2006-50445 SOC 112 – D 15 January 2010 Take Home Exam 1 Essay 1: Marx, Weber, and Durkheim provided

significant theoretical frameworks and concepts which laid down the foundation for political sociology. Compare and contrast their approaches and identify at least three important concepts (of each sociologist) which contribute the most in developing a scientific sociopolitical analysis. Elaborate each concept and discuss its relevance in relation to political sociology. The French Revolution and the Industrial revolution in the late eighteenth century brought about drastic changes in the history of the social sciences. Social class, kinship, monarchy, etc., characterized the destabilization of the social order and contributed to the many changes in the ideological, political and social realm. Social sciences, such as sociology, has taken its full flight during the nineteenth century and sociologists Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim were among the few that provided for the people a new set of ideologies and philosophies. Karl Marx used the concept of historical materialism as his main approach to political sociology. Through time, change is an inevitable process and for Marx, it is rooted on the material conditions and the mode of production. Historical materialism means that the social relations of production in a given society determine the ideological, political, and social character of the people. Moreover, changes in the mode of production results to the changes in the relationship of the people in a given society. In relation to his historical materialism, Karl Marx had also provided concepts that contribute to political sociology. I thought that the three concepts best incorporated in political sociology are class, exploitation, and ideology. A social class is a group of individuals that exist independently in the society. They are people with conflicting interests because they are either the owners or the non-owners of the means of production. A class would also mean an inequality of the distribution of wealth and power. The separation of classes is not just an economic battle but also a political battle. In my opinion, the upper class are more likely to run for office because first, they wanted power, second, they have the means to rule, and third, they wanted to protect their property. Moreover, they wanted to be in position so that they could be able to establish a social reality that seems to benefit the society but in reality, it is only beneficial for them. When in position, the ruling class can have its full control of the state and their task is to ‘govern’ the subordinate class. The ruling class owns the means of production and they provide labour for the

on the other hand. you can control anything. describes the willingness of the people to comply with the directives of a superior. In the same way that politicians provided the lower class population with highfaluting statements that are perplexing. Weber’s interpretative sociology is concerned with understanding the different societies based on their differences in beliefs. they should subject to this authority to balance the social relations in the society. the lower class accepts the labour to supposedly support the state that ‘governs’ them. The control of material production controls all aspects of life including intellectual or mental production. Authority. The main source of authority is power. Weber’s contributions to political sociology can be explained in his concepts of rationality. for Marx. Moreover. one classic example of rationalization is bureaucracy. authority. and social relationships including political life. Politics is a battle for power. happens when workers do not receive the right amount of payment for their labour. The will of the ruling class to protect its property and interest consequently exploits the subordinate class. practices. In a political sense. the ruling class express their ideologies in a way that is incomprehensible to the subordinate class so that they cannot do nothing but accept it. Exploitation. the ideas of the ruling class are always the ruling ideas. A bureaucratic type of political structure encourages democracy and this is considered the best type of government. Max Weber. In reality. in return. Rationality means being able to identify the best option to apply for the greater efficiency and productivity of means and ends. no matter what their ideals are. In my opinion. Weber argued that the task of sociologists is to develop precise and relevant concepts to understand social relationships. the state only serves and protects the interest of the ruling class.subordinate class. With power. Summarizing the theory of Marx on capitalism. on the other hand used his concept of ideal type and interpretative analysis in understanding political sociology. . and political party. and people. The ruling class controls mental production. To justify the exploitation of the subordinate class. exploitation happens when the ruling class cannot provide enough labour for their working class to be able to sustain and maintain a stable life. the ruling class promoted ideologies that could justify their exploitative behaviours. For Weber. they have the capacity to control the minds of the subordinate class because they do not have the capacity for mental and intellectual production. the private ownership of the means of production brought about the exploitation and alienation of the proletariat. the ruling class is exploiting the subordinate class if it does not provide for them their necessary needs and benefits. For Marx. Ideologies are sets of ideas that govern the people. A bureaucracy is an ideal type of organizational structure in that somehow sets a standard pattern for a society’s political structure.

beliefs. explain. a society has formed beliefs and ideas that are out of their control. First is the mechanical solidarity that operates on the primitive societies. several norms are disregarded. and Durkheim each presented a system of ideas that describe. When a collective conscience affects the people. In so much as the political party protects and supports an authority. Under anomie. Political parties can be as influential as the authority leading it. The difference between mechanical and organic solidarity accounts for understanding the social norms under the division of labour in a society. Emile Durkheim’s main approach to political sociology is Sociological functionalism or the study of social facts in order to maintain social order in the society. I think it is the best that . It is a society integrated based on similar sentiments. The government accounts for maintaining the status quo. a state of social disorganization wherein the guides for conduct are unclear. this authority should return the favours given to them by the political party.Political parties are formal voluntary associations with a primary goal of influencing relations of authority within a state. and coercive of the individual. Moreover. it becomes a social fact. we can determine what social actions a society needs in order to stabilize order. yet those ideas and beliefs hold control over them. Although Marx’s ideas were too radical in nature. Social facts. which caused inferior groups to practice deviance especially in participating in the political activities. it forces us to behave in a particular way. Marx. Durkheim also relates his concepts of social solidarity. This society based its integration based on functional interdependence. government credibility is lessened. Moreover. values. In politics. The second type is the organic solidarity. according to Durkheim. and beliefs. In politics. Collective conscience is the totality of the common beliefs of the individuals of the same society that forms a system that has a life of its own (sui generis). The concept of anomie means a state of normlessness. it is important to determine the norms of the society especially when dealing with political movements and revolution. It is an entirely different thing from individual consciences although it is realized through them. the people have no control over it and hence. and attitudes. and analyze the sociology of politics. There are two types of society according to Durkheim. are things external to. It is important to have a political party because political parties can serve as framework for their political career. An example is the law. anomie. it is best to know the collective conscience of a particular society to be able to understand their political sentiments. which operates on modern societies. by understanding what binds society together. and collective conscience in the study of political sociology. It means that through time. and when norms become unclear. it is important that one knows the general belief of the society in order to have followers. Weber. Social solidarity is the set of beliefs that holds a society together.

On the other hand. Essay 2: Evaluate Marx’s concept of history as dialectic. the private ownership of the means of production led to the . There are two types of classes. as well as intellectual aspects of the proletariats lives. the conditions of the workers under a capitalist society forced them to work together to become more productive and efficient. The traditional societies cannot be compared to modern societies in ways that relationships in the traditional society cannot be applied to modern societies. Their position in the society determines the way they think and their way of life. the concept of bureaucracy is too democratic.captures the sociology of politics. change in the social relations is grounded on the material conditions. the problem with ideal types is that it is too idealistic that it seems to provide the perfect perspective while disregarding the other perspectives. or the workers would create unions and labour groups that would support the needs of each other. Based from your discussion. However. Moreover. exploitation. his concept of solidarity in politics seems unclear for me. For example. Dialectic historical materialism analyses the society’s mode of production in relation to its social relations. Analyze the relation between structural change and class conflict. Weber’s concept provides an idealistic approach. The bourgeoisie controls the economic. It is also a view that the world is made up of dynamic structures. His concept of historical materialism. Although Durkheim captures the idea of having a collective conscience. thus a revolution will be born. Marx borrowed Hegel’s concept in understanding the history. Marx is more concerned in material conditions affecting social relationships. While Hegel focused on the dialectic of ideas. provide an analysis and critique of his concept of class and the formation of classes and structures of the society. the workers could either feel suppressed or exploited. Marx further analysed the relationships of people within and between the two classes. The transformation of the society brought about by the changes in the mode of production changes the relationship of people in a given society. It is necessary for man to change his social behaviour when changes to the means of production occur. It is a way of thinking that focuses on a dynamic. which brought about the division of classes in the society. and that having such society can result to chaos. and the ownership of production have brought about social changes and realizations in social reality. particularly the ownership of the means of production. The bourgeoisie gets the private ownership of the means of production and therefore taking control over the different structures of the society. political. Moreover. rather than a static worldview. The dialectic is both a way of thought and visualization. Dialectic simply means interrelatedness of things. For Marx. the owners and the non-owners of the materials and tools of production.

and eventually for power. would result to thinking that a man needs to have more to be able to do more. innovations were developed and absorbed. Although Marx has said that a revolution is a possible thing to do to be able to overthrow the ruling class.. In a socialist community. In my opinion. but exploitation and class conflict is absent. a proletariat would run for position. i. Simply put. the analysis of class and the formation of classes and structures of society really capture social reality. etc. A bourgeoisie for example. This class position will determine your position in the political realm. when people associate themselves in a given class. there would be a common ownership of the means of production. a harmonious relationship binds their existence. the elders and the members. he did not mention the middle class. An innovation. Marx identified the concept of a socialist community wherein there is an equal treatment of every man. The continuous conflict produced by the capitalism on the two classes will elevate the struggle between the proletariats and the bourgeoisie. he does not eliminate the fact that the proletariats have to work hard to achieve and probably win the revolution. they are more likely to be identified as such. power. intellectual and political way of thinking. The result is a change in the social. man will fight over for resources. However. Although there are division of classes. so that they may outrun the old politics of the bourgeoisie class. as well as chieftains and elders. Proletariats will vanish if they can put an end to the exploitation. As a result. The proletariats or the working class are more likely to revolt than the bourgeoisie class because they wanted equal access to the means of production. When dealing with people. drive people nowadays – without them realizing it. People became more individualistic and dependent on change. middle class are the hardest to convince because they are accustomed to do so. classes will exist. The earlier societies such as the hunting and gathering society had a government and equal ownership of the means of production.exploitation of the proletariats. when they receive insufficient payment for their labour. thus producing social change. a commonly shared property. In relation to politics.e. they can be influential for both the bourgeoisie and the proletariats. Marx is right in saying that in a capitalist society. There are hunters and gatherers. the producers can own their products. tools for production brought about positive and negative results to the people. jobs. The middle . The analysis of the middle class is important because even though they are more likely to be resistant to change. During the course of history. As the society progresses with technology. those who are intellectually capable but do not have the enough means to become a bourgeoisie. However. However. Material things – wealth. the capitalists have forced the working class to be happy with what they have and to do not aim for more. The establishment of classes brought about social inequality and conflict between classes. for example. would run for office for wanting power and material wealth. and a one-to-one correspondence of the products.

material interests. political. The continuous conflict between the bourgeoisie and the proletariats has brought about structural changes in the society through time. What is the nature of legitimacy according to this conceptualization? How does legitimacy operate in relation to state power and domination? Domination is the possibility that a group of persons will obey a specific content of a command by power or by influence. etc. Such thing would eliminate the actors’ individual insights on the society. traditional. as well as implement specific commands in relation to the policies and laws. intellectual. the changes in the society shape and predict the behaviour of the people in it. Marx also disregarded the idea that social. An authority . These personal interests are important in domination. social reality is a reality that covers the interests of the dominant class. Essay 3: The notion of legitimacy is very much important in Weber’s conceptualization of domination. Personal interests include customs (the way you behave in a given society). Nowadays there are politicians who are in some ways sincere in helping the others. The people under the rule are more likely to obey or comply with the authority not because they wanted to. In real life. According to Weber. Domination will only exist if there is a presence of a person or group of persons issuing orders over the other people. but because their own interests forced them to do so. Moreover. and the other class has its own set of ideologies. Legitimacy happens when the people legally elect an authority. and moral beliefs and practices of people vary not by class but by individual experiences that they obtain from the relations of production. the belief in legitimacy is the ultimate source and basis for domination. we cannot come up with a generalization that a particular class has these ideologies. there are three pure types of authority or legitimate domination: rational. These dominant ideas are the tools to preserve order in the society. In sum. however.class can be a powerful tool especially because the middle class compromises the large portion of the population. The rule over a number of people may require a specific group of authority that can be trusted to generate policies and laws. and charismatic. personal advantages (authority provides expansion of networks and connections). The structural changes are necessary for a society because it determines growth and development. solidarity. Ideas are important tools to understand the realities of the social and political world and since then dominant ideas have flourished while the subordinate ideas are neglected. through the course of time.

People submit their freedom to the authority in the belief that the authority will take care of their needs. but because of their capacity to implement laws. and monarchs. This provides the leaders enough freedom to do whatever they want as long as they do not violate traditions and customs. The people obey the authority because they regard the person and not because they obey the law. Rational-legal leaders are those obeyed by the people not because of their personality or fame. In a bureaucratic system. In traditional authority. Power is exercised in minimal forms and that the relationship of the people in the society is harmonious. Authority based on traditional grounds rests on established beliefs in old-age rules and memorial traditions and the legitimacy of the authority under the system. The public chooses their leaders in a voting system. Legal authority obtains legitimacy by virtue of public appeal. clan leaders. Charismatic domination involves neglecting all connections from external orders and submitting oneself to the leader. patriarchs. agreements. Compliance to the authority rather than power is important. Traditional leaders are more personal than the rational-legal. which is believed to be found as extraordinary. I thought that it lacks the hold of power and therefore people would lack obedience to the law. rather a legitimacy born out of inheritance of power. and govern the people. Charismatic leaders are somehow ‘different’ from the ordinary people and they are believed to possess exceptional powers unattainable to ordinary men. Although this type of authority operates in some societies. and whichever is elected. Charismatic leaders rest on the characteristic of an individual who is not quite ordinary. will represent as the leader. The purest form of rational authority is the ideal-type bureaucracy. chieftains. Incompliance of the law has corresponding consequences and disciplinary actions. their legitimacy is not a public approval. Those under the traditional authority are subject to customs. Personal loyalty rather than authority operates in this type of system. obedience is exercised on a leader who occupies the traditional and legitimate position. The ideal-type bureaucracy is too ideal and its purpose is to understand structures of government and organization based on comparison. subject to compliance.that rests on rational grounds rests on a belief in the legality of enacted rules and the right of the authority to issue commands. democracy is exercised with high standards. which Weber considered as ‘the purest type of exercise of legal authority’. Charismatic leaders are ‘charismatically’ qualified leaders obeyed by the people because of his charisma. promote development. Moreover. Charismatic leadership requires no . Examples of leaders under traditional authority are elders. People in this type of leadership are governed with formal laws. The followers’ obedience solely rests on the personal level of the leader. and should be bound be the traditions. there would be no need to use a law that would govern people’s actions and therefore the world will be in chaos. It means that people obey the orders simply because they come from the leader. maintain order. and settlements rather than law. If everything will be negotiable in the system.

It is never the subordinate class’ duty to prove their worth in the social class. Legitimacy is a constant thing present in state power because without legitimacy. . The public must first consider a leader as legitimate before he can exercise power. to build a status. It is not the democracy and equality that causes changes and improvements in the political system. This is important because before entrusting your freedom. cannot work for all societies. rather what is important is to have good leaders. To be able to attain full state power. Legitimacy is directly proportional to state power. and to establish a legitimate self. In Philippine settings. The ComElec analyses a leader’s capabilities before considering one a legitimate candidate for office. in my opinion. authorities would not be established. legitimization of an authority is the task of the Commission on Elections. The nature of legitimacy in domination is that the legitimacy of an authority is the main basis for domination. the people must consider the state as legitimate in taking control of the peoples’ social actions and behaviours. Without authorities. you must first believe in your authority. a wrong decision of a leader will result to confusions in the members’ credibility. as well as good followers of the law. a formal state power cannot also be established. A truly bureaucratic type of system. rather it is the ruling class’ duty to do good. so that in time they have invested in the people a legitimate power to support them given they run for position. Since laws are not clearly established.staff and thus results to political instabilities. The depth and strength of the state power is highly dependent on the level of legitimacy of the people under rule.

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