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Sociology Sense of Not Knowing What One Is Expected to Do Discussion

Sociology Sense of Not Knowing What One Is Expected to Do Discussion


Pick one of the 2 questions an answer an response to a classmates post after wards  

Dissuasion post 1

  • Read chapter 2 – Classical Theories I – pages 15-21.
  • Read The Division of Labor in Society (1893)– Blackboard link.
    • This reading may be especially helpful if you choose to answer the essay exam questions utilizing the theories of Emile Durkheim.

2.  Video: 

Q1  Collective an science- the shared ideas of the members of the group

Emile Durkheim argued that collective conscience more profoundly affects(ed) members of a group in small, homogenous groups (mechanical solidarity). He claimed that it affects people in modern, large, more differentiated groups less (organic solidarity).  He stated that that the collective conscience in organic societies is more flexible and adaptable.  Do you agree?  Please explain and consider the current polarized political climate in the United States.

Q2- Anomie -sense of not knowing what one is expected to do

Emile Durkheim believed that anomie was a negative consequence of organic solidarity due to the decline in collective conscience.  He argued that lower identification with the community leads to fewer constraints on human behavior.  This in turn leads to social disintegration – focus on the individual, norm violation.  He warned that social values and beliefs no longer provide us with coherent or insistent moral guidance.  What do you think?  Do most people feel adrift in society (Houston) today?  Do most people focus on their own desires without concern for others?

Discussion post 2

Q1 Anomie or Alienation?

While Emile Durkheim warned of anomie (being adrift in society without any secure moorings) in modern society, Karl Marx presented the concept of alienation (the breakdown of the natural interconnections between people and their productive actions as well as the products they create, the other workers and their own potential).  Since productive activities are controlled by the capitalists, workers are separated from them and unable to express themselves in their production.  If you had to choose one of these concepts, which do you think causes the greater danger in modern society?

Q2 Max Weber – Rationalization and the iron cage

Max Weber described bureaucracy as a rational structure which exerts great control over individuals within it- maximizing efficiency above all else. Even though he acknowledged the great advances it brought, he worried that bureaucracy can trap people in a cage.  People are unable to escape into non-rational sectors of life (for example: traditional values are no longer compelling). Do you agree? Are modern individuals trapped in a cycle of maximizing efficiency above all else?


Karl Marx

  • Read chapter 2 – Classical Theories I – pages 21-31.
  • Read The Manifesto of the Communist Party – Blackboard link.

Max Weber

  • Read chapter 2 – Classical Theories I – pages 31-43.
  • Optional Reading (Entire text is available, several hundred pages)- The following two readings are optional.  If you are interested in reading more, look at the following links in the Blackboard folder.
    • Economy and Society –
    • Protestant ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

2.  Video: 

Watch: Karl Marx and Marxian Economics: Masters of Money (Films on Demand- Library website)

  • This video can only be watched through the library website.  Go to databases by type, click on video, click on films on demand, search for Karl Marx and Marxian Economics: Masters of Money.

Watch (Blackboard links):

  • Max Weber and Modernity: Crash Course in Sociology
  • Max Weber and Bureaucracy
  • Rationalization

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