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Sociology Semester 2 2011

Sociology 100 – Issues and Themes in Sociology
University of Auckland Semester 2 2011

Sociology Semester 2 2011

Sociology 100 – Issues and Themes in Sociology

The sociological perspective/way of seeing society has been described by Bauman as “the habit of viewing human actions as elements of wider figurations: that is of a non-random assembly of actors locked together in a web of mutual dependency.” (pg. 7 of ‘Being
According to Peter Berger, the fascination of sociology “lies in the fact that its perspective makes us see in a new light the very world in which we have lived all our lives.” Lecture 1: Course Introduction



Structure (Structure of society)
History (Historical events that influence individuals) i Power (Ability to control one’s own life or the lives of others’.


Daniel Josephs Sociology Semester 2 2011

Lecture 2: Sociological history and theory (Modernizing)
Modernism: A set of artistic practices
Modernity: The key sociological category to describe the condition of being modern encompassing forms of industrialization, urbanization, extensive divisions of labour cosmopolitanism, globalization and global extension of trade networks and exploitation of raw materials
Modernization: The process of becoming modern
The Dual Revolution

The origins of modernity lie in the Dual Revolution.
The Dual Revolution consists of the Industrial Revolution and the 1789 French

The Dual Revolution

The Industrial Revolution

Transformed economic life

The French Revolution

Invented modern political life

The Industrial Revolution transformed economic life.
The French Revolution invented modern political life with individual citizenship replacing traditional patterns of kinship and monarchy.
According to Ian Carter, “The processes unleashed by the Enlightenment and Dual
Revolution remade, and still remake, the world, so nobody was or is untouched.”

Key changes and steps to modernity

Agricultural/Rural society to Industrial/Urban society
Religious beliefs to Rational scientific beliefs
- The Enlightenment period was a broad movement of 17th and 18th century progressive liberal intellectuals scattered widely across Germany, France,
Holland, Britain and the United States.

Daniel Josephs Sociology Semester 2 2011


Key principle was the ‘Celebration of Progress’ – expansion of human control over the natural world and of culture over nature (Science was the motor which drove this ‘progress’).
Commitment to science, critique and rationality/reason against superstition, assertion and dogma.

Barter society to Monetized society
- The trading of goods through barter was replaced by monetization and currency. •

Communal/Feudal society to Capitalist society
- Feudal society – socially stratified and hierarchal, based on the established order of Lords (land owners), Vassals (organized the fiefs and serfs), Fiefs
(the labour force) and Serfs (the peasantry).


Agricultural Revolution – innovations allowed an increase in the abundance of harvest and could be preserved longer, which ultimately led to an increase in the value of land.


Industrial Revolution and Industrial Capitalism – the economic transformation from an agriculturally based, rural society to and industry based, urbanized society. Division and specialization of labour made production more efficient but was also more mundane.



Post-Modern society & Service economy – Development of post-modern societies with an economy based less on industry and more on a balance between a service and knowledge economy.

The French Revolution

The French Revolution led to the spread of revolutionary ideas across the world which ignited a culture clash between the new liberals and the old