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Classical Sociological Theory

09/11/2012

Sociologys original question: What was the cause of the 1789 French Revolution?
Delacroix Liberty on the barricades
What is the transformation of modernity?
o What changed and why?
4 answers:
religious secularism
[De Bonald, De Maistre, Comte, Durkheim]
religion in the Old Regime:
o divine right of Kings; consecration of King by
church
o state enforces religious monopoly; punishes
heretics
o church holds property as feudal lord
o religion monopolizes education
o the attack on religion:
Voltaire fl. 174070
Jean-Jacques Rousseau fl. 1755-70
o Upper-class cynicism and scandal:
Choderlos de Laclos 1782 Les liasons
dangereuse
Marquis de Sade novels publ. 17911800
Irreligiousness:
Lemarck 1807 evolutionary theory
(inheritance of acquired characteristics)
Leplaces reply to Napoleon: I Have no
need for that hypothesis [i.e. God]
Famous astronomer
Produced mathematical theory of
the universe

Timeline:
o 1789 financial crisis of monarchy from war
debts
May 5 Estates General called
(3 Estates: Clergy, Nobility, Third
Estate)
June 17 3rd Estate declares itself
National Assembly
June 23 clergy votes to join 3rd Estate
July 9 liberal nobility joins
July 14 attack on Bastille fortress
August 4 abolition of feudal aristocracy
and seigniorial dues
August 26 Declaration of Rights of Man:
liberty, security, property, resistance to
oppression
o 1790 nobles begin to emigrate from France
July Nov. clergy become civil
servants; to be elected by people
o 1791 Pope and King reject laws on clergy
June 20 royal family tries to escape;
arrested and returned to Paris
Nov. decree demanding noble emigrs
return; decree punishing recalcitrant
clergy; King vetoes
o 1792 emigr nobility supported by aristocratic
alliance in Austria, Prussia, England, Russia
etc.
April war with Austria and Prussia;
King accused of treason
August 10 Paris insurrection attacks
palace, massacres guards, imprisons
royal family
Aug 17 special criminal tribunal created
Aug. 26 decrees deporting refractory
clergy
Sept. 2-5 massacres of clergy and
nobles in prisons
o 1793

1794

Jan. 15-19 vote Louis XIV guilty of


conspiracy vs. liberty
Jan. 21 royal family executed on
guillotine
Fed/March English military
intervention in France
June Paris sans-culottes take over
Assembly; declare equality of property;
dechristianization
July Committee of Public Safety takes
power; Robespierre, Saint-Just, et al.

Feb. Saint-Just proposes death to


factions which split Revolution
April Reign of Terror: moderates
guillotined
May/June: establish Festival of Supreme
Being; new calendar (year 1= 1792)
July 27-28 Robespierre et al. declared
obstructions of Revolution, executed on
guillotine
o 1796-97 Napoleons victories in Italy
o 1799 Napoleons coup detat
o 1801 restoration of Christianity
o 1804 Napoleon made hereditary Emperor by
plebiscite
o 1815 Napoleon finally defeated by English and
Germans; restoration of monarchy
More French revolutions
o 1830 (limited monarchy)
o 1848 (Second Republic)
o 1871 (Third Republic)
o 1944 (Fourth Republic)
o 1958 (Fifth Republic)
Conservative defenses of religion and monarch:
o Vicomte de Bonald, emigr in Germany from
Revol. 1796 Thorie du pouvoir politique et
religieux
Religion acts as protection from anarchy

Politics isnt the basic ground for


everything
o Comte Joseph de Maistre, exiled since 1792.
Du Pape [Papal theocracy as only protection
from anarchy]
Modern substitutes for Christianity:
o Comte de Saint-Simon,
1823 Catchisme des instustriels
1825 Nouveau christianisme
Let rational scientists run things
o Auguste Comte,
1830-42 Philosophie positive
1852 Catchisme positiviste, ou
sommaire exposition de la religion
universelle
Comtes stages of history:
theological
industrial technocracy replacing aristocracy
scientists replace hereditary privilege
o [Saint-Simons answer]
capitalism replacing feudalism
o [Marxs answer]
bureaucracy
[Tocqueville, Webers answer]
democracy/mass politics
[all]

Before Rev. painting


o Old aristocracy
o Louis XVI
Sans-culottes = working class/lower class
Cardinal Richelieu prime minister during

Ridicule 1996
Marriage or Nun as option for women
Insulting god resulted in political punishment
Science vs. Religion
Science lacked funding
Hobby of the rich
Sexual Morality
Accepted
Marriage for status
Aristocracy= rule by aristocrats
Aristos= best
Kratia= power
Democracy= rule by the people
Demos= people
Bureaucracy= rule by officials
Bureau= writing desk
Those who write; keep records/files
Formal rules and regulations
Impersonal; not personal rule by individuals or families
Key characteristic of modernity
Medieval feudalism
Personal dependency

Landed aristocrats living on manors, with servants and serfs


Patrimonial organization (Webers term)
o i.e. fortified households
pan-European institutions
multiplicity of powers
collegial assemblies/corporations
local control
elections [though limited voting franchise]
i.e. contrary to vertical and centralized control by bureaucracy

Depicted in the film:


decay of feudalism especially in France
o peasants are no longer serfs; buy land, big estates break up
o nobles gradually impoverished
o middle class richer
o nobles move to Paris; rich peasants move to towns
rise of bureaucracy
o central govt. administration
o conseil du roi (royal council), headed by Controller-General
indendants (MC background, appointed and dismissable at will)
o sub-deputies control all rural and municipal affairs
o control almost all collecting and spending of money
o decides yearly taxes
o public works, roads

o
o

welfare for the poor


mounted police maintain law and order

nobility withdraws from local administration


unlike Germany, Austria, England, etc.
retains control only of judiciary (parlements): minor power to obstruct central government
[pg. 59 becomes demagogic body]
three-way struggle
the radicals, aristocrats, bureaucrats

upper class

King

Chur
ch
conservativ

vs

people

Bureaucrac
y
(Indtendant
s)

aristocra
cy
conservativ
Bourgeo
is

Peasant
s

symbolic vestiges of feudalism


nobles retain vestiges of feudal rights and privileges:
exemption from taxation, corve labor, conscription to militia
minor annoying local fees on fairs, markets, monopoly on hunting
monopoly of mills, wine-presses, etc; impost on land transfers

nobles retain higher ranks in army and navy;


[pg. 36] the showy kind of activities that impress
exclusive prerogatives at court of King

why revolution in France and not England?


o nobles become caste, excluding intermarriage
o [cf. to England; p. 88 barriers ill-defined]
o [p. 83 history of word gentleman]
exclusivity of gentleman in France, widens in America
history of democracy itself

similar prerogatives of municipal and provincial assemblies, judicial parlements


o multiplicity of status distinctions jealously guarded

municipal rights to election periodically abolished,

o
o
o
o

then reinstituted as purchased right


only shadow of power, all action under discretion of Intendant
sale of offices: govt. expedient for fund-raising; easier than imposing tax
reforms
undermines govt. control of own officials

nobility gradually impoverished:


o loss of land sold to peasants
o costs of status display at cour

tax exemptions are mark of status group identity and prestige


o not so much material advantage; whereas peasants, commoners hide wealth
to avoid taxes
o symbolic issue of taxes

efforts at reform
govt. allows general criticism by intellectuals
o (not specific political opposition)
reformers all wish to use strong central power; uniformity; equality:
o Enlightened Absolutism
Enlightened despot
Ideal of socialism expressed mid-18c
The attack on established religion [Part III. Ch. 2; cf. Part I ch. 3]
Why the intellectuals were vehemently anti-religious; [pg. 151-2 etc.]
Church is part of government in closest contact with everyday life

Intellectuals battle over censorship;


o Petty persecutions, legal cases
[153: total freedom of the press not so injurious to Church as half measures
why aristocracy was anti-religious before 1789, not after revolution [154]
why French revolution was unique among previous religious or political revolutions
[157]

economic crisis did not cause revolution


Revolution occurred in decades of rising prosperity (1760 ff), and in most prosperous
regions
most old-fashioned regions (lower Loire, Brittany) revolted against Revolution
theory of rising expectations [176-7]
Reform from above
aristocracy, officials, King, educated bourgeoisie, all denounce injustice and
exploitation
[p. 142 talked lightheartedly of the absurdity of all the old French customs
entertaining jeux desprit]
[p. 182: King will not tolerate exploitation of one class of his subjects by another]
King regarded aristocracy as his worst enemy; takes side of people
Govt. incites poor; 1788 asks for list of abuses
Attempts to reform mobilize opposition
1776 King attempts to abolish corve laborblocked
1778 King attempts to centralize judiciary, free access to justiceblocked

1787 provincial assemblies empowered to take local initiative; gridlock of


administrative power vs. Indendants
1788 short-run crisis [179, 193-4]: govt. fiscal crisis implicates large number of
persons economically dependent on state;
o turns all classes vs. govt.
o all classes call for radical change

Tocqueville is precursor to modern theory (Theda Skocpol, Michael Mann, Charles Tilly)
of state penetration into society
Revolution starts with aristocratic opposition to state penetration;
Manage to overthrow King
But bureaucrats win out
Revolution furthers state penetration

CLASS CONFLICT THEORY


Marx and Engels: The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class
struggles.
French Revolution = rising bourgeoisie overthrowing feudal aristocracy
o Struggle between two classes
Marxian theory includes:
a. Theory of class formation
b. Theory of class mobilization
o Social movement theory
Examples: labor movements, feminist movement, etc.
o What makes a movement grow?
Both positive and negative
c. Theory of ideology

Sociology of culture
Culture is socially produced
Doesnt just happen because of the ideas themselves, come from the
social organization that produces it
d. Theory of historical change
o Changes in modes of production
Most controversial
o Revolutions
Elections affirm the status quo, arent big political acts
How much remains valid today?
o

What is social class?


Rich vs. poor?
High vs. low prestige [status]?

Marxs historical materialism


o Economic determinism
o Human survival is produced by labor
o Property = appropriation of the products of labor
o Material means of production = tools, land, materials, factories, etc.
o Class = relationship of people to means of production
o 2 main classes:
property owners [owners of means of production]
non-owners

in capitalist society:
capitalists
workers (proletariat esp. factory workers)
two kinds of factory workers:
o handcraft
o machine assembly line
intermediate classes:
petit bourgeois (small businesses; self-employed labor)
[middle and lower-middle class]
lumpenproletariat (rags-proletariat) (i.e. lower class,
below working classbeggars, thieves)

in feudal society:
land owners (aristocrats)
peasants (farm workers)
intermediate:
bourgeoisie (town dwellers)

theory of class mobilization


o consequences:
politics is normally controlled by the property-owning class
Why?
property owners are usually better mobilized than
workers
material means of mobilization:
o transportation and communication
not mere numbersmajority of
peasants didnt rule, because
immobilized like potatoes in a sack
(Marx, Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis
Bonaparte)

organization:
based on money/fund-raising

Marx and Engels: capitalism creates its own grave-diggers


o Creates transportation and communication (shipping, railroads, telegraph,
etc.)
o Factories bring workers together in large numbers, where they can become
organization

Social organization creates class consciousness

Class consciousness + economic grievances class conflict

Weapons are not effective without organization; and without material means to
support
o Soldiers/police
Weapons without extensive organization = more sporadic terrorism

What is the class position of the white collar middle class?


o Social organization creates class consciousness
The upper class is better organized, and more class conscious than
the working class

Marxian economic theory


Capitalist competition
o labor-saving technology
Increased production or increased unemployment
unsold product

falling prices and profits


o business failures increased monopoly
o failed capitalists fall into ranks of labor
huge industrial monopoly,
overproduction, unemployment (also
comes from increased monopoly
organization and mobilization of
workers
revolutionary political crisis;
overthrow of private property

2 kinds of factory workers


o Hand-tools
o Machine tenders

Viewed men and women as same in economic field

Schaunpeter

Long term perspective

Marx-Engelshistorical types of modes of production and classes


o Primitive communism none
o Slave-owning slave-owners (partricians), proletarians, slaves
o Feudal military aristocrats (land owners), bourgeoisie, peasasnts/serfs
o Capitalist capitalists, petit bourgeois, workers, lumpenproletariat
o Socialist none
o Get from one to the other through revolution

Contemporary historical sociology


o Hunting-and-gathering tribes, horticultural tribes
o Agrarian-coercive
o Industrial
o Post-industrial? [ITinformation technology]
Marx missed the idea of government intervention

Class conflict still exists but without revolution


Frederick Engels, theory of sexual stratification
The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, 1884.
Engels terminology (contemporary terms in parentheses)
o savagery (hunting-and-gathering)
sometimes referred to as stone age societies
o barbarism
lower (horticultural)
e.g. Polynesia (Gauguin)
revolution about sex
higher (agrarian)
o civilization (rise of state, cities, aristocracy)
o bourgeois (modern, industrial)

Household

o Collective economy
Kinship
o Sexual roles, children
Engels family stages (not entirely accurate)
o Group marriage
Collective household or campsite (e.g. Iroquois long house)
No prohibitions or few sexual prohibitions on partners
o Sibling incest taboo
Split into separate family/households
Must find sexual/marriage partners outside local family
Levi-Strauss 1949
o Pairing family
Serial monogamy within group
Still living in collective economy
o Stages 1-3: mother right [Mutterrecht]
i.e. matrilineal kinship; descent and inheritance in female line
not matriarchy
[in fact, tribal societies
High status of women;
Because women produce most of economy in gathering and
horticultural
the communistic household, in which most or all of the women
belong to one and the same gens [clan], is the material
foundation of that supremacy of women which was general in
primitive times The lady of civilization, surrounded by false
homage and estranged from all real work, has an infinitely
lower social position than the hard-working women of
barbarism. [Engels 113-14]
o monogamous family
private property: sexual property and household property

property = social relationship among


what is owned (thing, action, etc.)
owner
non-owners
society as enforcer
sexual property = rights to exclusive sexual access
variation of sexual property:
polyandry
o many men
polygyny
o many women
monogamy
o more characteristic of modern societies
unilateral sexual property
bilateral sexual property
emphasis on undisputed paternity and line of inheritance
monogamy (especially enforced for women)
adultery allowed for males
i.e. unilateral sexual property
varieties: female slaves; harems; mistresses, prostitutes, extramarital affairs
caused by economic change: growth in surplus wealth in agrarian
societies
to whom does the new wealth now belong?
Male appropriation of property in agriculture, trade,
warfare
Slavery appears at the same time

In low-surplus tribal economics, captives were killed or


adopted
Now they are kept or traded as slaves/servants/workers
State appears at same historical time
Engels [120-121]
Overthrow of mother right was the world
Engels [128-129]
Monogamous marriage comes on the scene as the
The first class opposition that appears in history
Even in period of modern marriage market (individually negotiated
rather than family-arranged marriages), marriages generally take
place within same social class; economic restriction on partners
mariagge is conditioned by the class position of the parties
turns often enough into the crassest prostitution
[134-35]
At least in the possessing classes today, the husband is obliged
within the family he is the bourgeois, and the wife represents the
proletariat [137]
economic view of the family
modern individual sex love
reciprocal love of partners in bourgeois society occurred mainly in
adultery; but will become general when equality occurs.
i.e. bilateral sexual property, including emotion bond or emotional
property
will appear in future [after 1884] with the growth of economic equality,
i.e. the abolition of property in the socialist revolution

did sexual and gender equality occur in the


can engels theory explain the sexual revolution of the late 20th century?
i.e. in western capitalist societies

two major changes:


rise in womens work/careers in UMC/MC jobs (mostly since 1950)
shift in sexual relationships
o dating: short term marriage market, not controlled by parents/elder generation
(since 1920s)
o partying/clubbing (often by same-sex groups) (1970s ff.)
shift from predominance of formal marriage i.e legal joint property
o high divorce (since 1950s)
short term serial monogamy (since 1970s)
o cohabitation; hookups
o
Get notes
Nietzsche
Nietzsche regarded the two kinds of Greek gods as representing two phases in the
history of morality
A trend later intensified by Christianity
Earlier and later group
Nietzsches interpretation of the social history of morality:
Hero-morality of Greeks:
o Good and bad = elite, nobles, dominants vs. low class, subordinate
o Uses linguistic evidence [genealogy of morals, pp. 162-4]
Slave morality of Christianity:

Resent by the lower classes;


o Morality becomes repressing bodily drives, self-sacrifice, humility
o Compensated by rewards after death and punishment of worldly dominants
(compare Hades and Hell)
Original sin [1150]
Christianity is the cult of the cross
The cult of salvation through suffering
St. Peter crucified upside down [1450 painting]
Heaven in spiritual bliss, not physical pleasure

But although human drives are repressed, they express themselves in an unconscious
manner
What Freud called return of the repressed
Nietzsche regarded the basic instinct as the will to power
St. Bernard and the Devil [1100s A.D.]
St. Teresa of Avila [ca. 1550 Spain]
Nietzsches prediction of the future:
God is dead churches are tombs
but rational, secularized Europeans remain inheritors of the slave morality
o continue to be emotionally and sexually repressed
o altruistic governments, social reform movements continue Christian morality
in secular form

future evolution of morality?


o Return to Greek morality
o re-evaluation of all values

theory

UbermenschSuperman completely unrepressed

Nietzsche as a Freudian problem


1887
health rest in Sils Maria, Switzerland; (became San Moritz ski resort)
Nietzsche also lived in Italy
secondary gain from illness?
Nietzsches mental breakdown (1889, age 44)
o No longer speaks, writes, or understands
o
Theory of revolutionsFrom Marx to Weber to contemporary Neo-Weberian

Revolution in the theory of revolution: state breakdown theory


o Theda Skocpol (1979)
o Jack Goldstone (1991)
o Charles Tilly (1978

Classical theory of revolution:


o Popular discontent
o Rising social class from below
o Changing economic system; Economic crisis
o

E.g. Feudalism Capitalism Socialism

State-centered theory
o State economic interest in its own right
o Government needs economic resources, especially taxes
o Main expense in rise of modern state = military
o

State-centered theory of revolution:


Growth of tax extraction and state penetration creates resistance
States chronically need money; periodic financial crises
Wars or war debts/costs bring revolutionary situations

Military revolution
o Began ca. 1500
o Series of increases in size and expense of military forces
Standing armies (instead of feudal)
1400s: medieval armies usually 5-10,000 troops max
Battle of Naseby, English Civil War, 1645
Bigger battles
Gunpowder, artillery
Infantry drill18th c.; armies 40,000+
More logistics (supply trains)
tooth to tail
Growth of military-centered, tax-extracting, society-penetrating state
AKA military-fiscal theory of modern state
States expand tax-collection apparatus; growth of bureaucracy

State penetration into society


o Inscribing population in state records
o Military conscription; later, public education, health, welfare
o Breaks down autonomous patrimonial households
o State promotes roads, canals, transportation and communication
infrastructure
o First for military, then for economic base
o State bureaucracy initially for military;
o Later, social groups (classes, status groups, social movements) struggle to
control state for their own purposes

Revolution begins with state breakdown


o 3 ingredients:
1. Fiscal crisis of state
2. Split into Elite
3. Popular discontent arising from below
a. But successful only when state breakdown creates opportunity
b. State centralization creates conditions for mobilizing protest
movements towards national arena

Some major revolutions:


o English revolution 1640
War debts; ship money; war w. Scotland
Was the English Revolution caused by religious conflict?
Only as part of the ideological protest
Religious conflict had been going on for over 100 years

o
o

French Revolution 1789


War debts
Smaller revolutions also happened in France (1830 constitutional
monarchy)
1848 (overthrow of monarchy; Second Republicled to the coup
dtat of Napoleon)
Russian revolution 1917
WWI defeat
Soviet revolution 1989-91
Cold War budget strain

Jack Goldstone, Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World (1991)

Wasnt just the work of one person

Max Weber: Three-dimensional stratification and conflict


Class, status, and power
Class
o Class = same as Marxproperty and lack of property = position in market
o Weber agrees that history is driven by conflict
o State = organization, monopoly, legitimate force, territory

Status group
o Prestige, honor or lack of honor
o Lifestyle

Associational community
Commensality [eating together]
Connubiality [intermarrying]
Hence sociability and sex are always boundary-creating
Marriage market [assortative mating]individual choices constrained
by other individual choices
Match-ups in couples with approx. equal
resources/attractiveness
[match-ups w. unequal resources personal power difference
e.g. who loves who more]
Friendship markets resemble marriage markets, but more matches at
a time tendency to homophily
Micro-mechanisms by which this happens:
Close friendships: serious discussions of personal
matters = similar backstage position in social structure
Fun, pleasure, enjoyment = similar standards and
tastes
o Goffman: spontaneous unselfconscious
involvement
Ability to carry on conversation
o Similar cultural capital [Bourdieu]
o Gossip/stories about acquaintances
Depends on network ties

Status group always has a name and identity; whereas classes are just
statistical categories, not necessarily conscious of themselves and others

Strong and weak status groups


Vary by how strong boundaries and identities are
Among class-based status groups, upper class has strongest status
group identity
Many institutions for association, intermarriage [clubs,
debutantes, written records, charities]
Middle class and working class may have weak status group identities
(especially in contemporary US)

Unless based on strong residential location/segregation, local


group customs/activities (vs. mass culture)
Or distinct ethnic/racial/religious status groups
Network structure:
High density ------------------------ low density
Number of actual ties
---------------------------- number of potential ties

Various ways status groups can be formed:


Economic groups:
E.g. old money vs. new money (nouveau riche)
Race/ethnic/religious groups
Lifestyle groups inside closed community
E.g. high school groups
Pure status
Arbitrarily created
Murray Milner, Freaks, Geeks, and Cool Kids:
American Teenagers and the Culture of Consumption
(2004)
o Pure status structure = widely publicized
rankings
goldfish bowl
o autonomous from external structures [parents,
teachers]
o non-autonomy low status
o High status persons guard internal rankings and
external boundaries

Total institutions (Goffman):

Prisons, asylums, convents, boot camps, boarding schools


Staff vs. inmate inmate code
= internal status group hierarchy
continuum of totalness of institutions
the less total the institution, the weaker the status group
structure
high school is more of a total institution than university
urban commuter school is less of a total institution than
isolated college town
work situations vary in totalness of institution

MIDTERM
Many small questions
Covers both lectures and readings
o Including facts about the French revolution
Content of the theories
Attribute quotes to theorists and vice versa
Relationships between classical and more contemporary theories
o Modern theories about revolution

Mostly M/C or T/Fs


Short answer questions, no essay
Summaries of the different theories
61 questions (most are one point each)

Max Weber Power, Politics and Bureaucracy


Continuing the rational side of Weber
Webers three dimensions of stratification and conflict
o Class
o Status groups
o Power/party
Live in the house of power
Oriented towards grasping/maintaining power
Power is the end itself;
Getting into office can be based on classes or status groups,
But once in office, develops own interest
Great men in high office often follow the policy which
they attacked when in opposition. (262)
It is the nature of an heir apparent to oppose the policy
of the reigning monarch. (107)
(re. Brit. Foreign secretary Grey in new liberal govt.
1905) as often happens, when a party of the Left
takes office, he is often anxious to show that he could
be as firm and realistic as any conservative. (436)
o The Struggle for Mastery
Government departments guard the power and
prestige of their own specialty
o (Taylor, 571)
Power:
The ability to impose ones will on others, despite their
resistance
Can be based on many things:
o Controlling resources others need but lack
o Physical force
o Ideas: legitimate authority

Legitimacy
Traditional: based on the way things have always been, or
some religious beliefs
Charismatic: based on personal traits of the ruler
Rational-legal: based on laws
Each form of legitimacy has a corresponding form of
organization
Types:
Traditional patrimony (favors, patronage)
Charismatic loose, unorganized following of disciples
Rational-legal bureaucracy
Shift from traditional towards rational-legal

Bureaucracy
Formal rules and regulations
Keeping records in files
Impersonality
Separating person from position
o Important difference from patrimony, venality of
office, feudal administrators
More efficient than any other system, according to Weber,
modernly thought of to be inefficient

They are rife with conflict


Order-givers vs. order-takers
Dahrendorfs critique of Marx
o Why white-collar workers arent radical;
o Explains anomalies:

Why conflict exists inside socialism


Top authority vs. administrators
(line vs. staff)
Conflict not so much based on relationship to means of
production/position in market, but instead on
relationship to power in organizations

Organizational weapons of bureaucratic administrators


control of files, information, communications
knowledge of procedures
maneuvering through complexity
blocking opponents policies

How can we reconcile the two bureaucracies?


Bureaucracy as rational-legal organization
Bureaucracy as house of power
Both are true, just different ways of looking at the same
thing

Ideal types
o The world is complex
E.g., class, status, party
o Focus on the pure elements of one aspect:
E.g., bureaucracy ideal type
o Compare actual phenomena to ideal types

Two types of conflict in organizations

o
o
o

Between top and bottom


Between rational and irrational
E.g.:
Managers make rational rules, workers resist
Outside society imposes rational demands, managers make rational
rules for outside consumption, continue as before
E.g.: gender equality plans, environmental plans

Webers prediction of the Russian revolution


o Classes and status groups (and social movements)
Generally get subverted by power groups
They can control the state, the most powerful bureaucracy
Chief interest is maintaining and increasing power
o Webers 1905 prediction of the Russian revolution:
If the extreme left (the communists) come to power, the world will see
a bureaucratization of society such as it has never seen before.

Formal and Substantive rationality


o Formal rationality
Regulation by rules and record-keeping
o Substantive rationality
Subjective calculation from means to ends
o The difference is what makes bureaucracy so frustrating!

The iron cage reconsidered


o Because bureaucracies and rationalization is the most efficient, they will take
over the world.

Where are we now?

Decreasing bureaucratization
o The state
Outsourcing (even of force)
o Companies
Outsourcing, franchising
Flat hierarchies
Increasing importance of technical experts, professionals
E.g.: Vizio: largest seller of LCD TVs in America
Employs 50-200 people

Increasing bureaucratization
o New forms of record-keeping
Video, audio, computerized, DNA
o Police crime reporting (compstat)
o McDonalds control methods
o
Max Webers Sociology of Religion
Weber Thesis I. (1904) The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
Weber Thesis II. (1915-1920) comparative sociology of world religions determining
trajectory of each major part of world

Weber Thesis I. (1904) The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
economic ethic: the practical impulses for action which are founded in the
psychological and pragmatic contexts of religion. [267]

Social Psychology of the World Religions = (orig.) Economic Ethics of World


Religions

2 types of capitalism:
1. traditional capitalism
local markets with habitual prices
long-distance political or booty capitalism (piracy, plunder, plantations;
govt. monopolies)
2. rational capitalism
calculation of all factors of production (land, labor, capital) on open
markets
entrepreneurstakeoff into self-sustaining economic growth

Protestant Ethic provides


o Hard work as an end in itself
o Self-discipline
o Reinvesting profits in business
o Salvation through asceticism

Why not Catholics?


o (according to Weber), Catholics siphon off ascetic motivation into
monasteries; the rest of society lives by tradition

Martin Luther
o Reformation in Germany, 1517
o Abolished monasteries
o Everyone must live like a monk in the world

John Calvin
o Paris; Geneva Calvinist republic, 1541
o Self-governing churches (followers strongest in Netherlands and Scotland
(Presbyterians))
o Calvinists settled New England colonies 1620s

Webers interpretation
o Luther made work a holy calling but retained church hierarchy, liturgy
o Calvinist Puritanism; Doctrine of predestination
Psychological pressures, not knowing if you are one of the elect
(saved; Saints)
Hence became workaholics

Weber Thesis II. (1915-1920) comparative sociology of world religions determining


trajectory of each major part of world
Webers books:
o The Religion of China (Confucianism and Taoism)
o The Religion of India (Hinduism and Buddhism)
o Ancient Judaism;
Planned but not publish:
o Books on Islam
o Ancient Greece and Early Christianity
o Medieval Catholicism
The Sociology of Religion

What are world religions?


o Large size and geog. spread;

o
o

Universal recruitment (AKA universalistic religion)


Monotheisms or equivalent
Contrast to tribal religions and polytheism = local and particularistic

Philosophical breakthrough (Talcott Parsons)


o Tension between spiritual world/higher values vs. ordinary world
o Religious/psychological tension drives people to change the world, or change
themselves

Importance of world images for action:


o Not ideas, but material and ideal interests, directly govern mens conduct. Yet
very frequently the world images that have been created by ideas have, like
switchmen, determined the tracks along which action has been pushed by the
dynamics of interests. From what, and for what, one wanted to be redeemed
[i.e. salvation]{p. 280]

economic ethic
o practical impulses for actions which are founded in the psychological and
pragmatic contexts of religion [267]
each religion has a primary carrier group, the strata whose styles of life have been at
least predominantly decisive for certain religions. [268]
o (i.e. status groups,--prestige positive or negative honor, lifestyle, associational
community; in contrast to economic class situation [300-301])

o
o
o

ConfucianismHinduismBuddhism

Confucianism: the status ethic of the prebendaries [scholar-officials]

Hinduism
o Early Hinduism: Brahmins educated in the Veda, ritualistic and spiritual
advisors to communities

o
o
o

Later: non-Brahmin status group of ascetics competed with them


Medieval India: ardent sacramental religiosity of the savior, borne by lower
strata with their plebian mystagogues
Hinduism reinforced caste system, social conservatism

Buddhism: contemplative, mendicant monks who rejected the world; only these were
full members of the religious community; all others remained religious laymen of
inferior value;
o Bodhidharma, founder of Zen (Chang) Buddhism in China and Japan

Islam
o Early Islam: world-conquering warriors
o Medieval Islam: mystical Sufism under leadership of plebian technicians or
orgiastics, led to brotherhoods of petty bourgeoisie
o Islam has no priests or monks; only exemplary pious or learned laity

Diaspora Judaism: religion of civic pariah people; dominance of rabbi intellectuals

Christianity: began as religion of itinerant artisan journeymen


o Medieval Christianity: mendicant monks
Development of medieval hierarchy of Papacy

Protestant reformation sects of pietism and

Weber Thesis II. Comparative sociology of world religions determining trajectory of


each major part of the world leads to Weber Thesis I

Paths to salvationorganizationeffects on conduct


o Magicembedded in everyday lifereinforces worldly life

Tribal shaman
Modern magic; faith healing; sance
Ceremonialpriest and followersmaintains group membership; and
stratification
The Kaaba, Mecca
Asceticism
Other-worldlymonasteries, holy beggarssiphons off religious
motivation
Inner-worldlyordinary people, living in the worldtension to
transform the world
Mysticism
Other-worldlymonasteries, hermits
Inner-worldlyordinary people, living in the worldaesthetics or
altruism

Freud
The case of Anna O. [Dr. Josef Breuer, Freuds early collaborator, 1880s Vienna]
o Her symptoms: hysterial (psychosomatic illness)
o Breuer and Freud first used hypnosis; temporary cure of symptoms
o Another case (Freuds patient): hysterical symptoms cured by remembering
repressed thought: Now he is free and can marry me.
The talking cure
o AKA free association
Conscious mind
------------------------------------------Repressing force/censor
Unconscious mind

Free association is method of psychotherapy (i.e. psychoanalysis)


o Also method of research
Also investigate life circumstances of patient, especially intimate family life
Psychopathology/neurosis and normal mind differ only in degree
o I.e. quantities of emotional force; similar mental structures
o Evidence:
Dreams
Mistakes/slips in everyday life
Reality principle
Conscious
Repressing force/censor
Unconscious
Pleasure principle (impulse gratification or expression)

Freud becomes famous:


o 1900 The Interpretation of Dreams
o 1901 The Psychopathology of Everyday Life

Freudian slips
o Slips of tongue, slips of pen; misreading/mishearing
o Blocking familiar names
o Losing items repeatedly

Forgetting repeatedly

Cases of obsessional neurosis (Freud, Intro. Lectures, pp. 323-333)read Chapter


17
1. Woman in late 20s, separated from husband calling housemaid; stain on
tablecloth
2. 19-year-old girl bedtime ritual

Theory of sexual drive


o Libidoanalogous to hunger
o Evidence:
Key points in psychoanalytic cures
Repressed wishes, not just repressed memories
The family complex
o Problem: where does the repressive force come from?

Sophocles, Oedipus Rex


o Oedipus complex: small boy is jealous of father, wants to possess mother
Oedipus complex is resolved ca. age 5
By internalizing father as Superego, identification of self with moral
authority
Analogous processes for little girl

Ego, Id, and Superego

Stages of libido development:


o Oral (breast as erotic object; lips, thumb-sucking_

o
o

Auto-eroticism/primal narcissism
Anal (feces, defecation as erotic object)
Toilet training = first imposition of social control
Genital (sexual identity as male or female)
Oedipus complex (age 2-5)
Latency (age 6-puberty)
Adult sexual activity

o
o
o
Spellbound
Dream analysis
Importance of childhood in adult life
Repression
Dream itself:
o Created by Dal
o Surrealism
o Part is near your short term memory
Revolution in mental hospitals/psychologists
Drug therapy revolution
Psychoanalysis takes a long time
Generalized otherMead
Outside perspective

Emile Durkheim: Theory of social solidarity


Fundamental question of sociology: what holds society together?
Religious ritual shows basic mechanism of social solidarity
Visual
Half-way housegroup therapy techniques
o Rituals during the day, circle, holding hands, chanting
Rituals create solidarity
o Baptism
Collective effervescence carries over in aftermath of ritual; creates emotional energy
Durkheim, Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912)
studies Aborigines of central Australian desert seeks simplest society, no stratification,
no state, no intellectuals
Australian aborigine ritual danceprimitive religion is not believed, its danced
o Anti-rationalist

Religion cant be merely an illusion or mistake; or else how did it survive so long?
What do all religions have in common? Not belief, nor particularly kind of god or
spirit; beliefs dividing the world into sacred and secular (ordinary, utilitarian, banal)

Religion is action toward sacred objects


o Both positive and negative, good and evil, god and devil;
o Both kinds of sacred objects are treated with respect, as powerful and
dangerous

Tribal totem provides:


o Name of clan
o Emblem of membership
o Prohibitions on killing, harming, disrespecting human bonds with totemand
with each other
o punishments for violations of respect
o

Totem poles: NW America coasts

Source of belief:
o Religion/sacred object/God represents society
o Society awakens sense of sacred
Prior to and outlasts individual
More powerful than individual
Creates individual
Establishes moral force over individual
Raises individual out of oneself

Strength of religious sentiments are variable; rise and fall with presence of group
rituals
Tribe goes through phases in time:
o Dispersion, concentration
collective effervescence
Emblems are necessary to externalize sentiments in
o Collective representation
Need to repeat rituals periodically

Or symbols lose their meaning

Rituals create symbols


= reminders of group membership
Durkheim: sacred objects
Ritual creates and sustains membership
Secular rituals create membership in social group

Ritually constructing a human symbol


9/11 WTC site becomes symbolic property of hero elite (Nov. 2, 2001)
Ritual crowd effervescence creates charismatic leader
Violation of ritually potent symbols leads to righteous anger and violent punishment
Pro-ritual and anti-ritual social movements in contemporary society

Durkheim: The Division of Labor in Society (1893)


Earliest societies based on tradition;
Rationality and individualism come later

Tribal socs.
Ancient civilizations
Medieval religion
Rationality and individualism
o In ascendance 1700-1800s Western Europe

How explain this change sociologically?

Collective consciousness (conscience collective)


o At first is very strong,
o Later weakeror rather, more differentiated
o Evidence: compare legal codes
Ancient socs. (Jews, Greeks, Romans) emphasize punitive law
(repressive)
Punishes groups for sins of individual
Modern socs. Expand restitutive law (growth of civil law more than
penal law)

2 kinds of collective consciousness:


o Mechanical solidarity (traditional group)
o Organic solidarity (modern society)
Growth in population size and concentration causes:
o Division of labor,
o Differentiation of occupational specialties and social institutions
And hence individual differences
o Shift from dense networks to differentiated networks

Changes in social morphology


o (structural pattern of social interactions)
lead to ?????

religion changes from local/particularistic to universalistic

similar change in secular morality


collective consciousness becomes more generalized and abstract to encompass
many differences
o i.e. shift from local group solidarity to widespread altruism; wider social
identification
o local vs. cosmopolitan

Ritual density of social interaction causes strength of group solidarity, group


boundaries, group morality
o i.e. frequency and intensity of group rituals

Can we go back to traditional ritual regime?


o Todays world cultural clashdifferent ritual regimes

Comparing Freud and Durkheim


Both emphasize quantities of emotional and physical energy

Durkheim
o Focus of attention; symbolism of group
Conscious mind

Repressing force/censor
Superego; internalized morality, punishment/guilt
Unconscious mind
Sexual and aggressive drives
Ritual; emotional entrainment

Durkheim
o God is society
Freud
o God is father/superego
Durkheim
o Ritual solidarity sacred objects; morality, righteous anger for violations
Freud
o Identification with father superego, morality, righteous punishment of self

How would Durkheimian theory explain sexual and aggressive drives?


o Kinds of emotional energy generated by successful social rituals
o Not primordial drives, then repressed; but socially constructed (or socially
enhanced)

Sex is interaction ritual which succeeds or fails depending on level of emotional


entrainment
o Outcomes of sexual rituals:
Dydic solidarity
????

Freuds observations of sexual repression reflected growth of public sexuality in finde-siecle Europe
Sexual drive was being constructed, at the same time that traditional family controls
still repressed it
Traditional Freudian symptomsespecially hysteria, tend to disappear later in 20th
century as sexuality becomes more open. (more focus on mood disorders,
depression)

Freud, Nietzsche, Weber and Durkheim all see historical change in morals
o Nietzsche: Dionysian religion vs. Christianity
o Freud: primal repression by establishment of superego [cf. Engels on history
of sex]
o Weber: magical, ceremonial, and ascetic religion
o Durkheim: mechanical and organic solidarity
o
Talcott Parsons Four-Function Model
Every social entity, if it is to survive, must fulfill 4 functions:
o Adaptation
o Latent Pattern Maintenance
o Goal Attainment
o Integration

Marxian theory
Economic

Political

Cultural

Social

Weberian theory (early):


Economic Class
Takeoff of modern
capitalism

Political Power

Status, Status Group (Cultural/Social


E.g. Calvinist merchantscarriers of Protestant Ethic

Parsons:
Adaptation

Latent Pattern
Maintenance

Goal Attainment

Integration

High school status groups


Economic

Political

Nerds, Grinds

Student politicians

Cultural

Social

Theatre, band,
music scenes

Party animals

University students (and faculty)


Economic

Political

Careerists

Politicos

Cultural

Social

Intellectuals

Carousers

Small groups (Bales, Harvard 1950s)


Practical needs
administrator
Instrumental
Leader
Idea-person

Represents group to outside


Decision-maker,
spokesperson, fighter

Emotional, fun
Expressive leader

Economic

Political

Market production,
distribution, consumption
finance
Cultural

State, military, political parties,


social movement

Religion, art,
education, science, media,
entertainment

Interaction, groups, kinship,


network, organization, stratification

Social

Economic

Political

Cultural

Social
Durkheim, G. H. Mead/
symbolic interactionism, Goffman,
Freud

Economic

Political

Cultural

Social
DURKHEIM
Social rituals solidarity,
membership

Symbols, sacred
objects
Sociology of culture
Economic

Political

Cultural

Social

cultural products
(art, music, ideas)
Relative autonomy of cultural products
Economic

Cultural
cultural products
(art, music, ideas)

Cultural production
organizations

Political

Social
Cultural production
organizations

4 functional components of culture


Economic
E.g. the economics
of the art worldpatrons,
galleries, materials
Cultural
Artistic traditions,
ideologies, creations

Political
The politics of the art world

Social
Social networks of artists

Social movements
Economic
Resource
mobilization
Material base
numbers, wealth,
transport, communication,
SMO
Cultural
Movement
traditions, frames

Political
Opportunity structure, tactics

Social
Rituals, demonstrations,
emotions, networks

4 types of history
Economic
(3)

Political
(1)

Cultural
(2)

Social
(4)

4 types of religion
Magic
This-worldly; seeks
material benefits

Mysticism
Direct contact with the
Divine World-transcending
Webers exemplary
prophet
4 functions within mysticism
Economic
Economics of
monastery
Cultural
Traditions and
beliefs about mysticism

Moralism
Righteousness; combating
evil; doing good
Webers ethical prophet;
asceticism
Membership

Political
Politics of mystical movement
E.g. Franciscans vs.
Dominicans; zen factions in Japan
Social
Rituals of meditation and
mystical practices
Recognition of Enlightenment,
Sainthood

4 functions in sex
Economic
Marriage markets,
dating, hookups,
prostitution
Cultural
Romance, art,
fantasy, pornography

Political
Political regulation of sex,
sexual movements for homosexuality,
against date-rape, etc.
Social
Erotic rituals, sexual
relationships, love, passion

What is 4-function theory good for?


Not as automatic omni-functionalism, Panglossian everything-happens-for-best
functionalism
Social entities can fail
Failure is predicted by lack of one or more of the 4 functions
Practical advice: people and organizations make careers by finding niches in the 4functions of every friend and enterprise
o Conflicts tend to take place among persons in different functional boxesbut
must be resolved for success
Explanatory theory: a full theory cannot be one-sided in casual explanation
Parsonian functionalism itself was not a good causal theory; too much emphasis on
Latent Pattern Maintenance box (cultural explanation) (also differentiation theory)
One box can be leading edge in a social change; and some boxes can be stronger
than others.
This (as usual) is the task for future theory

Symbolic Interactionism
a) Theory of self
b) Theory of situationsocial construction of reality
Cooley (1900)
Looking glass self
Self is seen from other peoples perspective
Ones self is an idea; other peoples selves are ideas (for them, but also for us)
Imaginary people can be as real as real people
Society is a relation among ideas in peoples minds
o In a certain sense, branch of idealists
o Its all in your mind
o Anti-positivist position
George Herbert Mead (writings 1920s-30s; Chicago) & Herbert Blumer (writings 1940s60s; Chicago, Berkley)
Successful action is habitual, unconscious (e.g. walking);
When obstacles occur, then consciousness arises;
Planning is imaginative rehearsal

Consciousness is possible because self has parts:


o I (self as actor)
o Me (self as object)

o Generalized Other (self as audience, viewpoint of other people)


Thinking is internalized conversation among parts of the self
o Really small children cant do this because they havent developed these
parts of the self yet
o Socialized children can do this

Social interaction is taking the role of the other (role-taking)


o Made possible by projecting Generalized Other

Words/gestures have meanings for oneself


o Because they are received and acted upon by others
o Conversation is mutual role-taking

Self-development in children can be traced through stages of play


o Developed heavily by child psychologists
o Seems like a typical middle class American
o
o
o
o

Toys, make-believe
Kids around 3 years old
Games with positions
Approximately six years old
Games with rules
Rigid
Flexible creation of own rules (reflexivity about rules)

Self development in children can be traced through language:


Julia, a 30-month-old child, is in the kitchen alone while her mother is out of the
room. There is a bowl of eggs on the table. When the mother reenters the kitchen,
Julia is dropping the eggs on the floor, one after another, while saying to herself: No
no no. Musnt dood it. No no no. Mustnt dood it. [from Wiley 1994: 63]

Cooleys 3-year-old son had an imaginary companion. Once when he slipped down
on the floor he was heard to say, Did you tumble down? No, I did. (Cooley 1922:89)
o Two voices:
Speaking for himself and invisible companion
o Invisible friends are common
Michael Tomassello, The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition (1999)
9-12 months: joint attention with person and object
o (recognition of intention of other; there are other minds like me)

Makes object-language possible


(Autistic children have trouble with joint attention, speaking, playing)
After age 1: shyness, coyness, behavior with mirrors
o (Self-image from others viewpoint) (Me)
Terrible 2s, 3s: willful, flaunting autonomy
o (Development of I)
o Becoming autonomous
Age 3-5: recognition of others as mental agents;
o Minds not necessarily expressed in action (possibility of lying, pretending)
o More internalized rules
o More self-direction under adult influence
o External talk becomes internalized
Full adult
o I is reflexive vis--vis Generalized Other
o
Symbolic InteractionismChicago School
Social situation/construction of reality
o AKA social constructionism/constructivism
Definition of the situation:
The Thomas theorem: If [people] define things as real, they are real in their
consequences.
o W. I. Thomas and Dorothy Swaine Thomas, 1928.
o Process of defining things socially is the crucial process
o Can apply this to many things:
thing sounds solid and cant be really changed
most nouns sound like things
R.K. Merton, self-fulfilling prophecy
o If you predict behaving in a certain way, you will behave in that way
o

Labeling theory of deviance:


Mental illness (Goffman, Asylums, 1961)
o What are the real events involved in mental illness?
Got himself into a schizophrenic ward in DC
o Total Institution
Its a place where people spend 100% of their time
o Havent got control of your self-image there
Delinquency and criminal careers
o Argument made about typical teenage crime (stealing cars)
Mental retardation, learning disabilities

We can complain about how people in the real world pay attention to the
social science
o Concern for labeling someone as retarded
Howard Becker, Becoming a marijuana user, AJS 1953
o Your mind determines how the physical world effects you
Situational processes are more important than background variables
o

Positive labeling:
Daniel Chambliss, The Mundanity of Excellence Sociological Theory 1989
o Research on swimmers, generalized to all competition/stratification
o Who wins? Who almost wins?
Not result of quantitative changes (more practice, more effort, faster
movements)
Not explained by talent, natural ability, genius; these are
indistinguishable from their effects
Amount of physical capabilities needed may be relatively low; often
overcome injuries, disabilities;
At high levels of competition, physical traits are similar
Talent concept mystifies complex process
individuals occupy distinctive performance levels, relatively constant
membership
individuals occasionally change levels, but its rapid
Qualitative differences in techniques:
Attention to detail;
Self-discipline in focusing;
Top performers enjoy what others find boring or difficult (selfentrainment in practice routine)
Not just quantitative increase in hard work of practicing;
Amount of effort has effects usually within same level, not in
moving to higher level of competition
Mundane techniques: many small skills done well, combined
Not just episodic motivation, getting pumped up for special event;
But continuous immersion in separate world or reality
Winners maintain mundanity under pressure;
Losers cant see mundanity, construct a barrier between themselves
and winner
Will power is a social interactional accomplishment; self-entrainment
in flow of own actions,
generating more of it than the other person
And relationship to other peoples emotional definition of situation

o
o
o
o

Expand to situation being cognitive defined, also emotionally


defined
People feel what the definition of the situation is

Applications:
Violent interactions
Situational process more important than background
Influence of audience/crowd
Gaining or losing emotional dominance
Emotional definition of the situation = equilibrium
When no one dominates
Makes possible de-escalationat least in the immediate situation

Goffman:
Durkheim tradition applied to micro interaction of everyday life (i.e. micro-solidarity)
o Pragmatic working out of perspectives (democratic theory of how people in
mutual participation work things out)
Chicago School emphasis on situation, social construction of reality
o You gotta get out there into where the action is happening
o UChicago
o Wouldnt cite other theorists, cant tell where he went after U Chicago
o Took the next step past it
Goffmans early interest in Freud
Durkheimian notions about primitive religion can be translated into concepts of
deference and demeanor this secular world is not so irreligious as we might thing. Many gods
have been done away with, but the individual himself stubbornly remains a deity of considerable
importance. [The Nature of Deference and Demeanor, Interaction Ritual p. 95]
American sociologist
Emphasis on individual
o You have to be an individual, youre told to be one
Ones face, then, is a sacred thing, and the expressive order required to sustain it is
therefore a ritual one. [On Face-Work: An Analysis of Ritual Elements in Social Interaction, p.
19]
Durkheim, Elementary Forms of Religious Life, chapter on the soul as internalized
part of society
Arthur Radcliffe-Brown (British social anthropology):
Funeral ritual is for the living, not dead

W. Lloyd Warner
Australian anthropologist, studied Yankee City; 1941-59
Rituals of modern social classes
Upper class controls rituals; imposes them on middle and lower classes
Interaction rituals: deference and demeanor
Deference:
o Presentational rituals (salutations, compliments, minor services)
o Avoidance rituals expressing regard for others sacred self (privacy; respect)
Demeanor:
o Expressive aspect of self, as seen by others;
looking glass self in action
o Self is based on others deference to ones demeanor; must rely on others to
complete ones picture of self
Interactive process
Face-work:
Maintaining ones own face or consistent line
Claim to be what one presents oneself as:
o High status;
o Morally proper;
o Sophisticated insider;
o On friendly terms w. other
o Good-humored at ease w. situation;
Competent interactant
Sample conversation:
o Cooperation in maintaining each others face
o Allowing claims, vague half-truths, overlooking lapses;
o Avoiding threatening topics;
o Avoiding lulls suggesting lack of interest;
o Closing conversation tactfully
o I.E. micro-techniques for maintaining social solidarity Durkheimian theory
of ritual
Ritual repairs:
Excuses, apologies made and accepted,

Usually as quickly as possible to avoid drawing out embarrassing moments

Mental health is not individual, but interactional


Mental illness is social construct,
Applied to persons whose behavior cant be explained
i.e. persons who violate ordinary interaction rituals
not past, but whats happening right now
Aggressive use of face-work:
Expecting others to accept apologies, see what you can get away with;
Acting hurt, forcing other to apologize;
Criticizing others claims by indirect allusions, keeping up surface politeness;
Put-downs and comebacks; audience acts as scorekeeper
Escalating face contests:
Refusing to accept ritual repairs; making a scene may shift interactional blame to
initial victim;
Lawyers and debaters tactic: causing breakdown in self-presentation
Loss of face by escalating to violence (among upper/middle class adults)
Violence as remedy to loss of face (in lower classes/macho youth culture)
Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everday Life
Theatrical metaphor: frontstage and backstage
Physical regions for
o Idealized performance of self

o Place for preparation, recuperation, cleaning up


Is there a true self, behind all backstages?
o Sexual self?

Persons who lack backstages


Small children;
Growing up = progressively acquiring backstages
Suggests Goffmanian interpretation of Freid
Social differences:
Upper classes dominate frontstages;
Lower classes work and live mainly in backstages
Higher classes emphasize politeness rituals (and subtly aggressive face-work)
Lower classes emphasizes where the action is
People usually avoid fateful contingencies but some seek it out, thereby becoming
situational elite
Action = consequential situation chosen for its own sake:
Gambling, stock market, sport, crime, drugs intoxication; sexual flirtation, pickups,
affairs, or appearance thereof;
action chosen for sake of displaying character
including character contests: violence/duels and verbal equivalents
Goffmanian theory of friendship
Friends share same kinds of backstage, same staging problems
Constitute intimate network ties
Explains friendship homogeny by class, race, gender, age/life stage, status group
Is Goffman out of date?