Can you help me understand this Social Science question?
- Durkheim argues that the division of labor produces a particular kind of social solidarity. In your words, describe this process and how this form of solidarity differs from what Durkheim refers to as mechanical solidarity. Also, Durkheim describes two pathological forms of the division of labor, one of which is anomic. What is anomie, and how can it result from the division of labor? Apply the concepts of division of labor and anomie to our modern world or explain why these concepts are out-of-date.
- According to Robert Merton, what is the importance of using the conceptual scheme of latent functions (unforeseen or unintended consequences) and manifest functions (purposed consequences)? When looking at patterns of conspicuous consumption, what role do latent functions play in status-enhancement?
- In Bruno Latour’s Mixing Humans and Non-Humans: The Sociology of a Door-Closer, he considers something that most social scientists overlook, or perhaps discriminate against: the role of nonhumans in interactions. What does his example of the “door-closer” tell us about the impact of physical objects on human behavior? Have you ever named or talked to an object (e.g., a computer, a car)? What does this tell us about the role of objects in interactions?
- In one of the most eloquent passages of the Manifesto, Marx and Engels write: “But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons—the modern working class—the proletarians.” What “weapons” are Marx and Engels talking about, and how did the bourgeoisie “call into existence” the proletariat?
- In, The Rise and Future Demise of the World Capitalist System, Immanuel Wallerstein describes world history as a series of unequal economic exchanges between the core countries and the peripheral ones, which together comprise a capitalist “world system.” Define and explain the differences between the core and the periphery and describe how the two interact. Also, Wallerstein is relatively cynical on the promises of globalization, suggesting instead that it has brought a tremendous amount of inequality and exploitation. What, if any, are some more positive benefits of globalization, in your opinion?
- Much ink has been spilled over the effects of digital information and communication technologies on social life. Some of the most sophisticated work comes from Manuel Castells, who introduces us to his ideas on the “network society”. Castells argues that the rise of the network society has changed culture dramatically. Think of a concrete example of how technology and the network society have changed the culture around you. Do you think this is a good thing or has it brought some negative side effects?