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Materialist vs Ideologist Theories

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Title: Materialist vs Ideologist Theories


1
Materialist vs Ideologist Theories
  • SOC 370 Social Change
  • Dr. Kimberly Martin

2
Ideological Explanations
  • Seeks explanations in the systems of shared
    beliefs that shape how people live, including how
    they make a living
  • Eisenstein explanation for gender stratification
    is a good example
  • Patriarchy is the belief that men are superior to
    women and ought to be in charge of society
  • Patriarchial beliefs lead to gender
    stratification in society and the domination by
    men of women as a class of laborers who produce
    goods (children and products), and services
    (domestic labor) essential to society

3
Materialism
  • Seeks explanations for social organization in the
    economic realm in which people use resources in
    their environment to make a living.
  • Most famous materialist theorist is Marx
  • 1. The basis of human society is how humans work
    on nature to produce the means of subsistence.
  • 2. There is a division of labor into social
    classes based on property ownership where some
    people live from the labor of others.
  • 3. The system of class division is dependent on
    the mode of production.
  • 4. The mode of production is based on the level
    of the technology.
  • 5. Society moves from stage to stage when the
    dominant class is displaced by a new emerging
    class, by overthrowing the "political shell" that
    enforces the old relations of production no
    longer corresponding to the new productive
    forces. (Class conflict)

4
Sanderson
  • Takes a materialist approach to social change, as
    have most sociologists and anthropologists
  • Sanderson believes that the main causal factors
    of social evolution are demographic, ecological,
    technological, and economic
  • All of these factors are materialistic in nature

5
Materialist Social Change Theories
  • Focus on
  • Subsistence strategies
  • Technological efficiency
  • Access to and control over resources
  • Access to and control over labor
  • Access to and control over surpluses
  • Distribution of goods and services
  • The development of social stratification (social
    classes)

6
Subsistence Strategies
  • Four General Types of Subsistence
  • Hunting gathering/foraging societies
  • Horticultural societies
  • Pastoralist societies
  • Agricultural societies

7
Hunting and Gathering
  • Lived off naturally occurring plant and animal
    resources without replenishing or nurturing them
    in any way.
  • Lived in small groups of around 30-50 individuals
  • Were usually highly mobile (nomadic and
    semi-nomadic (AKA transhumance))
  • Had very few possessions (digging stick, spear,
    bow and arrows, carrying bag)
  • Did not consider land and resources as ownable,
    believed in use-rights based on past experiences
    or supernatural nature of resources
  • Egalitarian (gender equality and no social
    classes)
  • Modern HGs live in marginal environments

8
Pastoralism
  • Depend on herd animals for their livelihood
    (goats, cattle, sheep, camels, llamas, reindeer,
    etc)
  • Lived in groups of around 100 individuals
  • Were usually mobile (nomadic and semi-nomadic
    (AKA transhumance))
  • Had very few possessions (only what can be packed
    on a pack animal )
  • Did not consider land and resources other than
    herds as ownable, believed in use-rights based on
    past experiences
  • Egalitarian (no social classes, but usually
    patriarchal)

9
Horticulture
  • Depends on farming with hand tools only
  • Lived in groups of 100 to several thousand
    individuals
  • Were usually sedentary (villages or towns, or
    dispersed homesteads loosely connected into
    tribal or kin group)
  • Have more possessions because they are sedentary
  • Use rights or ownership of land and resources may
    be based on kin groups or individuals
  • May be egalitarian, ranked or stratified,
    depending on the amount of surplus that can be
    produced using hand tools only in their
    environment.

10
Agriculture
  • Depend on farming using ploughs, draught animals,
    irrigation or machinery
  • Live in groups consisting of thousands of
    individuals or larger
  • Are sedentary (towns and cities)
  • Society based on possessions as status symbols
  • Individual ownership of resources
  • Usually stratified with multiple social classes

11
Industrialization
  • Depends on mass production/factories (began rapid
    development with industrial revolution in England
    in 1600's).
  • Resulted from application of scientific
    knowledge first to agriculture and then to
    manufacturing (crop rotation, steam power,
    specialized labor, spinning wheel). Massive
    increases in productivity, surplus, population,
    settlement size, and proportion freed from
    agricultural labor. Increased division of labor
    increased output, increased output allowed more
    expansion of division of labor (spiral effect).  
    Erosion of the family/kinship as the building
    block of social organization and continuing
    erosion of traditional (agriculture-based)
    institutions.

12
Post Industrialization
  • Post Industrial Societies -  (Since the end of
    World War II)  
  • Socialism, automation advanced technology,
    decrease in industrial jobs, growth of service
    economy, split in the service sector, general
    decline of jobs.

13
Elman ServicesLevels of Sociocultural
Integration
  • Bands
  • Tribes
  • Chiefdoms
  • States
  • Empires

14
Bands
  • Small (30-50 individuals) groups,
  • Egalitarian groups,
  • Usually nomadic/semi-nomadic hunter/foragers,
  • Social organization based on personal kinship
    relationships,
  • Use reciprocity to distribute goods and services,
  • Gender and age division of labor

15
Tribes
  • Small (100-500 individuals),
  • Egalitarian groups, usually nomadic/semi-nomadic
    or villages
  • Horticultural or pastoralists
  • Social organization based on lineage membership
    where lineages are not ranked
  • Distribution of goods and services through
    reciprocity
  • Part time economic specialization

16
Chiefdoms
  • Medium-sized (1000s of individuals),
  • Ranked or stratified groups,
  • Usually sedentary
  • Horticultural or pastoralists, occasionally
    hunters and gatherers/foragers
  • Social organization based on ranked lineages
  • Distribution of goods and services through
    redistribution
  • Part-time or some full time economic
    specialization

17
States
  • Large (100,000 to millions of individuals),
  • Stratified groups,
  • Urban settlements,
  • Agricultural subsistence
  • Social organization based on non-kin
    relationships
  • Distribution of goods and services through a
    market system (general purpose money)
  • Full time economic specialization/industrializatio
    n

18
Stratification
  • All states are stratified Stratification is
    necessary for states.
  • However, not all stratified societies are states.

19
Empires
  • A state that has conquered and rules by force one
    or more other societies.
  • The Roman Empire
  • The Spanish Empire
  • The British Empire

20
Frieds Materialism
  • Morton Frieds Theory of Evolution of Societies
    through the development of Social Stratification
  • Egalitarian Societies Bands/Tribes
  • Ranked Societies Chiefdoms
  • Stratified Societies States/Empires

21
Materialism
  • Unidirectional change/evolution from simple to
    complex technologies, from egalitarian to
    stratified societies
  • Stratification is found when surpluses are
    produced and are available to some and not to
    others
  • Concurrent changes in subsistence, technology,
    stratification, kinship and family structures,
    distribution systems, political and religious
    systems
  • Which is the cause and which the effect?
  • Is this teleological, progressive? Is it a
    representation of what we have seen happening?
    Have all societies evolved in the same ways?

22
Study Guide
  • Ideological Explanations Agriculture
  • Eisenstein Service
  • Materialist Explanations Bands
  • Marx Tribes
  • Subsistence strategies Chiefdoms
  • Technological efficiency States
  • Access to and control over resources Empires
  • Access to and control over labor Egalitarian
  • Access to and control over surpluses Ranked
  • Distribution of goods and services Stratified
  • Social Classes (Stratification) Fried
  • Hunting and Gathering Teleology
  • Pastoralism
  • Horticulture
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