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Thursday, September 11, 2008

The 4 lectures below very helpful

I have posted 4 series of downloadable mp3 audio lectures on Marx, Durkheim and Weber. If you scroll down you will see them, especially helpful for those who are taking sociology w/ law. Lectures from theLegal Studies 103 Theories of Law and Society offered by UC Berkeley, let me know what you think everybody.

Lectures on Weber

Please click on the lecture you're interested in below and it will automatically download :)

Weber's Sociological Methods

Weber: Typology of Domination (1) - Authority and its Forms

Weber: Typology of Domination (2) - Structures and Dynamics

Weber: Bureaucracy and its Leading Features

Weber: Bureaucracy and Social Rationalization

Modern Society's Spheres of Rationalization: State, Economy and Law

Weber: Modern Law and Moden Bureaucracy

Weber: Modern Law and Formal Rationalization (Juridical Formalism)

Weber: Formalism, Bureaucracy and Modern Individualism

Lectures on Durkheim

Click on any of the lectures you're interested in below and download :)

Durkheim?s Division of Labor ? Organizing Elements

Durkheim: Two Forms of Law and Their Moral Orientations

Durkheim: Status to Contract Revisited

Durkheim: Modern Individualism Revisited

Durkheim: Moral Individualism and Modern Society

Durkheim: The Politics of the Sociology of Morals

Durkheim and Weber; The Division of Labor

Download Lectures here

Durkheim and Weber; The Division of Labor

Lectures on Karl Marx

Please click on the lecture below for download

Marx: Towards Historical Materialism

Marx: Capitalism and Human History

Marx: State and Law in Capitalist Society (1)

Marx: State and Law in Capitalist Society (2a)

Marx: State and Law in Capitalist Society (2b)

Marx: the Rights of Man and Citizen (Instructor ran overtime. Podcast ends early)

Marx: law, power and social conflict

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lecture on Marx, Durkheim & Weber from UC Berkeley

Very great lecture on the the big 3 of sociology

Click here for the link

Here's the video on how to subscribe to the RSS

A Very Simple Essay Writing Tip: Opening paragraph

One tip I learned when writing an essay, they say, is to think like a journalist. The principle being the 5 W's and the 1 H,

1. The 5 W's and the H, I will refer to this as the 5W/1H from now on.
A) Who - Who is the story/essay about?
B) What - What happened? What's your point, etc.
C) Where - Where is it happening.
D) When - When did it happen?
E) Why - Why did it happen?
F) How - How did it happen.

So, for an essay, let's use the 5 paragraph format. In the opening paragraph, don't be coy, lay everything out on the line using the 5W/1H format, but make it a little interesting.

For example, let's look at the "Who"
Most beginning writers would say, "Marx was a sociological economist that believed the workers were not getting the fair value of their work and were being exploited."

Let's jazz it up a little bit :)
During the industrial revolution, it was a time of rapid sociological change. Gone are the days of the feudal lords, who owned land and gave penance to the share croppers. Factories were being built and a new labor system was being born. Karl Marx saw these changes and saw the inequities and the conflict of the classes.

If you look at the prior paragraph, I have answered the when, where, and the what question along with the who. This is a starting point, in which you can start to practice your opening paragraph.

One more note: For SAT essays (in the US), the average time a grader reads an essay is 60 to 75 seconds, SECONDS!!!! not MINUTES, a school here in South Korea asked me to give a SAT writing workshop once. My advice to them: Make the opening paragraph great. The 1st & last line of each paragraph great!!!!

Now, this is college level and I don't know how much time they spend per paper, but a lot of this made hold water for our essays also.

Another tip. If the time for essays are 2 hours and 30 minutes for example, then we should practice for 2 hours 20 min, then 2:10, then 2:00. Once we become proficient at 2 hours, then that extra 30 minutes will seem like a lifetime.

Hope this helped :)

I will post more on the body at a future date :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Gidden’s Sociology Chapter 1 Notes

The first question we have to answer:


What is sociology? Sociology may be generally defined as the study of the social relationships. Sociologists explore different forms of social institutions, the relationships between them and how individuals experience them. SG, pg 19


Comte: He was credited with coining the term "Sociology."

  1. He believed society conforms to invariable laws the same way the physical world does.
  2. Positivism: Holds that science should be concerned only with observable entities that are known directly to experience.
  3. Comte's Law of Three Stages:
    1. Theological: Guided by religious ideas & belief that society was an expression of God's will.
    2. Metaphysical: Society seen in natural not supernatural means.
    3. Positive: Encouragement of scientific techniques to the social world.


Durkheim: Came after Comte, thought Comte's work was too vague and speculative.

  1. Believed social life must be studied with the same objectivity as natural sciences in an empirical matter.
  2. His three main themes of sociology:
    1. The importance of sociology as an empirical science.


  1. The formation of a new social order: The concept of solidarity (moral & social) was born from this concept. He believed solidarity is maintained when individuals are successfully integrated into social groups and are regulated by a set of shared values and customs.


  1. Character of moral authority in society.


  1. Division of Labor in Society: The growth of distinctions between different occupations.
    1. Mechanical solidarity: He believed traditional cultures with a low division of labor are united this way. This is a bonding of society by common occupation experience and shared beliefs (by sharing the same occupation). In other words, they are bound together by common experience and shared beliefs.
    2. Organic Solidarity: Society being held together by economic interdependence, and their recognition of the importance of other's contributions.
    3. Anomie: Durkheim linked anomie to the new organic solidarity, it provoked feelings of aimlessness, worthlessness to individuals in changing societies.
    4. Suicide – should we discuss???



  1. Couldn't read his section from Google Books, they left out page 15, 16



  1. In a nutshell, he believed ideas, values and beliefs shaped a society.
  2. Father of the "Rationalization" concept – the organization of social and economic life according to the principles of efficiency and on the basis of technical knowledge (perhaps this is the precursor to economic principles???)


Weber seemed pretty straightforward, for those of you that read the Secret, the book seems to echo a lot of his teachings :)


Modern Approaches:


  1. Functional: Emphasizes the importance of the MORAL CONSENSUS in maintaining order and stability in society. Durkheim believed religion contributes to the sharing of the same core values contributing to the maintenance of social cohesion.


    Merton: Created a new version of functionalism

    1. Manifest Functions: Basically activities where the participants willingly and knowingly participate (textbook def. too smart for its own good)
    2. Latent Functions: Unknown consequences to the participants.
    3. Dysfunctions: Things or conflicts that rock the societal boat.

    Limits of Functionalism: Divisions or inequalities of society based on class, race and gender are minimized.

  2. The Conflict Approach: Highlight the importance of division in society. Focus on power, inequality and struggle. Fight for power amongst various groups ala Marxism or ala Weber (strange because I thought Hegel was the conflict/resolution sociologist, let me know what you guys think?)
  3. Symoblic Interactionism: Mead argued that people's selves are social products, but that these selves are also purposive and creative.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Globalization and the Economic Downturn

Video Link

Lecture Description:
Globalization is for the first time being hit by a global economic hard landing. What happens to globalization in the process? What should one expect to see when it comes to a recovery? How do companies and national economies have to change their management styles in hard times? Professor Thurow puts the events of September 11 into perspective and discusses economic storms, the "shape" of recessions, the herd mentality and more in this IAP event.

Ending Global Poverty

Lecture Link

Lecture Description:
Imagine a bank that loans money based on a borrower’s desperate circumstances -- where, as Muhammad Yunus says, “the less you have, the higher priority you have.” Turning banking convention on its head has accomplished a world of good for millions of impoverished Bangladeshis, as the pioneering economist Yunus has demonstrated in the last three decades. What began as a modest academic experiment has become a personal crusade to end poverty. Yunus reminds us that for two-thirds of the world’s population, “financial institutions do not exist.” Yet, “we’ve created a world which goes around with money. If you don’t have the first dollar, you can’t catch the next dollar.” It was Yunus’ notion, in the face of harsh skepticism, to give the poorest of the poor their first dollar so they could become self-supporting. “We’re not talking about people who don’t know what to do with their lives….They’re as good, enterprising, as smart as anybody else.” His Grameen Bank spread from village to village as a lender of tiny amounts of money (microcredit), primarily to women. Yunus heard that “all women can do is raise chickens, or cows or make baskets. I said, ‘Don’t underestimate the talent of human beings.’ ” No collateral is required, nor paperwork—just an effort to make good and pay back the loan. Now the bank boasts 5 million borrowers, receiving half a billion dollars a year. It has branched out into student loans, health care coverage, and into other countries. Grameen has even created a mobile phone company to bring cell phones to Bangladeshi villages. Yunus envisions microcredit building a society where even poor people can open “the gift they have inside of them.”

Global Poverty

Another great resource, sociology or economics? You decide, please leave comments and let me know :)

Global Poverty: How Demanding Are Our Obligations?

Video Lecture Link

Lecture Description:
Peter Singer walks listeners through one of his most provocative philosophical arguments -- that affluent individuals must acknowledge their moral obligation to relieve the unnecessary death and suffering of the poor. His sinuous reasoning starts with the simple case of a bystander coming upon a child drowning in a pond with no one else around. Should the bystander leave the child to drown, or must he stay and save the child? Most people intuitively recognize a duty to rescue the child. Singer argues from analogy that there is “no morally relevant difference between the drowning child situation and the situation of the affluent with regard to children dying of avoidable poverty related causes.”

Video Lecture on Globalization from MIT

Honestly I don't know if this should fall under economics or sociology but here goes:

Making Globalization Work for All

Video Lecture at MIT

Lecture Description:
A decade’s-worth of high-profile efforts to change sweatshop conditions in overseas apparel factories hasn’t worked. Hannah Jones describes Nike’s dismay following in-depth research at its overseas facilities, where the corporation had attempted to implement codes of conduct and compliance monitoring. The corporation made “some stark realizations,” acknowledging such systemic issues as excessive overtime, unpaid wages, worker harassment and denial of workers’ rights to associate freely. Real remediation of the problem, says Jones, must deal with root causes. “There’s no point in Nike having 96 monitors on a factory floor day in and day out monitoring overtime, if overtime is being caused way up the supply chain.” So Nike is scrutinizing its own behavior as a buyer. We must “incentivize suppliers to become part of business decision-making,” she says, and convince them that creating efficiencies in a volatile market doesn’t mean “squeezing labor costs” but “squeezing time to market.” The worker “is central to that,” and better-trained factory managers may be key.

Scott Nova agrees that major U.S. garment retailers must take corporate responsibility to heart. The pressure on foreign suppliers hasn’t succeeded, he says, because “factory managers conclude correctly that if the brands were truly serious about improved working conditions, they would pay enough to make it possible for those conditions to be achieved.” Instead, factories compete to pick up cheap contracts, pressure their workers to toil for pennies, and use “fakery and deception when customers send auditors to inspect labor conditions.” But there is good news, he says: “The economics of apparel production are such that the problem could be fixed.” Since labor costs are a minute percentage of the retail price of apparel, a tiny increase in the cost of a product passed along to a consumer could enable “brands to pay factories to reflect the true costs of compliance—living wages for workers.”

For Essay Writing, very Help ful book

This is the Oxford Essential Guide to Writing, Downloadable pdf :)

Guide to Writing

Fucher Sociology Chapter 1 & 2 online

Mad props goes to Kimi for this. Thank you, hope you have more :) Anyways here are the links

Chapter 1

Chapter 2:

If you'd like the pdf please email me and I'll send it to you

An outline summary of Berger's Invitaiton to Sociology

Some professor put this up, I guess it's the super easy Cliff's Notes version of Berger's philosophy of sociology outlined here:

The Outline Summary

Invitation to Sociology Chapter 1 available here

Downloadable pdf of Chapter 1 is here

Invitation To Sociology Chapter 1

Take advantage of RSS/XML Technolog video

The Sociological Imagination Chapter 1 Online

For those of us who don't have the textbook yet, here's the first chapter of The Sociological Imagination

Chapter 1

I will make a recording of this soon

Chapter 1, Let's ask ourselves some of these questions and let's hear what you think

1. What is sociology? A one sentence answer.
2. Why do children from lower class or working class backgrounds have more problems at school and leave with fewer qualifications?
3. Sociological significance of drinking coffee (from the textbook)
a) Why do people get together for coffee where you're from?
b) Who do you meet for coffee, why?
c) Which coffee shop do you normally frequent or meet at, why?
4. Why is the difference between sociology and common sense?
5. The SG suggests crime is socially defined (page 20, I think), do you agree with this, why or why not?

*NOTE #2: Anomie is mentioned in both the text (Gidden's Sociology) and in the SG, I think we should note this. Also rationalisation, Marx, Weber, and Berger (Invitation to Sociology), I think we should really remember what the SG has to say about these guys