Farhana Khondokar SSS100, 1912 Prof: Schoneboom Mid Term

Farhana Khondokar
SSS100, 1912
Prof: Schoneboom
Mid Term
1. Emile Durkheim & Anomie
Describe Emile Durkheim theory of anomie and how it relates to complex modern
societies (as compared to more traditional societies). Quoting from the text of
Suicide, Explain how Durkheim feels about social inequality. What does Durkheim
think is causes of social unrest and how should it be remedied?
Answer: From Durkheim’s theory of anomie is a condition in which society provides
little moral guidance to individuals, whose behavior and desires are unregulated and
unguided, leading to social upheaval and individual suffering. Anomie is a social
instability. In this situation people have their own way of thinking, beliefs and
culture, which increase social upheaval because they are not united and associated to
solve problem together so they suffer individually and can’t connect to the society.
When the anomie condition is created social norms are break down. To solve this
kind of situation society recreates their social norms to guide the behavior of its
individual member. It’s relates to the complex modern societies as compared to the
traditional society because in traditional society people are so much connected to each
other they shear their love, grieves, happiness, rituals, believes. They help each other
and understand each others feelings, so the society looks like one big extended family
in which people are united and committed to stay together in every step. But in
modern complex society people are self converted and not even connected with their
friends, family or relatives. It’s a kind of self organizing society which is similar to
the anomie condition. As like anomie in modern complex society peoples behavior
and wishes are not regulated and guided either. They have their own ideas, believes
and rituals and not connected to the society, in this situation if any problem accrues
they suffers individually because they are not united.
Inequality means the quality of being unequal or not equal and the social inequality
means different level of society or we could say that various social status which is
decided by people’s family background, education, knowledge, physical condition
and over all worth. In the text of Suicide Durkheim said about social inequality that
“A certain way of living is considered they upper limit to which a workman may
aspire in his efforts to improve his existence and there is another limit below whish he
is not willingly permitted to fall unless he has seriously demanded himself” by this
quote he try to explain that every should know their limit and worth. If someone
wants to improve their social status they have to work really hard. He also said that
“at list if he respects regulations and it’s docile to collective authority, that is, has a
wholesome constitution, he feels that it is not well to ask more” Durkheim feels that
social inequality is a natural process people should know their limits and worth before
asking something and they should also satisfy whatever they get according to their
2. Carl Marx and Conflict
What is Karl Marx critique about capitalism? In contrast to Durkheim, How does he feel
about conflict? Describe and explain the social conflict paradigm, explaining how it
grows out of Marx’s ideas and giving a detailed example of a social movement in the
united state that has influenced the social conflict way of understanding society.
Answer: Karl Marx critique that “capitalism would breed its own destruction, emiserating
the workers so that they would have nothing to lose but there chains” Marx feel that
under capitalism work produce only alienation, the experience of isolation and misery
resulting from powerlessness. He realized that under capitalism worker are exploited
within long hour, low paid and pushed to work. Marx’s analysis of capitalism reflects
nineteenth century when industry had provided some individuals to greet wealth while
most made did with low wages. Karl Marx is not only concerned as Durkheim but also
struggled for big change. In contrast to Durkheim, Karl Marx felt that conflict is a healthy
sign that contradictions of society have become visible and reached braking point where
the tension will be resolved by fundamental shift in who has the power many in society,
on the other hand Durkheim believed in structural functional paradigm in which society
would keep capitalism but makes little change. He think that some people are better than
others and people shouldn’t desire what is beyond their ability so there is no conflict but
little adjustment. The social conflict paradigm is one kind of theory and it’s based on
unequal complex society that generated social change. Karl Marx believes in social
conflict paradigm which is not just understand society but also reduce social inequality.
Social inequality can be seen all over the world in various situations of race, ethnicity,
gender, and age. These factors may be depends on wealth, schooling, power, and
prestige. The social conflict paradigm discusses about the rule that benefit some people
more than others, depend on their social standings. We can see these concepts in Marx’s
revolutionary ideas that “how in a society so rich, so many could be poor.” If we see
carefully we will realize that the United States of social movements are also influenced
by social conflict
4. Sweatshop labor
Quoting from the text and giving details and dates, compare the working condition of the
laborers in the factories that Karl Marx describes in Capital with those of the child
workers in the Gap articles. Are the Gap’s labor practices an example of neocolonialism?
What would a modernization theorist say about the gap practices?
Answer: Karl Marx describe in Capital the working condition of the laborers in the
factories that Mr. Broughton Charlton, country magistrate declared, as chairman of a
meeting held at Assembly Rooms, Nottingham, on the 14th January, 1860 that “Children
of nine or ten years are dragged from their squalid bed at two, three, or four o’clock in the
morning and compelled to work for a bare subsistence until ten, eleven or twelve at
night” In this condition children are forced to work with low wages and long hour, as a
result there are physically seek and mentally week. They don’t have any recreation and
enough rest or sleep. It’s a kind of unmitigated slavery, socially, physically, morally and
spiritually. Comparing with this working condition in Marx’s Capital earlier description,
now a day’s Gap has similar working policy with children. The articles by Sunday
October 28 2007“Child sweatshop shame threatens Gap’s ethical image” exposed the
child laborers condition in Gap “Amitosh works 16 hours a day hand- sewing clothing,
beside him on a wooden stool are his only belonging” if we see carefully we will find out
that the both working condition in Capital and Gap are compelled, long time and low
wages. I think that the Gap labor practices are an example of neocolonialism. In
neocolonialism a global power relationship which is not directly involves in political
control but it control the economy by multinational corporations. Gap is one of the
multinational companies and it has large business that operated many countries mostly in
poor countries where the labors and materials are cheep. A modernization theorist should
say that As like Gap rich multinational companies should not control the economy of
poor country weather they should help them by providing other farcicalities such as good
wages and fixed schedule and mental recreations.