FC: Mountain of Social Hierarchy | Edward McWhirter (em13984) 8:00 - 9:30 Sociology IS: Jeffrey Huckestein
1: Social High Points
2: Émile Durkheim is one of the most prominent founders of the modern view of sociology. During college, a young Durkheim skipped two years, easily obtaining his baccalauréats (qualifications which French students take as they near the end of secondary school) in Letters and Sciences. After overcoming some personal challenges and finally being admitted into Ecole in 1879, Durkheim associated himself with some high-achieving philosophers and historians. He would often participate in lively debates with them. He was a strong critic of how the Ecole school taught academics in a literary sense rather than having a scientific emphasis. He soon began teaching philosophy in 1882. His suggestions caught the attention of powerful figures in higher education in France. In 1887, Durkheim was put in charge of courses in social science and pedagogy. Sociology was officially a part of French education. His major literature accomplishment was the book Suicide in 1897, which was a case study that provided a comprehensive look into differing suicide rates among different religious affiliations. In 1898, Durkheim made history by founding the "Année sociologique", known as the first social science journal in France. The one overriding change he made to the field was distinguish it from other social sciences, thereby making it its own unique and self-sustaining science. The study of sociology was forever changed and more refined than ever. This is why Durkheim is considered by many to be one of the "founding fathers" of sociology. Another achievement he made in the study of sociology was his focus on the division of labor and how it lead to consequences for society. Theoretically, Durkheim believed that harmony defined society. However, his conception of anomie (instability in social values) and his other concepts regarding such social phenomena was supported with empirical data, revolutionizing how academics backed up their claims. Finally, perhaps his most well-known accomplishments was the invention of the theory of functionalism. This perspective was essentially one that viewed society as a machine which operated as a system of interchangeable parts.
3: Karl Marx | Karl Marx was a vocal philosopher who was known for his radical political views. While studying at the University of Berlin, Marx questioned the study of philosophy as being abstract and figurative. He tried to combine law and economics with philosophy in such a way that it could be studied in order to understand it. After Marx moved to Cologne, he began to attend organized socialist meetings. This is where he learned of the struggles of the German working class. After publishing controversial articles, he was forced to flee to Paris. While in Paris, he became a communist. He wrote a series of papers about the difference between capitalism and communism, even criticizing religion's influence on politics. He also explained the origins and functioning of capitalism and became a strong advocate for socialism. He was expelled from France in 1845. Friedrich Engels, a good friend, came with him back to Cologne. Together, they created a newspaper called "Neue Rheinische Zeitung", which lasted about 3 years. Also, they joined a union of workers called the Communist League. He predicted the collapse of capitialism and the rise of communism. Hoping to rally some sort of revolution, Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto in 1848. Marx insisted that the history of all societies was rooted in class conflict and that the time was right for social reform in the sense that workers would unite against the bourgeoisie for justice. A panic ensued and they eventually moved to London and stayed there. While in London, he rejoined the Communist League in hopes that there would be further reform. In 1864, Marx and Engels founded the International Workingmen's Association. Finally, in 1867, Marx began to publish a manuscript called Das Kapital which discussed theories of political economy, wage labor, and foreign trade. Into the 1870's, Marx's health declined and he eventually died in 1883, leaving behind a legacy that will leave its footprint in history forever.
4: Charles Horton Cooley | Charles Horton Cooley was a philosopher who was most well-known for his concept of the looking-glass self. He helped shape the subfield of sociology known as symbolic interactionism. His beliefs were largely a product of his personal life, as his most deepest inner beliefs became clear to him after breaking ties with his Father. He was an avid reader who wrote books over time from notes he'd collect over the years. After graduating, he went on to teach economics and sociology at the University of Michigan in 1892. His book "Nature and the Social Order" was published in 1902. In 1909, a follow-up book called "Social Organization" outlined his belief in the system of society where social processes are inter-related and dependent upon one another for prosperity. He also noted that one's morals came from "primary groups" like family. He also included that differences in class lead to differences in production. Again though, his most important accomplishment was his concept of the individual in society. He said that there were influences that shaped the judgment of ourselves in society, such as the imagination of our appearance to others, the conceptual judgment that occurs in our brain, and our subsequent reaction that we base on that. Overall, Charles Cooley is known for how he defined society's effect on one's individual self. He helped bridge the gap between the individual person and the individual person in society.
5: Georg Simmel | George Simmel is most well-known for his work on social structure and life in large cities. He earned a Ph.D from the University of Berlin. He also received an honorary doctorate from Heidelberg. From 1885 to 1914, George Simmel served as an unpaid lecturer for the University of Berlin. He was the first instructor to teach sociological ideals in Germany. In 1914, the University of Strasbourg gave Simmel a paid professorship in philosophy. Before that, Simmel also developed the German Sociological Association from 1889 to 1909. His book "The Problems of the Philosophy of History" was published in 1892. In 1900, he finished "The Philosophy of Money". In this book, his views on currency being a source of both freedom and enslavement in a "cause and effect" based society became very well- known.
6: Herbert Spencer | Herbert Spencer infused Darwinism into society and is known for coining the phrase "survival of the fittest". He, along with Darwin, were leading proponents for the evolutionary theory. He combined philosophy with the evolutionary theory as evidenced by his book "A System of Synthetic Philosophy". For example, he argued that social phenomena was the product of a lengthy process of evolution. He concluded in his book "Social Statics" that society could be no more than the sum of its parts. He argued that liberty and individual rights was essential for an individual in society to grow, just as in evolution of animals. His view on happiness therefore was that happiness was at its peak when humans were free as individuals to naturally adapt to society (a society where individual rights were kept). In addition to his books, Spencer worked as a writer and editor for The Economist from 1848 to 1853, meeting some very influential people along the way.
7: References | 1) Emile Durkheim: His Life and Work (1858-1917) /Retrieved from: http://durkheim.uchicago.edu/Biography.html 2) Retrieved from: http://www.faculty.rsu.edu/users/f/felwell/www/TheoryWeb/StudyGuides/Emile%20Durkheim.htm 3) Karl Heinrich Marx - Biography / Retrieved from: http://www.egs.edu/library/karl-marx/biography/ 4) Charles Horton Cooley: A Sociologist's View of Self / Retrieved from: http://www.faculty.rsu.edu/users/f/felwell/www/presentations/studentpres/Cooley2.htm 5) Georg Simmel - Biography / Retrieved from: http://www.egs.edu/library/georg-simmel/biography/ 6) Herbert Spencer (1820—1903) / Last updated: October 22, 2004 / Retrieved from: http://www.iep.utm.edu/spencer/