Soci250 Sociological Theory

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1 Soci250 Sociological Theory Module 1 Overview of Classical Sociological Theory François Nielsen University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Spring 2007

2 Outline Main Themes Social & historical forces Intellectual forces Classical Sociological Theory in Europe

3 Main Themes Early (19th century) sociological theory developed largely in Europe Out of powerful social-historical and intellectual forces Largely independent development in France, Germany, England, and Italy

4 Social & historical forces Industrial Revolution, capitalism & large-scale markets IR begins in England ca 1750 quickly diffuses to continent use of machines powered by inanimate forms of energy decline of rural population & rise of urban population distinction community vs. association or civil society

5 Social & historical forces French Revolution & aftermath French Revolution 1789 followed by French 1st Empire (Napoleon) radical break with the past consciousness of unprecedented change (-> Hegel) issue of social order (-> Comte, Durkheim, Parsons)

6 Social & historical forces Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

7 Social & historical forces Rise of modern states, nationalism & civil society French Revolution -> idea of State & Society as distinct civil society as society that [is] a free product of relations among private persons (Calhoun et al) society intermediate between State and individuals -> Tocqueville discovers autonomy of State idea of Nation

8 Social & historical forces Liberty Leading the People, Eugène Delacroix 1833

9 Social & historical forces European expansion after 1500 another wave of colonialism / imperialism ca 1860 to WWI discovery of other cultures / races -> Montesquieu & the spirit behind laws -> idea of social evolution (Herbert Spencer)

10 Intellectual forces Protestant Reformation & rise of individualism Protestant Reformation -> people can read Bible for themselves individual relationship with God notion of free examination vs. religious dogma transferred to secular context as freedom of enquiry -> social order chosen -> social contract -> Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau

11 Intellectual forces Rise of socialism Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to social control. (Wikipedia after Encyclopedia Britannica) predates Marx (early 19th century British & French thinkers Robert Owen, Charles Fourier, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Louis Blanc, Saint-Simon) advocate egalitarian distribution of wealth, small communities, private property to be abolished Karl Marx later becomes principal theoretician of socialism

12 Intellectual forces Science & the Enlightenment period of intellectual development & change in philosophical outlook Rousseau, Voltaire, Diderot, Montesquieu, Dalambert emphasis on reason (rational discourse) empirical data big project Encyclopédie also Scottish Enlightenment(ca ) & Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah, late 1700s)

13 Intellectual forces Conservative reaction to Enlightenment thesis of Irving Zeitlin (controversial) French Catholic reaction against Enlightenment French Revolution ideas modernism ideas influence French sociological theory: society greater than individuals society as system of interdependent parts need for social hierarchy

14 Intellectual forces Development of political economy Adam Smith (1776) mechanisms of supply & demand as Invisible Hand model of successful empirical-deductive social science model of system of parts

15 Intellectual forces Feminism early notions of equality of men & women in French Revolution (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity) Austrian family Law (18th century) Napoleon Code (early 19th century) little influence on early sociological theory

16 Classical Sociological Theory in Europe Overview

17 Classical Sociological Theory in Europe France Claude Henri Saint-Simon ( ) Auguste Comte ( ) Emile Durkheim ( )

18 Classical Sociological Theory in Europe Germany Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel ( ) Ludwig Feuerbach ( ) Karl Marx ( ) Max Weber ( ) Georg Simmel ( )

19 Classical Sociological Theory in Europe Great Britain Adam Smith ( ) Herbert Spencer ( )

20 Classical Sociological Theory in Europe Italy Vilfredo Pareto ( ) generally underrated standard treatments misleading work has great importance for economics sociology social science methodology

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