”

-        Sociologist: sharpens this view, analyzes its roots, and sometimes either modifies or extends it.




The Sociological Imagination- C. Wright Mills


-        Men’s visions are limited to the close-up scenes of their jobs, family, and neighborhood

-        The more aware of this they become, the less opportunity’s they have, the more trapped they feel

-         You have to understand both the life of individual and the history of society to understand anything

-        “ordinary” people don’t understand the connection  between the patterns of their own life and the course of world history

-        Man vs society, biography vs. history, self vs. world

-        “The history that now affects everyman is world history” p. 4

-        The shaping of history outpaces men to orient themselves and their values

-        ***Ex. in the ways of writing- Richard millers essay- there is a state of loneliness felt by many because of this rapidly changing and growing world ***

-         Information dominates their attention and overwhelms their capacities to assimilate it

-        Sociological imagination- the capacity to shift from one perspective to another: from the political to the psychological; from examination of a single family to comparative assessment of the national budgets of the world; from the theological school to the military establishment; from considerations of an oil industry to studies of contemporary poetry. (wikipedia)

-        1st idea of this imagination- individual can understand his own experience by becoming aware of all individuals in his circumstance

-        2nd : It always us   to grasp history and biography and the relations between the 2 within society.

-        3 sorts of questions asked:

-        1. What is the structure of this particular society as a whole?

-        2. Where does this society stand in human history? What are the mechanisms by which its changing?

-        3. What “kinds” of human nature are revealed in the conduct and character we observe in this society in this period. What sort of people prevail in this society in this period?

-        Definition of social imagination:  Imagination is the capacity to shift from one perspective to another p. 6

-        Imagination is the capacity to range from the most impersonal and remote transformations to the most intimate features of the human self- and to see the relationships between the two.

-        “Personal troubles of milieu” vs. “public issues of social structure

-        Troubles are within an individual BUT issues transcend to the local environment






On Bad Teeth- Slavenka Drakulic


-        Americans are obsessed with teeth and toothpaste

-        Teeth are an indispensible  feature of any American advertisement ( in car, shapoo, soap commericals)

-        Connection between teeth and social status is not evident in Eastern Europe

-        In America however, the mystery of perfect teeth is not only hygiene, but money

-        Nice teeth were an indication of prestige

-        Health and wealth go hand in hand in America

-        In eastern Europe Drakulic started to notice that everyone had bad teeth, but it wasn’t important until  the “American society” she had been in MADE it important

-        The condition of teeth in E.E. was a personal matter, and not a sign of social ranking or status.

-        “revolution of self-perception”

-        Individual responsibly

-        “there is not such thing as a free lunch” ( macro econ ch. 1) – you don’t get anything properly done if you don’t pay for it sooner or later.




DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.


A Long Way Gone – Ishmael Beah


Context: Sierra Leone Civil War

  • The Sierra Leone civil war began in 1991è 2002
  • Sierra Leone is in West Africa
  • It was fought between the Revolutionary United Front and the Momoh Government
  • Left 50 000 dead.
  • Colonialism – great Britain –for 150 years
  • Struggles to create a stable government
  • Independence in 1961 à poverty, corrupt government, and diamond rich country side = created a violent environment of unrest that exploded into a decade long civil war that took the lives of over 50 thousand people
  • Rebels (RUF) led by Corporal Foday Sankoh, who came to be known as the Adolf Hitler of West Africa – for the atrocities he ordered
  • Rebel cause had originally begun as a response to the corrupt government of Sierra Leone. 
  • Rebels quickly turned into a brutal force – that focused on the control of the rich diamond mines, which were used to fighting a civil war

Chapter 1:

  • New York City – 1998
  • High School friends ignorant about war in the Sierra Leone. “Cool” – such a carefree word. They suggest that he should tell them about it.
  • Refugees – made people realize that the war was affecting the whole country – relatives killed and houses burned – some people felt sorry for them and offered them places to stay. Most of the refugees refused because they said the war would eventually reach our town.
  • The importance of senses – Beah covers all the senses – i.e. children of refugees wouldn’t look at the people of Beah’s town – and they jumped at the sound of chopping wood – or as stones landed on the tin roofs, flung by children hunting birds with slingshots
  • Importance of vocabulary – learning the rap songs helped improve his vocabulary and changed the vernacular he used with his friends.. western influence (i.e.: I’m out, peace) . learnt the lyrics
    Movement symbolism: Hip Hop dancing – the running man.
  • Influene on clothing – baggy jeans
  • Left home never to return to Matu jawng.
  • Importance of weather – it was not too hot as they left. During the climax it will be hot
  • 16 miles to matu jong
  • arrived to kebati (grandma’s village- her name was kepana – she was beautiful. Hands on hips or heads)
  • grandfather was an Arabic scholar
  • gabrila koloko barilu – met these friends at matu jong
  • rebels attacked mobiwilu – their home
  • school cancelled
  • rebels attacked mining areas in the afternoon
  • families looking for each other .. gave up and ran out of town
  • stayed at the warth – the sun peacefully sailed thru the white clouds
  • birds sang on the tree tops – symbolism of the birds?
  • Taloy “we must go back and find our families”

Chapter 2:

  • Kid is the most innocent person you can find – exaggeration on the effects of war
  • Catch 22 comparison
  • Used rap as therapy
  • 2 first chapters clash
  • two clashing  - new york advanced
  • says he lives in 3 worlds – 1) dreams 2) New york City 3)Dreary Past

Chapter 3:

  • Metaphor of the moon which is an analogy for happiness and serenity for when its there and when its gone, chaos.
  • Kept the authenticity of the names of the cities and everything. Makes the story even more Raw.

Chapter 4:

  • Theme of Hope:  Still has hope that he will find his family again.
  • Theme of Morality: In the beginning he still has a sense of morality, which was eventually lost through war.

Chapter 5:

  • Slowly starts to lose innocence – Saw a kid eating corn and they stole it from him. War corrupts him into thinking stealing is okay.
  • The war not only let the bodies of the dead decay but let the minds of the living decay as well.  He dies like the people he kills Pg. 70  (chapter 10) - “Every time people come at us with the intention of killing us, I close my eyes and wait for death. Even though I am still alive, I feel like each time I accept death, part of me dies.”

Chapter 6:

  • Theme of Distrust – Decay of trust – proportional to the decay of sanity
  • Example – family in the river and they were all together –saw Ishmael and hugged their kids tighter cuz they were afraid Ishmael would do something to them
  • War makes you not trust 10 year-olds.
  • How he loses his humanity and gets it back

Chapter 7:

  • He got split from his friends and family – feeling of complete loneliness – deepens the loss of humanity  - the lord of the flies connection . disconnection from society. Vulnerable state.
  • Frustrated about living in fear
  • Tried to escape it all – no one has trust for each other

Chapter 8:

  • Paranoid and scared. Theme of Fear.
  • He’s in the jungle
  • Follows his parents values-  pg. 54 “if you are alive there’s hope for a better day and something good to happen, if there is nothing good, then he/she will die”
  • Everyone’s afraid of the seven boys. Ignores them, hates them, or tries to kill them.

Chapter 9:

  • Reached atlantic ocean, captured by a village nearby. Released and then helped by a man.
  • They asked him for his name
  • He’s like “you don’t need to know”

Chapter 10:

  • Ishmael was tired of not knowing. And tired of his wild emotions
  • “Much easier to just be sad than just go back and forth between emotions”– pg 69
  • pg. 70 – Wonders if it’s just easier to die.
  • One of his friends dies  “Who will be next…” – the use of punctuation to convey suspense
  • Feeling of continuity, in a bad way.

Chapter 11:

  • Lives in a jungle for like a month then meets people from his old village then it starts all over again and they go and try to survive
  • This old man tells him his family is alive in this village
  • They get to the village and then it gets attacked and his family dies.
  • Joined the army – they took advantage of the fact that he had nothing.

Chapter 12:

  • They walk for many days, but Ishmael can’t remember how many.  – Sense of time lost.
  • This chapter is full of ironies. First, the boys arrive in a village, which seems to be acting normally and living life as they always have. The soldiers are there to protect the village, but the truth is the rebels are greater in number and heading their way. The new army is made up of boys, some as young as seven.

Chapter 13:

  • Role of religion: Corporal talks to them:
  • “If you are religious, I mean a Christian, worship your Lord today, because you might not have another chance.”
  • Lieutenant gives them head ties and tells them:
  • “If you see anyone without a head tie of this color or a helmet like mine, shoot him.”
    • In this chapter, Ishmael has his first taste of war as a soldier. It is ugly and mind numbing.

Chapter 14:

  • Starts to take drugs – that’s what they do at the military
  • He’s just numb to everything that comes his way.
  • Attacked a civilian village – they would do that all the time to get more recruits
  • He’s doing the same thing that was done to him.
  • The idea of death never crosses his mind during this time and killing becomes as easy as drinking water.
  • Pg. 122 - Trying to separate themselves from the rebels by saying that what they’re doing is moral even tho they lost all morality.
  • Ishmael gets angrier and angrier as he comes to believe that these look just like the rebels who killed his family and played cards in the ruins of the village.

Chapter 15:

  • Childhood – innocence is completely gone.
  • What he was doing became normal. The definition of what was moral change.
  • A big truck comes to their soldier camp thing.
  • UNICEF wanted to take the boys to a better life.
  • Ishmael thought that the soldiers and stuff had become his family. Chaos had become his community. So he didn’t want to go with the UNICEF.
  • They took him anyways. They took him to the capital of Sierra Leone.
  • He got a clean bed and toothpaste and shit. He wanted to go back though. He was really confused.
  • Fighting is an addiction. The drugs were an addiction. The drugs he took are a metaphor for his addiction of fighting.
  • The drugs started fading so the numbness and the heartlessness also started fading.
  • Anger started coming out.

Chapter 16:

  • Just a continuation of chapter 15. Said they needed guns and drugs to be happy.
  • Resisted rehabilitation.
  • Killed people from the rehabilitation center. Some of the guards were rebels and so they fought against them.
  • As the drugs faded – the memories came back – which means the pain even stronger.
  • Forced to go to class. Memories returned to his life at the beginning of the war when he was still not yet part of it.

Chapter 17:

  • He starts visiting his nurse. Fainted a couple of times. Feelings of deprivation of drugs – much like his deprivation from normality.
  • Visits her often. He can’t make friends very much. He thinks everyone’s intentions are to exploit others. However Esther tried to slowly communicate with him and never asked him about the war directly. She tried to warm him up to her by giving him a walkman with rap music. Pg. 153-154
  • He begins to think about his mistakes- why he felt the way he did as a boy soldier. 159
  • He hated when anybody told him – “none of what happened was your fault”
  • Had a feeling of guilt despite what anyone told him. Esther told him this genuinely and this made him feel a bit better.

Chapter 18:

  • He felt there was no reason to be alive. He felt lonely once more. The rehabilitation place had a talent show and it made him remember his past.
  • He remembered his past. They were going to a talent show before. He was so good and he became the spokesperson of the rehabilitation center because he showed so much growth.
  • They found out he had one family member left in the city – his uncle. Got to meet him for the first time better. Pg. 172. Piece of his family even though he never met him.
  • Talking about the time before the war made him feel better and sad at the same time. 

Chapter 19:

  • He finally got rehabilitated fully. Got to go home with his uncle. He was nervous he didn’t want to seem rude. He was afraid his bad dreams and nightmares would wake him at night. The uncle didn’t tell his kids about the war because he didn’t think they’d understand.
  • Every place he went to triggered an awful memory of the war and what he had done and he didn’t want anyone to know about his past.

Chapter 20:

  • He gets accepted into the program where he gets to go to the UN. The war hasn’t hit the city people yet. He spoke from the heart – succeeded in the interview. The rap he listens to talks about New York as a dangerous place. New yorkers have misconceptions about Sierra Leone and Sierra Leone people have misconceptions about New York.
  • He’s not used to the snow and the sounds and the food.
  • He meets a white storyteller that tells him stories from his childhood. Left NY in 1996 (8 days before he turned 16)
  • Storyteller gives him her number.

Chapter 21:

  • Went back to Sierra Leone and started school but couldn’t fit in normally because of his past. He would sit by himself because he was dubbed the boy soldier.  Loneliness once again. He ignored these small difficulties.
  • Things started getting bad in the city again. President got overthrown. City became chaotic. Stealing and looting. People from jail got out. Ishmael did not want to return to the old times. Didn’t want to be caught in another war.
  • Pg. 159 – he survived because he was trained but now realizes he said all that stuff to make him feel immune to death.
  • “I knew I could never forget my past but I wanted to stop talking about it so I could be fully present in my new life.”(202)
  • “I was always losing everything that meant something to me” (208)
  • “Many of those who got rehabilitated rejoined the army” (209)





DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.