The importance of work in modern industrial societies (Marx and Weber theories)
The importance of work in modern industrial societies is well-established within classical and contemporary sociological theory. In different ways, Marx and Weber linked work to the social changes attending capitalism. In Weber’s analysis,hard work was a means of salvation whereas Marx saw the potential of work for meaningful self expression. By the 1970′s, American sociologist, Peter Berger, was writing about "The Problem of Work", suggesting that for most of us work was no longer meaningful. Even more recently, Ulrich Beck (2000) proclaimed the ‘end of work’. Discuss this statement and the significance of work in sociological theory. You need to ground your answer in a detailed account of the theoretical accounts of work we have considered in this course (Sociological Theory), showing the links between these accounts and the broader theory of each.
This essay question require a comparison between the classical and contemporary theorists and their theories. The essay require you to engage directly with the ideas of the theorists. That means that you will need to base the exposition or outline of the theories on their original works, wherever possible. You are also encouraged to conduct your own research ( not only refers to the readings), and include other relevant sociological sources in making your argument. In this subject it is very important to demonstrate your knowledge of the actual theories and surrounding debates.
Suggested sources: ( PLEASE DO NOT USE ONLINE SOURCES ONLY SCHOLARS ONES. WE HAVE A VERY STRICT PLAGIARISM SYSTEM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY)
1)Calhoun, C., et.al. (2012)
Classical Sociological Theory
Blackwell;Calhoun, C.. et. al.(2012)
Oxford: Wiley Blackwell
.and Stepnisky, j.(2013)
McGraw Hill, New York
theory and social capital
The Sociological Theory of
Karl Marx developed a complex approach to the analysis of capitalist modernity.
Marx’s theory was genuinely critical. It sought to determine the tendencies within
capitalist society that would generate crises and to contribute to the self-understanding of the class that could, in his opinion, end social relations of oppression. Marx believed
that capitalism was an unjust and exploitative system of production, founded on the alienation of workers and products. Marx’s social theory has been extremely influential,remaining a point of reference for contemporary discussions of ideology, class and globalization. Marx’s theory is founded on a distinctive understanding of human capacities and human potential. He contended that the social processes of material production are central to the reproduction of society and that major historical changes
in social structures can be traced to alterations in the system of production. For example, the change from a feudal social structure to a capitalist social structure is related to alterations in the ownership of property and changes in the means of producing, and hence also the conditions of work. In Marx’s opinion, the struggle between classes is a dynamic feature of capitalist society, class conflict being a common thread
throughout human history. Ideological systems of belief and the oppressive organisation of social activities have veiled and disguised the antagonism
between social classes. A critical theory, like that initiated by Marx, seeks to undermine these ideologies and contribute to the just transformation of society.
Ritzer G. and Stepnisky, j. (2013)
McGraw Hill, New York (Chapter on Marx, including biographical sketch, look especially at sections on human
potential, labour and alienation).
Marx, Karl ( 2012) Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, in Calhoun etal. Classical Sociological Theory,Wiley/Blackwell, pp. 146-155 Chinoy, Elly (1964) Manning the Machines The Assembly-Line Worker in Berger,
Peter L. The Human Shape of Work Gateway Editions, Indiana
Collins, Randall (1994) “The Conflict Tradition”
(chapter one) in Four Sociological
Traditions,Oxford University Press, New York
(placed in reserve)8 Marx, Karl ( 2012) Manifesto of the Communist Party, in Calhoun et al. Classical Sociological Theory,Wiley/Blackwell, pp. 156-171.
Ritzer G. and Stepnisky, j. (2013) Sociological Theory (ninth edition) McGraw Hill, New York (Chapter on Weber, including biographical sketch, look especially at sections on bureaucracy, rationalisation and The Protestant Ethic)
Weber, M.( 2012)
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism in Calhoun et al. Classical Sociological Theory,Wiley/Blackwell, especially from p.295from “That being said..” down to p.298 “as only a material possession..”;Weber, M. ( 2012)
Bureaucracy in Calhoun et al.
Wiley/Blackwell, pp 328-338(especially pp. 333-338)
Berger, P. (1964) “Some General Observations on the problem of work”(chapter 6)The Human Shape of Work, Gateway Editions, Southbend, Indiana pp. 211-241.Also
relevant Ritzer, G. (2000)
The McDonaldization of society.
Thousand Oaks, Calif., Pine Forge
Economic Rationalism and the Contest for Civil Society,Thesis
Eleven 44: pp. 69-86