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Social Change in the
Modern World
Matthew David
This 20 credit module explores the theories and experiences of modernity and globalisation.
This handbook will provide you with relevant information for successful completion of the
course – please read it carefully and retain for future reference.
Firstly, to ensure you are able to grasp the ideas in this course there is a minimum level of
reading. The exam questions are based on the assumption that you will have completed the
‘essential readings’ which accompany the lecture and seminar programme.
The themes which dominate this course are:
1. the theoretical approaches to understanding social change;
2. the nature of ‘modern’ societies;
3. the idea that we now live in a ‘global’ world.
The three themes should inform your study during the whole module, whatever the individual
topic happens to be.
The course is about the contemporary world and the aim is to help you understand what is
happening around you and your place in it. Our explorations take place largely at the macro
level of social formations and three dimensions of social change create a backbone for the
course: economics, politics and culture. This said due consideration must be given to the
role of social agents in the processes of social change. Human action and interaction is
fundamental to continuity and change in social formations over time: individuals,
organisations, pressure groups and governments all influence the nature and direction of
Initially, it is important to note the use of the word ‘modern’ to describe the contemporary
world. During this course, a number of terms will be employed to characterise the present
day: modern, post-modern, post-industrial, global, post-imperial, post-colonial, posttraditional and reflexive modernity. This range of terms reflects the different theoretical
positions taken by sociologists when attempting to explain the contemporary social world.
Pertinent questions include: what is ‘modernity’, are ‘we’ still ‘modern’, who is this ‘we’, and
has everyone become ‘modern’ now?
The module content is divided into two blocks of work. Block one (Lectures 1 – 10, seminars
1 – 5) considers the development of ‘modernity’ on the continent of Europe and the theories
of social change which grew alongside it. Block two (Lectures 11 – 20, seminars 6 – 10)
examines the theme of ‘globalisation’, with particular reference to the influence of
‘modernity’/’globalisation’ on ‘economically less-developed countries’ and some of the
changes and issues characterising ‘developed’ societies. Special attention will be paid to
inequalities within and between ‘societies’ in the contemporary world and to the
shifting/porous nature of those sets of relations known as ‘societies’.
Block One: The Development of Modernity and Theories of Social Change
The first block of work lays the foundation for sociologically understanding the changing
nature of societies. Social life is not static and the ways in which societies have changed (or
remained the same) has been a preoccupation for sociologists since the inception of the
discipline. This has included the ways in which different societies are categorised (e.g.
traditional or modern), the nature of social cohesion/disintegration; and the possibility of
prediction (and with it, control over the future). However, implicit within these studies have
been biases set in place by the very context from which sociology emerged: the superiority
complex of ‘Westerners’, the notion of constant ‘progress’ and the application of ‘scientific’
models to understand social life. Of course, such concepts and approaches will receive
critical evaluation.
Initially the concept of modernity will be unpacked in relation to the economic, political and
cultural dimensions of social change. This will form the bedrock of your understanding about
what modernity is. Then, by considering its historical development, it will be shown that
‘modernity’ is not strictly ‘Western’ even though its growth and spread is related to key event
in European history. Following these historical and definitional outlines, the key sociological
approaches to change will be addressed in relation to the economic, political and cultural
developments of modernity. Particular attention will be given to Durkheim, Weber and Marx
as the figures who marked out key areas of sociological interest and explanatory
frameworks. This is followed by a discussion of the paradoxical nature of ‘modern freedom’,
as ethical good and condition of moral detachment. After a century of democracy and
liberation, war and tyranny, what are we to make of the ‘modern’? The relative detachment
of politics, economics and culture from each other within modern society has been seen as
1. A foundation for efficiency and progress; 2. A bourgeois ideology; and/or 3. The source of
moral degeneration and personal meaninglessness. Consideration will then be given to the
opposition between ‘evolutionary’ and revolutionary’ accounts of social change and how this
was expressed in the twentieth century ‘policies’ which sought to control and dictate change
and ‘development’ (particularly in the post- World War II era). To conclude this block, some
attention will be given to the present position of the sociology of social change. After the
failed attempts to create ‘development’, ‘modernisation’, and/or ‘socialism’ in other parts of
the globe, questions will be raised about the ability to ‘predict’ or control social change.
Bock Two: Modernity and Globalisation: Economics, Politics and Culture in
the Contemporary World
The second block of the course draws on historical and theoretical perspectives to promote
understanding about the contemporary world. It is organised around the economic, political
and culture dimensions of social change and considers how these are experienced
differently across the globe. Binding together these dimensions are theories of globalisation
which suggest that social life across the globe has become increasing interconnected, so
that events in one place can have geographically distant and diverse roots and outcomes.
Economically, the shift toward a global capitalist economy will be examined in its impacts
upon different societies. In the ‘economically less-developed countries’, Transnational
Corporations use cheap labour in manufacturing with both benefits and costs to the local
populations. Meanwhile, in the developed world, there has been a decline in traditional
industries and a shift toward the service sector (i.e. economies based on finance and
leisure). This has heralded theories of ‘post-industrialism’ and the notion of an ‘information
society’ which will be critically assessed. These different experiences across the world can
be understood within the context of a global capitalist economy. Organisations such as the
World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation will be
shown to form a framework for global capitalism. Such an institutional framework benefits
capitalism but also demonstrates that the so-called ‘free market’ actually needs a great deal
of global regulation, a fact that challenges conventional justifications for the deregulation of
national welfare and security regimes. Whether the global economy benefits the global poor,
and promotes global ‘development’ can also be questioned.
An institutional framework also exists in the political dimension, representing the global
dominance of the nation-state model. The aims, roles and activities of the United Nations
will be explored to evaluate the ‘biases’ implicit in its activities. To highlight the alternative
pathways to development, nation-state organisations different to ‘Western liberal democratic
capitalism’ will be outlined. State Socialism and the resurgence of Islam show that while the
nation-state model has become globalised, the organisation of political and economic
frameworks can take a variety of forms. In the ‘developed’ nations a ‘new’ politics surrounds
the emergence of social movements on issues such as environmentalism, sexuality, science
and the newly prominent ‘risk consciousness’. Such concerns emerge at a cross-roads
between an objective exploitation of the world’s resources and more subjectively
experienced changes which undermine traditional forms of security, identity, trust and
In the cultural dimension of social change, post-modern theorists suggest that the ‘West’ has
moved on to an era beyond ‘modernity’, forcing sociologists to examine their own
understanding of what ‘modern’ society is or was. As disputes rage over what might
constitute a post-modern society, some suggest that post-modernism is not a new reality but
simply a new way of coming to terms with older problems ingrained within modernity.
Meanwhile, in the ‘economically less-developed’ nations, a battle is being fought to retain
indigenous cultures in the face of a globalised mass media carrying the messages of
corporate consumerism. Sociologists question whether human experience is becoming
‘homogenised’ or whether global interdependence is underscoring the differences between
people (and creating new ‘hybrid’ cultures). Then, the supposed ‘clash of cultures’ between
Islam and the ‘West’ will be explored to aid understanding of how the cultural dimensions of
globalisation overlap the economic and political ones. To round off the lecture series
consideration will be given to the ‘new world order’ created by overlapping dimensions of
globalisation and what this indicates about the relationship between modernity and
Cultural, economic and political dimensions of ‘global modernity’ overlap in every can of fizzy
drink, satellite TV show, terrorist attack and part-time student bar job. Reality is in the mix.
We murder to dissect. Teasing out the strands, to take a complex situation apart by means
of abstract conceptual distinctions, allows us to look deeper into the processes of change,
but we must always be aware that everything is connected in ‘global modernity’! To say that
everything is connected is not to say that everything is the same, or that the connections are
not often at odds with each other.
Learning Objectives for the Module
Students should be able to:
recognise & apply concepts & theories which attempt to characterise social change;
demonstrate a knowledge of the global political and economic institutional framework
and its role in shaping the contemporary world;
recognise and distinguish theories and concepts to illuminate the experiences of
people in the ‘economically less-developed’ countries; and
recognise and distinguish theories and concepts to illuminate the experiences of
people in the ‘developed’ countries.
Skills Objectives
Identification and summary of basic concepts and abstract models.
Application of concepts and abstract models to empirical materials.
Identification and application of information retrieval skills (library and IT).
Identification and preparation of written work.
Participation in discussions, group activities and seminar activities.
Teaching Format
Class contact takes two forms:
One lectures per week. These are designed to develop your understanding of the
materials; they are not a comprehensive coverage of each topic, rather a sketched
outline. Also this outline will make clear how each topic is part of the wider course
content. This aims to underline the relation between parts of the course and avoid
the problem of treating separate lectures as compartmentalised topics which bare no
relation to one another. Lectures are designed to stimulate further work on your part
and an ‘essential reading’ accompanies each one.
One Seminar every second week. Seminars aim to allow you to i) explore
particular topics in greater detail and ii) make connections between these and your
own reading. Seminars will require specific preparatory reading and tasks relating to
that reading. Completion of these tasks will improve the quality of the discussion and
debate that occur during the sessions. If you want to make best use of the time
spent with the teaching staff, the preparatory work is essential. The exact format you
adopt for seminars is a matter for discussion between your group and the tutor. The
important thing to remember is a matter for discussion between your group and the
tutor. The important thing to remember is that these sessions are for thinking and
developing your confidence with the course materials. Don’t be afraid to share ideas
and opinions with your tutor and fellow students. Constructively airing your views
and opinions can benefit both your own understanding and that of the group.
Seminars and seminar preparation are also where transferable skills can be learned
and practised (individual study, group work, oral presentations and the use of
information technology for information retrieval).
Reading a wide range of literature is essential for this course. There are essential readings
for each lecture, but you have a choice of essential reading materials. Reading one of the
extracts for each lecture is essential.
‘Essential readings’ for the whole module (bar lectures 6 and 16 – for which there will be
handouts) can be found in:
Cohen, R. & Kennedy, P. (2000), Global Sociology, London, Macmillan.
However, there are not sufficient copies of this book in the library for all students to have one
copy. Alternatively: Many alternative ‘Essential readings’ for part one of the module (on
Modernity – Lectures 2-10) are contained in:
Hall, S. & Gieben, B. (1992) Formations of Modernity, OUP/Polity
Except for the readings for lectures 9-10. There are a variety of suggestions for these.
For part two (Globalisation – Lectures 11-20) you have a choice of either:
Bauman, Z. (1998), Globalization: The Human Consequences, Cambridge, Polity Press. or
Held, D. ed. (2000), A Globalizing World? Culture, Economics, Politics, Milton Keynes, Open
University Press/Routledge.
For Students who want a more sophisticated account of the issues addressed in part two of
the module, Leslie Sklair’s Globalization: Capitalism and its Alternatives (Oxford: Oxford
University Press), is a particularly good text which covers the full range of themes to be
addressed in the second half. This book is more challenging than some of the other texts,
but for students looking at achieving the higher grades, it is essential to read material of this
Buy one or two and get the others from someone in your seminar group. Co-ordinate with
others in your seminar group to maximise scarce resources. While these books are very
useful, it is not enough simply to use these texts alone. For a course which explores a range
or contemporary world affairs a much wider scope of reading is required. A second tier of
reading materials can be found in the following four books. Each lecture has a specific set of
page references for these books. It is not expected that students will read all of these.
Giddens, A. (1990), The Consequences of Modernity, Cambridge, Polity Press
Hall, S., Held, D. & McGrew, A. (1992) Modernity and its Futures, Buckingham, OUP/Polity
Spybey, T. (1992) Social Change, Development and Dependency, Cambridge, Polity Press
George, V. and Wilding, P. (2002), Globalization and Human Welfare, London, Palgrave
There are twelve, eight, twelve, and eight copies respectively of these texts in the library.
Anthony Giddens’ Runaway World (1999, Profile Books, London) is a very brief introduction
to Globalisation, while Giddens and Will Hutton’s even more recent On the Edge: Living with
Global Capitalism (2000, Jonathan Cape, London) is an edited collection of essays by
leading thinkers on a range of themes related to the subject. Held, D. et al (1999), Global
Transformations: Politics, Economics and Culture, Cambridge, Polity, is an extensive text
covering globalisation. Sections are referenced throughout this guide. These are useful
sources for part two of the module. Other books are listed as ‘additional reading’ in the
lecture outlines. However, these lists are not exhaustive. Given the demand for books you
must be ingenious – use the keyword searches on Libertas, follow up references in other
books, browse along the shelves and use CD Roms, BIDS and Web of Science to trawl for
journal articles. The library holds the following journals which may be of use:
‘Capital and Class’, ‘Development and Change’, ‘Economic Development and Cultural
Change’, ‘Economy and Society’, ‘Journal of Developing Areas’, ‘Journal of International
Affairs’, ‘New Internationalist’, ‘New Left Review’, ‘Theory, Culture and Society’, ‘The World
Today’, ‘Third World Quarterly’
Some useful contemporary data can be gleaned from:
Boyd, A. (1998) An Atlas of World Affairs (tenth edition), Routledge.
Kidron, M. & Segal, R. (1984) The New State of the World Atlas, Pluto Press.
Thomas, A. & Crow, B. et al. (1994) Third World Atlas (second edition), Open Uni. Press.
World Development Report (1997) The State in a Changing World, Open Uni. Press.
Keep abreast of current affairs national and international. Read a broad sheet newspaper,
follow the news, look out for relevant documentaries. Seminars discussions will be improved
if you relate the theoretical topics to current affairs. Visit BBC online & others: e.g. Read Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.
SOC2032 has three forms of assessment: 1. Seminar preparation tasks (identifying and
referencing key definitions etc.) which carry 5% of the overall mark; 2. Essay (to be
submitted by January 14th 2004) which carried 45% of the overall marks; and 3. Examination
(two hours/two questions out of six at the end of the semester) which carries 50% of the
overall mark. More detailed discussion of assessment can be found at the end of this module
Lecture and Seminar Sequence
1. Introduction to social change
2. Defining Modernity
3. Development of Modernity
4. Classical Sociology & Social Change:
The Enlightenment
5. Economic Change
6. Cultural Change
7. Political Change
8. Freedom? Taking Liberties in the Modern World
1. What is Modernity?
(linked to Lectures 1-2)
2. Progress: West & the Rest
(Linked to Lectures 3-4)
3. Materialism & Modern Econ
(Linked to Lectures 5-6)
9. Evolution versus Revolution? Creating change: 4. The Nation-State & Violence
modernisation Vs dependency.
(Linked to Lectures 7-8)
10. Prediction and its problems
11. Modernity/Globalisation (link to part 2) & New 5. Intervening for Change:
World Order vs Anti-Capitalism?
Exploitation and/or exclusion?
(Linked to Lectures 9-10)
12. Economic globalisation I: the ‘Third World’ & 6. What is Globalisation?
(Linked to Lectures 11-12)
13. Economic globalisation II The post-industrial
society in the developed world
14. Economic globalisation III Global institutions.
7. A World Economy?
Bretton Woods and since
15. Political globalisation III: the UN
16. Political globalisation I: Alternatives to WLDC
8. UN & Bretton Woods
17. Political globalisation II. NSMs in the ‘West’
(Linked to Lectures 15-16)
18. Cultural globalisation I: Islam & the ‘West’
19. Cultural globalisation II: Postmodernity
9. Alternatives to WLDC
(Linked to Lectures 17-18)
20. Cultural globalisation III: Global culture
Exam Preparation
10. Convergence or diversity
(Linked to Lectures 19-21)
Exam Preparation
Outline Lecture Programme with Reading Materials
Introduction to Social Change
This initial lecture introduces the main themes, concepts and issues employed during the
course. The subject matter of ‘social change’ will be explained as relevant to your day-today understanding of the social world. Distinctions will be drawn between terms such as
‘progress’, ‘development’ and ‘change’ and attention brought to the potential for bias to creep
in when studying different societies (both historically and other contemporary cultures).
There will also be some consideration of the problems involved in studying and evaluating
history as a part of sociology, particularly the problems involved with ‘evidence’.
The second purpose of this lecture is to show how the course fits together through a brief
sketch of the ideas of modernity and globalisation. Finally, to form a basic framework for
understanding, three dimension of social change (economic, political and cultural) will be
underscored alongside the links between them.
Essential Reading: This 2032 Course Guide.
Additional Reading:
Spybey, T (ed.) (1997) Britain in Europe. An Introduction to Sociology. Routledge. (This
was the key text book from the first year sociology course – recap on Chapters 1-4)
Giddens, A. (1990), Sociology, Cambridge, Polity Press. Section 1
Defining Modernity: Time and Space/Economic, Political and Cultural
Social formations are complex webs or networks of social relationships. These relationships
are never all of a likeness, and yet any attempt to talk or even think about them requires that
we liken some things to other things and distinguish these from other things. Also to
describe the historical changes of recent centuries in terms of the emergence of modernity is
perhaps too deterministic. It is important to understand that while major changes have
occurred over time there has not been a black and while shift from an ‘old’ world to a ‘new’
one, or that all societies, sections within societies, or institutions change according to an
overall historical ‘masterplan’. Nevertheless, history is not a random collection of events,
and those bold enough, or foolish enough, have sought to identify patterns, ‘mechanisms’
and trends in social change. The themes of tradition, disembedding and reembedding will
be discussed.
In this lecture two questions will be addressed:
1. What are the characteristics of modernity?
2. Is it possible to identify the origins of modernity in history or geography?
Essential Reading: Cohen and Kennedy (2000) pp. 3-21, orHall and Gieben (1992)
Additional Reading:
Spybey (1992) ‘Introduction’.
Kumar, K. (1995) From Post-Industrial to Post-Modern Society. New Theories of the
Contemporary World. Blackwell. (Parts of chapter 4 are particularly useful).
Giddens, A. (1990), Section 1.
Development of Modernity: Begged, borrowed and stolen (or, why
‘modernity’ is not solely ‘Western’)
“Western civilisation produced the world’s first truly global culture [….]” (Spybey, 1996: 7)
While this statement is entirely defensible, great care must be taken to fully understand what
‘Western Civilisation’ is (or more importantly, what it is not). Both terms (‘Western’ and
‘civilisation’) can disguise implicit feelings of superiority in those who use them uncritically.
There is still a widespread myth that ‘Westerners’ are intrinsically more advanced (morally,
technologically, spiritually) than other humans. This is a myth that is buried deep in ‘our’
language and culture. However, many of the key developments which constitute ‘modernity’
and enabled its spread world-wide occurred outside of the ‘West’. Some of these will be
uncovered to show that ‘Western’ culture is not necessarily superior to others and, in fact, it
is deeply indebted to some of those cultures it most scorns.
Also, the term ‘civilisation’ must be used carefully to avoid connotations of superiority. It can
legitimately be used to describe a unity of social organisation and, as such, many
civilisations have existed. In this respect, it is accurate to suggest that the unit of social
organisation termed ‘Western civilisation’ has produced the first truly global culture.
However, the term ‘civilisation’ (used as an opposite to ‘barbarity’) is not equivalent to
‘Western civilisation’. Indeed a long history of brutality visited upon other humans (inside
and outside of ‘Western’ society) pays testament to the fact that ‘Westerners’ can be as
barbarous as any one else.
Nevertheless, key to development and the world-wide spread of ‘Western civilisation’ is the
notion of ‘progress’. This term will be historically ‘unpacked’ to show its importance to a
modern world view. Also, it will be critically assessed to highlight that it is (in some senses)
‘relative’; in other words, what is progressive for one person may be regressive for another.
Essential Reading:
Cohen and Kennedy (2000), pp. 41-53, or
Hall and Gieben (1992) Chapter 6, pp. 276-91 (plus the 2 readings pp. 321-328)
Additional Reading:
Giddens, A. (1990), Section 2 (in preparation for seminar 2).
Braudel, F. (1993) A History of Civilisations, Penguin.
Hall, J.A. (1996) Powers and Liberties. The causes and consequences of the rise of the
west, Penguin.
Mann, M. (1986) The Sources of Social Power, Volume 1: A history of power from the
beginning to Ad 1760, Cambridge University Press.
Mann, M. (1993) The Sources of Social Power, Volume 2: The rise of classes and nationstates, 1760-1914 Cambridge University Press.
Roberts, J. (1985) The Triumph of the West BBC.*
Said, E. (1991) Orientalism Penguin (an extract from this is in Hall and Gieben Ch 6 if you
wish to get a flavour).
* An excellent video series accompanies this book. The videos are in the library and are
an easy way to familiarise yourself with ‘Western’ history. Please only take out one at a time
and return them ASAP to give everyone a chance to access them. Numbers 1, 6, 7, 8 and 9
are particularly pertinent for Lectures 3.
Also see Library codes:
World History 909 Colonial Empires 321.03 Colonial rule 325.3 Imperialism: politics 325.32
Classical Sociology and Social Change: The Enlightenment
The works of Saint-Simon and Comte set out the first foundations for a ‘scientific’ sociology
or positive science of society. They were politically opposed to the radical politics that had
confronted them in France during the revolution and sought to replace it with a more
controlled form of social change.
The philosophy of the eighteenth century was critical and revolutionary, that of the
nineteenth will be inventive and organisational. (Saint-Simon: Motto for a proposed
New Encyclopaedia cited in Kumar, 1978: 27.)
Similarly in England the work of Carlyle, in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, sought to
quell the rumblings of the discontented masses. It was Carlyle who in fact coined the term
‘Industrial Society’ in the first place. It is against the backdrop of these writers’ ideas that we
must set the later work of Marx, Weber and Durkheim, who with very different political and
moral beliefs and purposes sought to re-describe the world around them. Drawing on the
three conceptual divisions around which this module is designed (the economic, political and
cultural levels of analysis), this lecture seeks to set out the themes around which the
subsequent three lectures will be structured. In the economy; the commodity (Marx), the
market (Weber) and the division of labour (Durkheim); in the political arena, class warfare,
the nation state and citizenship; and in the cultural arena, ideology, status and the
conscience collective.
Essential Reading:
Cohen and Kennedy (2000) pp. 41-53, or Hall and Gieben. (1992) Chapter 1, as well as
pages 72-74, 128-130 and 230-234.
Additional Reading:
Giddens, A. (1990), Section 2.
Kumar, K. (1978) Prophecy and Progress, Penguin (Chapter 1 especially)
Spybey, T. (1992) Social Change, Development and Dependency, Polity (Chapter 4)
Aron, R. (1965) Main Currents in Sociological Thought 1, Penguin (Chapter 2 on Comte)
Williams, R. (1965) Culture and Society, Penguin (for discussion of the work of Carlyle)
Morrison, K. (1995) Marx, Durkheim, Weber.
Sage.(The Introduction may be useful)
Formations of Modern Social Thought,
Craib, I. (1997) Classical Social Theory. An Introduction to the Thought of Marx, Durkheim,
Weber and Simmel., Oxford University Press. (Part Three on social change)
For references to Marx, Weber and Durkheim, see the next three lectures.
Economic Change: Capital and Universal Exchange: The Division of
Labour, Occidental Rationalism and Historical Materialism
While markets, a division of labour and systems of property ‘ownership’ long preceded the
rise of modern capitalism, all these things take on a new level with the rise of what is called
modernity. It was commonly held by Marx, Weber and Durkheim that the economic arena
had gained a new form of ‘autonomy’. It is important to understand that even the idea of the
‘economy’ as a separate realm within human affairs represents a major wrenching away
from traditional holistic moral worldviews. As such the work of Adam Smith marked a
significant watershed. Within his work key themes are touched upon that were later to be
developed in the works of Marx, Weber and Durkheim; the idea of the commodity as a freely
exchangeable entity (something Marx develops in his account of the rise of labour as a
commodity within capitalist production), the market as a driving force in the development of
new human relations and individual needs (something Weber identified as a key feature of
modern society); and the Division of Labour (something again prominent in the work of both
Weber and Durkheim, as well as in the young Marx’s criticisms of Smith).
Essential Reading:
Cohen and Kennedy (2000) pp. 60-66 and 111-115, or
Hall & Gieben Chapter 3, Section 3, pp. 145-154. Recommended also are pages 130-144.
Additional Reading:
Giddens, A. (1990), Section 3 (in preparation for Seminar 3).
Durkheim, E. (1972) The Division of Labour and Social Differentiation, in Giddens, A
(editor), Emile Durkheim: Selected Writings, Cambridge University Press, (pp. 141154).
Durkheim, E. (1984) Preface to the Second Edition of the Division of Labour in Society,
London, Macmillan, (pp. xxxi-liv).
Marx, K. & Engels, F. The Communist Manifesto - Multiple Sources.
Marx, K. Capital: Volume One, (especially Chapter One – Commodities) - Multiple Sources.
Marx, K. (1991) The Materialist Concept of History, in McLellan, D (editor) Marxism:
Essential Writings, Oxford, Oxford University Press (pp. 3-19).
Weber, M. (1991) Class, Status and Party, in Gerth, H.H. & Mills, C.W. (editors), From Max
Weber, London, Routledge (pp. 180-195).
Weber, M. (1991) Capitalism and Rural Society in Germany, in Gerth, H.H. & Mills, C.W.
(editors), From Max Weber, Routledge (pp. 362-385).
6. Cultural Change: Identity, Solidarity/Cohesion, individualisation, ideology.
The emergence of modern capitalism and nation-states cannot be understood simply in
economic and political terms. The rise of ‘modern individualism’ is not simply the ‘setting
free’ of once bounded energies and desires. These motives are themselves moulded and
remoulded within new cultural relations and identities. Whilst new bureaucratic organisations
in government and production, urban life and markets shattered elements of traditional life,
they also shaped new forms of self and identification. Developing previous themes this
lecture will outline elements of Durkheim, Weber and Marx’s work that focus on the question
of ‘culture’: variously understood in terms of social solidarity, legitimacy and/or
ideology/alienation. Culture is not just the icing on the cake, though this often appears to be
the case, when culture is narrowly identified with high arts and semi-ossified traditions.
Oscar Wilde’s attack of those who he claimed could put a price on everything but could not
understand the value of anything was a lambaste against a brand of utilitarian thinking
prominent in the 19th c.. Baudrillard’s more recent critique of Marx (1973) suggests a similar
fault. In focusing on the unequal distribution of production Marx can be accused of falling
into a trap and accepting the capitalists’ own claim that what they produce is intrinsically
valuable. Whilst perhaps an unfair critique it is certainly true that Marx saw the main
‘cultural’ problem as the reduction of human creativity to commerce. He wrote:
Exchange has a history of its own. It has passed through different phases. There was
a time, as in the Middle Ages, when only the superfluous, the excess of production
over consumption, was exchanged. There was again a time when not only the
superfluous, but all products, all industrial existence, was passed into commerce,
when the whole of production depended on exchange...Finally, there came a time
when everything that men had considered as inalienable became an object of
exchange, of traffic and could be alienated. This is the time when the very things
which had been communicated, but never exchanged; given, but never sold;
acquired, but never bought - virtue, love, conviction, knowledge, conscience, etc. when everything finally passed into commerce. The Poverty of Philosophy, 1978, p. 28.
But has this total consumption of culture by commerce taken place? Durkheim and Weber,
while both conscious of the drive to efficiency that ate away at the foundations of ethical
human conduct and/or cultural life, both held to the view that complete reduction of culture to
the economy had not, or could not, take place. Even Marx held out the possibility of
resistance, though for him this to had an economic foundation.
Weber’s discussion of modes of cultural legitimacy sets out three ideal typical forms of
legitimacy; traditional, charismatic and legal-rational. While the latter has come to dominate
in bureaucratic capitalism, its incapacity to provide a sense of human purpose and/or warmth
ensures it cannot survive in a pure fashion. Forms of traditional and charismatic legitimacy
continue to develop. This, combined with Weber’s discussion of status and theodicy (the
struggle to give life meaning in the face of death), defend the essential role of culture, even
in the face of economic and political disenchantment of the world. It is assumed that
students have a basic understanding of Weber’s Protestant Ethic thesis. If not, please rectify
this! While Durkheim’s approach to the question is distinct, he comes to similar conclusions
about the essential role of culture even in the most ‘rationalised’ society. For him, even the
very possibility of economic exchange is built upon a cultural foundation, a foundation of
trust in the other with whom you agree to trade. Without such a foundation who would give
up their time for the little pieces of paper we call money? Yet Durkheim’s early optimism
about the moral foundations of such exchange strengthening within relations of organic
solidarity gave way to a greater reliance of other cultural institutions to make manifest the
moral bonds between people. In this regard, Durkheim’s writings on education, ritual,
religion, professional ethics and secularisation set out a programme of action for the defence
of ‘culture’, and the case for its eternal necessity.
To focus the lecture in a concrete area of historical study, the development of ‘mass
education’ will be discussed. (*see Donald and Rose in suggested readings below).
Essential Reading:
Hall and Gieben Chapter 5, sections 4 and 5, i.e. pp. 247-266.
Additional Reading:
Giddens, A. (1990), Sections 3 (in preparation for seminar three)
* Donald, J. (1985), Beacons of the Future: schooling, subjection and subjectification, in V.
Beechey and J. Donald (editors), Subjectivity and Social Relations, Milton Keynes,
Open University Press, (p. 214-249)
* Rose, J. (1985), Peter Pan, Language and the State: Captain Hook goes to Eton, in V.
Beechey and J. Donald (editors), Subjectivity and Social Relations, (pp. 250-261).
Durkheim, E. (1969), Individualism and the Intellectuals, Political Studies, Vol.17, pp.14-30.
Durkheim, E. (1972), The Social Basis of Education; Religion and Ritual; Secularisation and
rationality, all in Giddens (Op Cit.), (pp. 203-218, 219-238 and 239-249 respectively).
Durkheim, E. (1984), Preface to the Second Edition of the Division of Labour in Society,
London, Macmillan, (pp. xxxi-liv).
Durkheim, E. (1995), The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, New York, Free Press,
(conclusions of particular value).
Marx, K. (1978), The Poverty of Philosophy, Peking, Foreign Language Press.
Marx, K. (1982), ‘The Ideology of Class Domination’, an extract from the German Ideology,
cited in A. Giddens and D. Held (editors), Classes, Power and Conflict, London,
Macmillan, (pp. 26-28.).
Marx, K. & Engels, F., The Communist Manifesto - Multiple Sources.
Weber, M. (1978), Protestant Asceticism and the Spirit of Capitalism, in W.G. Runciman
(Op. Cit.), pp. 138-174.
Weber, M. (1991), Religious Rejections of the World and their Directions, in H.H. Girth &
Mills, C.W. (editors), From Max Weber, London, Routledge (pp. 323-359).
Weber, M. (1991), Politics as a Vocation, in H.H. Gerth & Mills, C.W. (editors), From Max
Weber, London, Routledge (pp. 77-128).
Political Change: Nation States: Citizenship, Democracy and Revolution.
Which came first the nation or the state? This question generates heated debate in many
circles, both academic and political. Some argue that nations are pre-modern communities
that became the foundations upon which modern states arose as legitimated
representatives. Others argue that ethnic ‘roots’ are so diverse and plentiful (just think that
you have 128 grandparents of your grandparents’ grandparents) that what are called nations
today are more the inventions of recent rather selective memories than they are the
embodiments of historical blood bonds. Is ink thicker than blood or vice versa?
What is certain is that the modern nation state is a relatively recent historical phenomenon.
The idea that a geographically bounded area with a single ‘people’, from whom rulers and
ruled are drawn, and where supreme authority lies in the hands of a bureaucratically ordered
machinery of government rather than a simple system of interlocking families is very recent
in the West at least (even if some form of bureaucratic rule did exist in China for far longer).
While Marx marvelled at the capacity of the capitalist class to transform the economy into an
engine of change and growth, as well as for their initial political radicalism (such as in the
English, American and French revolutions), he came to note that once in power (or at least
once they shared power with the older elites) the bourgeoisie was far more afraid of what
might come from below them than of what had gone before them. Marx characterised
‘bourgeois democracy’ as a ‘formal democracy’, one where substantive power still lay in the
hands of those with economic power. His political writing denounces the ‘sham’ of
democracy he felt liberal government was, and argued that workers should have no illusions
about it. Lenin argued that communists should only support bourgeois democratic elections
as the rope supports the hanging man.
Marx believed that capitalist global trade and workers struggles against their own national
elites would undermine the existence of the nation state. As Marx and Engels argue in the
Communist Manifesto (Progress Publishers, 1971, pp. 56-57):
The Communists are further reproached with desiring to abolish countries and
nationality. The working men have no country. We cannot take from them what they
have not got. Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy, must
rise to the leading class of the nation, must constitute itself the nation, it is, so far,
itself national, though not in the bourgeoisie sense of the word. National differences
and antagonisms between peoples are daily more and more vanishing, owing to the
development of the bourgeoisie, to freedom of commerce, to the world market, to
the uniformity in the mode of production and in the conditions of life corresponding
thereto. (1971, pp. 56-57).
History did not quite turn out so well! Durkheim and Weber offer what might be seen as
explanations for the persistence of nation-states, or from another point of view, what they
suggest might be seen as the very ‘necessary illusions’ that kept the nation state alive in the
face of workers struggle and capitalist world trade; firstly the conservative desire for social
order and secondly the belief that the nation state could deliver a form of democratic
citizenship able to mitigate the inequalities characteristic of free-market economics. While
Weber was not an optimist as to the capacity of the nation state to deliver much more than
the staving off of despotism (and even that he was in two minds about), Durkheim was more
optimistic (though the anti-Semitism of the French state did make him stop and think).
Weber’s own relationship with anti-Semitism and especially anti-Slavic sentiments are a
much more explicit form of ‘exclusory’ (racial?) nationalism than Durkheim’s ‘French’
citizenship model.
While the first world war brought to a crashing end the dreams of a ‘Socialist International’
which Marx had sought to bring into existence, with workers of the world uniting only in their
mutual slaughter on the instructions of their national leaders, the ‘Great’ War also saw
Weber and Durkheim’s respective nationalisms set against each other. They had never got
on and refused to meet, speak or discuss each others work. If there had ever been a
sociological international, August 1914 would have put an end to it!
Essential Reading:
Cohen & Kennedy (2000) pp. 78-93, or Hall & Gieben (1992) Ch. 2, pp. 90-103 & 113-115.
Additional Reading
Giddens, A. (1990), Section 4
Durkheim, E. (1972), Political Sociology, in Emile Durkheim: Selected Writings (edited by
Anthony Giddens), Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, pp. 189-202).
Durkheim, E. (1986), Durkheim on Politics and the State (edited by Anthony Giddens),
California, Stanford University Press.
Giddens, A. (1978), Durkheim, Glasgow, Fontana, Chapter 3, The State and Politics, pp. 4962.
Lenin, V.I. (1988), The State and Revolution, in McLellan, D. (editor), Marxism: Essential
Writings, Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp. 163-176.
Marx, K. (1978), The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, Peking, Foreign Language
Parkin, F. (1992), Durkheim, Oxford, Oxford University Press, (Esp. Chapter 5, State and
Civil Society, pp. 73-86).
Weber M. (1978) Politics as a Vocation (shorter version), in Runciman, W.G. (editor), Weber:
Selections in Translation, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, pp. 212-225.
Weber, M. (1978) Economic Policy and the National Interest in Imperial Germany, in
Runciman (ibid.), pp. 263-286.
Weber, M. (1991), Politics as a Vocation, in H.H. Girth & Mills, C.W. (editors), From Max
Weber, London, Routledge (pp. 77-128).
Weber, M. (1991), ‘The Nation’ in H.H. Gerth & Mills C.W. (editors) From Max Weber,
Tribe, K. (1989), ‘Prussian agriculture - German politics: Max Weber 1892-7’, in Tribe, K.
(editor), Reading Weber, London, Routledge, pp. 85-130.
Freedom? Taking Liberties in the Modern World.
What is it about modern life that is just so great? Often the answer to this question would be
‘freedom’. Freedom from and freedom to! Freedom from starvation and disease, freedom
from tyranny and oppression, freedom from ignorance and myth. Freedom to do what we
like, say what we feel, go where we please, change, choose, be liberated/emancipated/free.
Is modernity not the age of democracy, liberty, equality and prosperity? In some ways it is.
Yet the 20th century has also been the age of world war, mass genocide, potential nuclear
self-destruction of the whole human race, and of dictatorship/tyranny on a scale and severity
not previously imaginable. The possibility of killing on a mass scale has been increased by
means of technology. The ability to manage terror on a new scale has been increased by
means of efficient administration. The scope to whip a population into a frenzy, such that
they will go along and even participate in acts of gross cruelty and injustice, has be
expanded by means of mass print and broadcast media. Is modernity then the very opposite
of freedom, despite all its claims to be the bringer of liberation?
Bauman suggests that there is a paradox at the very heart of ‘freedom’, one that enables
freedom to be both moral good and precondition for inhumanity. We cannot be moral without
the choice to be otherwise. We would not blame a stone for falling on our foot. We would not
say the stone was evil. So moral action presumes we have the choice to do otherwise.
Modernity, with its expansion of technical, economic, political and cultural choice, increases
our capacity to act morally, just as it increases our capacity to choose not to. In addition to
our increased opportunity to be selfish, modernity also generates another facet of freedom,
that of detachment. Again, to act morally, one must act for another, not just for oneself. The
sense of seperation between self and other is increased within modern systems of rational
calculation, and, in addition, the scope for actions to have effects beyond the perception of
the actor increases. Pressing a button to launch a missile is not the same as clubbing
someone to death with a chair leg. The latter may seem more horrid, but the former is in fact
far more deadly, and far more likely to kill those not explicitly targetted. The fact that we do
not see the blood or the face of the victim may make it easier to kill without feeling. To be
free of attachment to those our actions effect is the dark side of freedom. Could you kill a
cow in order to eat it? If you had fed that cow the brains of other cows would you eat it?
Could you punch and kick the children working in the sweatshops that made your clothes? If
you could not do it, how can you wear the clothes? Could you steal the food from a starving
child? If not, how can you eat chocolate and drink coffee? Could it be that you are just never
forced to see the consequences of your actions? You are free to never look into their eyes.
You are free to efface their faces as Bauman says. Modern living encourages us to detach
ourselves from moral responsibility, at least at the level of individuals. Can we therefore
suggest that freedom is a bad thing? Surely, freedom is the condition that resists tyranny
and dictatorship? Bauman suggests that freedom is a double edged sword.
Freedom may also turn into alienation, anomie and disenchantment. Is freedom essentially
meaninglessness? Is freedom just another way of describing a pointless life with no
purpose? Has modernity’s quest for a rational society led to a human vacuum? Is progress
an illusion? What of democracy, science, education, wealth and choice? Can the good outweigh the bad after all? Is it ever possible for the benefits enjoyed by the living to outweigh
the loss of the dead? Can you stop yourself, or do you need to believe that someone will
stop you?
Essential Reading: Cohen and Kennedy (2000) pp. 78-93, or
Hall and Gieben (1992) Chapter 2, pp. 90-103 and 113-115.
Additional Reading:
Giddens, A. (1990), Section 4.
Bauman, Z. (1989), Modernity and the Holocaust, Cambridge, Polity Press.
Bauman, Z. (1991), Modernity and Ambivalence, Cambridge, Polity Press.
Bauman, Z. (1992), Intimations of Postmodernity, London, Routledge.
Bauman, Z. (1993), Postmodern Ethics, Oxford, Blackwell.
Bauman, Z. (1997), Postmodernity and its Discontents, Cambridge, Polity Press.
Bauman, Z. (1998), Freedom, Milton Keynes, Open University Press.
Bauman, Z. (1998), Work, consumerism & the new poor, Milton Keynes, Open Uni. Press.
Evolution Vs Revolution? Change: modernisation Vs. dependency
Throughout this century there have been two main ways of understanding the processes of
social change. These mirror the ideological divide, which split the world in two for most of
the last 90 years: capitalism vs. socialism. In a simplified form, the capitalists suggest that
progress will come through evolutionary change, while the socialists insist that progress can
come only through revolutionary change. Proponents of capitalist, liberal democracy have
argued that social change occurs gradually. Change is a slow process which occurs like
evolution in the natural world: societies adapt to new conditions and the strongest survive to
dominate. Stability is the main priority, as without political consensus economic exchange
may not occur. To socialists, this is merely a superficial ‘management’ of the inequalities,
which derive from the logic of capitalism. Exploitation is the very nature of capitalism and
liberal democratic politics merely puts a gloss on this. In order for real social progress (i.e.
an end to exploitation and alienation) to occur, they suggest that drastic upheaval is
required: a revolution in the name of class-consciousness.
This ‘polarisation’ of evolution versus revolution will be shown to be over-simplistic and
flawed because of value-laden judgements over what ‘progress’ was and how it could be
achieved. I will end by setting the context of the post- Second World War era when these
two doctrines began (quite literally) waging war against one another in a battle of
superpowers, which seriously threatened the existence of humanity.
The end of the Second World War was also the beginning of the end for European
colonialism. The Atlantic Charter, signed in 1942 by the UK and USA, brought the USA into
the war and pledged to ‘restore’ self-government to all nations. While primarily aimed at
Nazi-occupied Europe, non-Europeans were quick to see that the principle of selfgovernment might be applied to them also. The USA, itself a former colony, supported the
end of colonialism not least because it wanted an end to the protected markets that
European nations had with their colonies. It was argued that the wealthier nations had an
obligation to help ‘modernise’ the economies of ex-colonies to assist them in their political
independence (and to maintain world-wide peace and stability). Policies of ‘modernisation’
were implemented by the newly established ‘World Bank’ (part of the Bretton Woods
arrangements detailed further in lecture 14). It will be shown how the application of
economic aid to encourage the development of ‘Western’ capitalist institutions had its roots
in the ideas of theorists like Durkheim, Weber and Parsons.
The development of capitalism world wide also had a political implication: the opposition of
communism. Rooted in Marxism, ‘Dependency theory’ developed as a critique of the
dominant theories of development by modernisation (suggesting modernisation was another
form of imperialism, one which legitimated capitalist exploitation). Of course, the communist
bloc was also advancing its model of social change in the emerging nations. In the era of
the Cold War and ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’, the ideological battle between capitalism
and communism was physically fought in Latin America, Africa and Asia as each
superpower attempted to extend it vision of world order.
In this lecture I will end by questioning both modernisation and dependency as ways of
understanding social change, yet it is this pair of competing world views that form the basis
of current arguments over the logic of ‘globalisation’ (as positive integration/development or
as domination/exploitation and underdevelopment).
Essential Reading: Cohen and Kennedy (2000), pp. 134-152.
Suggested Reading:
Spybey, T. (1992) Chapter 1, and Chapter 2, plus 121-4 and 151-5
Giddens, A. (1990), Sections 5 and 6 (for Seminar 5)
Craib, I. (1992) Modern Social Theory (second edition), Harvester Wheatsheaf. (Some of
Chapter 3 on Parsons may be useful)
Cuff, E.C., Sharrock, W.W. & Francis, D. W. (1998) Perspectives in Sociology (fourth edition)
(Parts of Chapter 2 on Marx and 5 on Parsons are useful)
Harrison, D. (1988) The Sociology of Modernisation and Development, Unwin Hyman
Hulme, D. & Turner, M. (1990) Sociology and Development Harvester Wheatsheaf,
(particularly Chapter 3)
Layder, D. (1994) Understanding Social Theory Sage. (Parts of Chapter 2 on Parsons)
Peet, R. (1991) Global Capitalism: Theories of Societal Development, Routledge. (Chapter 3
and 4)
Robertson, R. and Turner, B. S. (1991) Talcott Parsons. Theorist of Modernity, Sage
Rostow, W.W. (1960) The Stages of Economic Growth: a non-communist manifesto,
Cambridge University Press
Roxborough, I. (1979) Theories of Underdevelopment, Macmillan
Schuurman, F.J. (ed.) (1993) Beyond the Impasse. New Directions in Development Theory,
Zed Books
Scott, J. (1995) Sociological Theory Edward Elgars. (Chap. 2 on Parsons, Partic. pp. 65-70)
Shannon, T. (1996) An Introduction to the World-System Perspective (second edition)
Westview Press
Swingewood, A. (1991) A Short History of Sociological Thought (second edition), Macmillan.
(Chapter 8 on Parsons, particularly pp 22534 and 244-9)
Sztompka, P. (1993) The Sociology of Social Change, Blackwell. (There is a detailed look at
evolutionism in Chapters 7 and 8, plus Chapters on Marx)
Wallerstein, I. (1974) The Modern World System Academic Press
Wallerstein, I. (1984) The Politics of the World-Economy. The states, the movements and
the civilisations, Cambridge University Press. (Particularly Chapter 17)
Also see Library Codes: Sociology of economic development 306.3
Prediction and social change
At the heart of evolutionary and revolutionary understanding of social change are the
problems of prediction and control (implicitly inherited from the Enlightenment roots of
sociology). Theories that originated in the Enlightenment aimed at mirroring the natural
sciences, with the final goal of prediction about what would happen given a particular set of
circumstances. At either end of the spectrum, theories offered a '‘blueprint'’ for progressing
toward a brighter future (be it communism or liberal democratic capitalism). The ability to put
into practice these theoretical models will be questioned based on a critical understanding of
the term ‘progress’.
In terms of ‘Post-predictive’ theories, the principles of Giddens’ Structuration Theory will be
Giddens attempts to outline social change without insisting on a linear
development from simple to complex societies. Furthermore his ‘duality of structure’
attempts to place active, knowledgeable social actors at the heart of social change. He
argues that human agents produce and reproduce social structures over time (suggesting
that we actively make our own future by our actions in the present). From his perspective
the future can not be determined, rather it is created. In recent years this perspective has
been developed by Giddens into a specific account of the contemporary world with particular
reference to the scope of actors to make their own lives in conditions of ‘globalisation’.
Giddens has developed what he calls the ‘Third Way’ between traditional left and right wing
politics. It is also his attempt to move politics beyond agency and structure, libertarianism
and communitarianism.
Essential Reading: Cohen and Kennedy (2000), pp. 134-152.
Suggested Reading: Spybey (1992) Chapter 3 or Giddens, A. (1990), Sections 5 & 6
Prediction and Change:
Crow, G. (1997) Comparative Sociology and Social Theory, Macmillan. (Specifically Chapter
Eisenstadt, S.N. (19??) ‘Introduction: Historical Traditions, Modernisation and Development’
in Patterns of Modernity. Vol. 1: The West, Francis Pinter. (Reproduced as an
Offprint in Short Loan)
Elias, N. (1978) What is Sociology Hutchinson. (Specifically Chapter 6: The Problem of
‘inevitability’ of social development)
Giddens, A (1981) A Contemporary Critique of Historical Materialism: Vol. 1 Power, Property
and the State, Macmillan. (There is also a Second Edition, 1995)
Giddens, A. (1984) The Constitution of Society, Polity
Giddens, A. (1985) The Nation-State and Violence: Vol. 2 of A Contemporary Critique of
Historical Materialism, Polity
Bryant, C.G.A. and Jary, D. (1991) Giddens’ Theory of Structuration. A Critical Appreciation,
Routledge. (Particularly Chapter 5 by Jary, D)
Cohen, I.J. (1989) Structuration Theory: Anthony Giddens and the Constitution of Social Life,
Craib, I. (1991) Anthony Giddens, London, Routledge
Held, D. and Thompson, J.B. (1989) Social Theory of Modern Societies: Anthony Giddens
and his Critics, Cambridge University Press
As a link to the second part of the course, the first half of this lecture is based around the
theme of ‘Beginnings and Endings’. A number of questions will be posed about the
contemporary era: Have modernity and industrialism ended? Did the cessation of the Cold
War signal the end of history (as suggested by Fukuyama in 1989) and effectively kill off the
socialist alternative? Will ‘transnationalism’ end the dominance of the nation-state as a
political unit? Are Islam and the West engaged in a Clash of Civilisations, or is the current
War on Terrorism a clash between civilisation and barbarism. If so, which side is which?
In sociology the prefix ‘post’ (meaning ‘after’) has become widely used to signal an era of
endings and beginnings. Does this show a lack of imagination on the part of social theorists
or is it a reflection of the confusion evident in the social world?
The second part of the course is organised around the economic, political and cultural
dimensions. Each will be considered in relation to changes in:
economically less-developed countries
developed countries
at a global level
There will therefore be NINE lectures on these topics (i.e.: 3x3).
Developed’ Lecture 13. NIDOL
Lect 17. Alternatives
Lecture 19. ‘Islam’
and the West
Lecture 14. Post
Industrial Society?
Lecture 18. New
Social Movements
Lecture 20.
‘Global Level’
Lecture 15. Bretton
Woods (WB/IMFetc.)
Lecture 16. The
United Nations
Lecture 21. Global
Cultural Imperialism?
In addition, there are two other lectures: a discussion of the ‘New World Order’ vs ‘AntiCapitalism’ and a conclusion on the relation between modernity and globalisation. This final
lecture will act as an exam preparation.
Essential Reading:
Cohen and Kennedy (2000) pp. 23-40, or Bauman, Z. (1998), Introduction and chapter 5, or
Held, D. ed. (2000), Introduction and Chapter 1.
Additional Reading
McGrew, A. (1992) ‘A Global Society?’ in S. Hall, D. Held & A. McGrew (Eds.) Modernity and
its Futures, Polity/OUP (pp. 62-77).
Held, D., et al. (1999), Global Transformations, Introduction.
(Useful throughout Part Two of the course):
Albrow, M. (1996) The Global Age, Polity. (Particularly Chapter 4)
Allen, J. (1995) ‘Global Worlds’ in Allen, J. & Massey, D. (eds.) Geographical Worlds,
Allen, J. & Hamnett, C. (1995) ‘Uneven Worlds’ in Allen, J. & Hamnett, C. (eds.) A Shrinking
World, OUP/Polity. (Particularly section 6.3)
Axford, B. (1995) The Global System. Economic. Politics and Culture, Polity
Bradshaw, Y.W & Wallace, M. (1996) Global Inequalities, Pine Forge Press
Bretherton, C. & Ponton, G. (eds.) (1996) Global Politics, Blackwell. (Particularly the
Giddens, A. (1990) The Consequences of Modernity, Polity. (Chapter 2)
Giddens, A. (1991) Modernity and Self-Identity: self and society in the late modern age,
Hall, J. (1985) Powers and Liberties: the causes and consequences of the rise of the west,
Sklair, L. (1995) Globalization: Capitalism and its Alternatives, Oxford, Oxford University
Sklair, L. (1995) ‘Social Movements in Global Capitalism’ in Sociology, Vol. 23, No.3.
(Contains a useful summary of his main theory)
Spybey, T. (1996) Globalisation and World Society, Polity. (Particularly the ‘Introduction’
and ‘Conclusion’)
Waters, M. (1995) Globalization, Routledge. (Particularly Chapters 3, 6 and 7)
The following are useful for broad post-World War II context:
Armstrong et al. (1991) Capitalism since 1945, Blackwell
Calvocoressi, P. (ed.) (1990) World Politics Since 1945 (seventh edition), Longman
Nichols, C. S. (ed.) (1990) Power: a Political History of the 20th Century, Harrap
Wegs, J. R. (1984) Europe since 1945: a concise history, Macmillan
Urwin, D. Western Europe since 1945, Longman
Part two of Lecture 11: ‘New World Order’ vs ‘Anti-Capitalism?
The development of modern societies was intimately tied the rise of the nation state and thus
the near monopoly over the means of violence in the hands of such states. The twentieth
century has witnessed the development of warfare and military technology that is truly global
in scope (and perhaps even beyond).
The end of the cold war, whilst leaving only one super-power capable of projecting military
force all across the world, also undermined the unity of that super-power’s global alliance. At
one and the same moment the world seems more divided and yet more united. Can the
world’s greatest military power go on supporting this role as its relative economic position
and political legitimacy declines? By what means will it try to do so?
Are we about to enter an era when the power of the ‘international community’ really begins
to undermine the insularity of nation states? Is this a good thing, as the promotion of ‘human
rights’ around the world might lead us to believe, or a bad thing, such as in the undermining
of local livelihoods by TNCs?
If the promotion of human rights and the enforcement of property rights across national
boundaries are two sides of the same coin, is this a coin we want to keep, collect more of,
change or simply throw away? Can a global order be democratic if there are no international
elections and where global institutions reflect unequal political, economic and military might?
Benjamin Barbour has characterised the world as divided between Jihad and MacWorld
(traditionalist religion versus fundamentalist capitalism). Samual Huntington talks of ‘the
clash of civilisations’. Anti-capitalism stands for the movement opposed to both traditionalist
anti-globalisation and fundamentalist ‘free-market’ globalisation. It opposes both
transnational elites and traditional (state bounded) elites. It points out that Saddam Hussein
and Osama Bin Laden were built up and financed by the West. As two sides of the same
coin ‘local terrorists’ and ‘global policemen’ feed off and support each other at the expense
of the majority of the world’s people. Is a ‘Third Way’ possible beyond traditional and
transnational elites. This would mean going further than is suggested by Giddens’ notion of
the ‘Third Way’. The ‘Anti-Capitalist’ movement rejects ‘The End of History’ thesis and
suggests that an alternative world is possible. But, are they correct, or is this a dangerous
and naïve illusion?
Essential Reading:
Cohen and Kennedy (2000) pp. 295-304, or Bauman, Z. (1998), Introduction and chapter 5,
or Held, D. ed. (2000), Introduction and Chapter 1.
Additional Reading:
Hall, Held & McGrew (1992) pp 55-60 and 86-96
Held, D. et al. (1999) op cit, chapter 2.
Chomsky, N. (1991) Deterring Democracy, Verso
Collins, H. & Pinch, T. (1998) The Golem at Large, CUP. (Ch 1, Patriot Missiles in Gulf War)
Fukuyama, F. (1989) ‘The End of History?’ in The National Interest, Summer, pp 3-18
(extracts from both of the above are to be found in Hall, Held and McGrew, pp. 48-53)
Huntington, S. (1993) ‘The Clash of Civilizations?’ in Foreign Affairs, Vol. 72, No 3, pp 22-49
Johansen, R. C. (1993), Military Politics and the State System as Impediments to
Democracy, in Held, D. (ed.), Prospects for Democracy, Polity
Luke, T. W. (1995), New World Order or Neo-world Orders: Power, Politics and Ideology in
Informationalizing Glocalities, in Featherstone, M. Lash, S. & Robertson, R. (eds)
Global Modernities, Sage
Shaw, M. (1991) Post-Military Society: militarism, demilitarisation and war at the end of the
twentieth century, Polity Press
Spybey, T. (1996) Globalisation and World Society, Polity (chapter 6)
12. Economic globalisation I: The ‘Third World’ and NIDOL
‘First’ versus ‘Third world’ – a scenario for uneven development. The ‘Third World’ – how did
this term come into use? What has been the post-war experience of developing countries?
‘Third World’ conjures up images of poverty, famine, disease and suffering; mud huts,
shantytowns and squalor with children everywhere. A stark contrast to the wealth of mass
consumption in the ‘West’. Drawing upon case studies of continents across the Third World,
the politico-economic relations between Third World countries and developed nations will be
examined to understand the ways in which the ‘West’ has exploited the Third World. The
failure of constitutionally independent Third World countries to successfully pursue
‘modernisation’ lead to a recognition of ‘dependency’, underdevelopment and neocolonialism cultural and economic imperialism.
The Third World is seen as an extension to Western markets and as a reservoir of cheap,
disposable labour. The New International Division of Labour (NIDOL) thesis describes how
export-processing zones (EPZs) in newly industrialised countries (NICs) are used by
Transnational Corporations (TNCs) tempted by financial incentives and cheap labour. In this
era of global corporatism and a world capitalist economy, TNCs argue they aid development,
while their critics accuse them of exploitation, which perpetuates uneven development.
Essential Reading:
Cohen and Kennedy (2000) pp. 117-139 and 140-142, or Bauman, Z. (1998), Chapter 1, or
Held ed. (2000) chapter three.
Additional Reading:
Spybey (1992) pp. 134-8, 168-72, 192-196
Held, D. et al. (1999) op cit, chapter 5.
Allen, J. (1995) ‘Global Worlds’ in Allen, J. & Massey, D. Geographical Worlds, Polity/OUP.
(Especially pp 109-113)
Dicken, P. (1992) Global Shift: the internationalisation of economic activity (2nd ed.), Paul
Frobel, F. et al (1980) The New International Division of Labour, Cambridge University Press
Haynes, J. (1996) Third World Politics. A concise introduction, Blackwell. (Esp. Chap 4)
Hoogvelt, A. (1982) The Third World in global development, Macmillan
Hoogvelt, A. (1996) Globalisation and the Postcolonial World, Macmillan
Worsley, P. (1990) The Three Worlds, Cambridge University Press
Also see Library codes:
Sociology of economic development - 306.3
Developing countries: economic relations with developed countries – 337.091724
Developing countries: industrialisation – 338.88 onwards
The new international division of labour – 331.13791722
Economic globalisation II: The ‘Post-Industrial Society’ in the Developed
The transition from a pre-industrial society (where most people engaged in some form of
agriculture) to an industrial society, is commonly understood to be a key feature in the rise of
modernity. However, it should be recalled that such a set of changes were complex and
occurred over very different timescales and at very different times in different regions and
national societies. It is now often said that the most economically wealthy and technically
sophisticated societies are or have moved into a period of ‘post-industrial’ development.
It is certainly true that the number of people employed in manual labouring or manufacturing
jobs has declined radically in recent years in the wealthiest societies, though the rates are
different from country to country. However ‘industrial’ is a slippery term, so, for example, the
music industry is spoken of as a post-industrial industry.
The decline in the numbers employed in traditional ‘industrial’ sectors can be explained in a
number of ways:
In terms of technological developments (the increasing capacity of machines
to do physical jobs),
Increased international divisions of labour (the farming out of physical labour
to poorer countries),
Transformations of consumption (from material to post-material goods),
Industrial Politics (conflict and/or collaboration between capital and labour).
The relative importance of each of these dimensions in the re-shaping of work has major
significance with regard to the power of nation states to regulate the social and economic
inequalities that have increased in recent years.
The lecture will also examine the claim that the transformation of work in the advanced
societies has either made most people middle class (as white collar workers), rendered class
redundant altogether, or introduced a new polarisation within ‘white collar’ work.
Essential Reading:
Cohen and Kennedy (2000) pp. 60-77 & 139-140, or Bauman, Z. (1998), Chapter 1, and/or
Held ed. (2000) chapter three.
Suggested Reading:
Hall, Held and McGrew, pp. 170-183 and 211-214.
Held, D. et al. (1999) op cit, chapter 5.
Allen, J. (1992), ‘Post-Industrialism and Post-Fordism’, in Hall, S, Held, D. & McGrew, T.
Modernity and its Futures, Open University Press. (pp. 170-220.)
Bell, D. (1973), The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, Basic Books
Frankel, B. (1987), The Post-Industrial Utopians, Polity
Harvey, D (1989), The Condition of Postmodernity, Blackwell, (Part II)
Hirst, P. & Thompson, G. (1996), Globalisation in Question, Polity
Kumar, K (1978), Prophecy and Progress: The Sociology of Industrial and Post-Industrial
Society, Penguin. (Especially chapter 6)
Kumar, K. (1995), From Post-Industrial to Post-Modern Society, Blackwell. (Chapters 2 & 3)
Touraine, A. (1971), The Post-Industrial Society, Ransom Hous
Economics III: Global institutions. Bretton Woods & since
The destruction caused by the Second World War necessitated a programme of economic
reconstruction. This was the remit of the Bretton Woods economic arrangements, namely,
the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the International Trade Organisation
(the ITO was later replaced by GATT conferences and, in 1996, the World Trade
Organisation). These organisations are a confirmation of the global nature of relations as
they provide a regulatory framework for a global capitalist economy. Their history, aims,
operations and contemporary significance will be explained. Some critical evaluation of
these will be given by asking in whose interest these organisations work.
Essential Reading:
Cohen and Kennedy (2000) pp. 53-59 plus handout
Additional Reading:
Spybey (1992) pp. 119-34
Held, D. et al. (1999) op cit, chapter 3.
Bakker, A. (1996) International Financial Institutions, Longman
Boughton, J. & Sarwar Lateef, K. (eds.) (1995) Fifty Years after Bretton Woods: the future of
the IMF and World Bank, International Monetary Fund & World Bank
Griesgraber, J. & Gunter, B. (1996) The World Bank. Lending on a global scale, Pluto
Griesgraber, J. & Gunter, B. (1996) The World’s Monetary System, Pluto
Waters, A. (1994) Do we need the IMF and World Bank?, The Institute of Economic Affairs
World Development Report (1997) The State in a Changing World, published for the Bank by
Oxford University Press
The journal ‘New Internationalist’, issue July 1994, gives a useful critical summary of the
work of the World Bank and IMF
Also see Library codes: World Bank – 332.1532 International Monetary Fund – 332.152
Political globalisation III: The United Nations – a global political
The second World War was a truly world-wide conflict. The three major powers involved in
the defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were the USA, USSR and UK. At the Yalta
Conference in 1945, the leaders of these nation-states set up the United Nations and the
many agencies, which come under its aegis. This attempts to secure stability in the post-war
period was to be set against the backdrop of Cold War politics which lasted until 1989 and
the gradual end of European colonialism. As the UN is a political forum for the global nationstate system, its aims, operations and role will be examined. Consideration will then be
given to the accusation of ‘bias’ implicit in its workings.
Essential Reading:
Cohen and Kennedy (2000) pp. 142-146, 163-168, 307-314, 330-335 & 349 plus handout
Additional Reading:
Held, D. et al. (1999) op cit, chapter 1.
Bailey, S. (1989) The United Nations. A Short Political Guide, Macmillan
Bourantonis, D. & Weinter, J. (1995) The United Nations in the New World Order, Macmillan
Childers, E. (ed.) (1994) Challenges to the United Nations, St Martins Press
Falk, R. (1995) ‘Appraising the UN at 50’ in the Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 48(2),
Kastoo, J. (1995) The United Nations: a global organisation. Its evolution, achievements,
failures and reconstruction, Kall Kwick
Luard, E. (1979) The United Nations. How it works and what it does, Macmillan
Simons, G. (1994) The United Nations. A chronology of conflict, Macmillan
Childers, E. & Urquhart, B. (1994) Renewing the UN System, Dag Hammarskojld
Whittaker, D. (1997) United Nations in the Contemporary World, Routledge
The journal ‘New Internationalist’, issue December 1994, gives a useful critical summary of
the work of the UN.
Also see Library code: United Nations – 341.23
Political globalisation I: Alternatives to ‘Western’ liberal democratic
In a world increasingly influenced by Western institutions and the modernisation path,
alternative models of societal development exist largely in response to this dominance.
However, they are increasingly under threat from global economic forces. Case studies from
Chinese State Socialism and the Islamic Republic of Iran will illustrate the alternatives
pathways to development.
The ‘great experiment’ of comprehensive state planning in the USSR and East-Central
Europe finally collapsed in 1992. Will China’s experience of state socialism follow a similar
pattern or will compromise prove possible?
Islamic influence has been suppressed by the dominance of European culture since the ‘rise
of the West’. However, a recent resurgence in Islam (fuelled by control of most of the
world’s oil production) led to the establishment of an Islamic Republic in Iran (1979) based
on Islamic theological and political principles, but encapsulated within a western model of a
nation-state. The Islamic revival has yet to achieve the unity needed to make it truly global
force and is faced with a world dominated by Western liberal democratic capitalism.
Is a renewal of the socialist model possible? Can there be a truly Islamic alternative? What
are the chances for these alternative pathways against the seemingly inextricable forces of
Essential Reading: Handout plus Bauman, Z. (1998), Chapter 3, and/or Held ed. (2000),
Chapter 4.
Additional Reading:
Hall, Held and McGrew, pp. 20-32 and 48-53.
Held, D. et al. (1999) op cit, chapter 1.
Callinicos, A. (1991) The Revenge of History, Polity
Fukuyama, F. (1989) ‘The End of History?’ in The National Interest, Summer, pp 3-18
(extracts from both of the above are to be found in Hall, Held and McGrew, pp. 48-53)
Hobsbawm, E. (1994) Age of Extremes, Penguin. (Chapter 16 on socialism and Ch 19)
Huntington, S. (1993) ‘The Clash of Civilizations?’ in Foreign Affairs, Vol. 72, No 3, pp 22-49
Saunders, P. (1995) Capitalism: a social audit, Open University Press
Sklair, L. (1995) Social Movements & Global Capitalism, in Sociology, Aug 1995, pp 496-512
Sklair, L. (2002) Globalization: Capitalism and its Alternatives, Oxford: Oxford University
Press. (Chapters on China, former Eastern European Block and Socialist states in the third
Spybey, T. (1992) Social Change, Development & Dependency, Polity. (Ch. 8 & pp 222-3)
Wallerstein, I. (1983) Historical Capitalism, Verso
(extracts from Huntington, Hobsbawn, Sklair and Wallerstein can be found in Lechner and
Boli (2000) ‘The Globalization Reader’, pp. 27-33, 52-56, 57-63 & 64-70)
Political Globalisation II: The State, Politics and New Social Movements
in the Developed World.
The 1960’s are seen as a time of both heightened political radicalism and of a broadening of
the political agenda to include issues previously denoted as non-political or pushed to the
margins of mainstream politics (such as gender, sexuality, youth movements, reproductive
rights, ecology and ‘racial’ equality). On the one hand New Social Movements sowed the
seeds of their own fragmentation within the mainstream political arena through both the
diversity of their motives and by their anti-hierarchical, grass-roots participatory methods.
This fragmentation (or focus on single issues) has lead some to suggest that NSMs are far
less of a threat to the status quo as they were earlier thought to be, and that Old Social
Movements, such as nationalism and class politics, still dominate social life.
However supporters of NSMs argue that the new political agenda encourages diversity and
choice over traditional concerns for security and material well being, and that fragmentation
is a virtue. They argue that fragmentation only appears as a weakness if you hold a
materialist set of priorities, rather than the ‘post-materialist’ values said to characterise
supporters of NSMs.
Critics claim this ‘post-materialism’ is the ideology of a new middle class, eager for
expression and personal autonomy in a global arena of experience. These NMCs are said
to be un-interested in either the stability of the traditionally conservative old middle class or
the solidarity of the old working class. They apply the work ethic to their leisure pursuits and
aesthetic values to their work. As such they do not engage in traditional party politics, which
may explain the gradual decline in party membership, greying of party age profiles, and the
rise of a rather dull sameness amongst such ‘established’ parties.
Those at the bottom of the social heap may thereby be left without the traditional institutions
of support (trade unions, community networks, political parties and national solidarity) as the
more articulate and socially mobile engage in ever more personal and particular forms of
political activity. This has been associated with the rise of ‘risk consciousness’, the increased
perception of vulnerability induced by the fragmentation of traditional forms of social
One argument is that NSMs concerned with ecology are as much the products of this social
anxiety, as such social anxieties are the product of real dangers posed by human relations to
‘nature’. We see nature as dangerous when we feel socially vulnerable.
The current ‘Anti-Capitalism’ movement represents an interesting new site of study!
Essential Reading: Cohen and Kennedy (2000) pp. 287-294, or Bauman, Z. (1998), Chapter
3, or Held ed. (2000), Chapter 4.
Additional Reading:
Held, D. et al. (1999) op cit, chapter 8 (for example of environmentalism).
Hall, Held and McGrew, pp. 130-144.
Beck, U. (1992), Risk Society, London, Sage.
Beck, U, Giddens, A. and Lash, S. (1994) Reflexive Modernisation, Polity. (See Beck article
in the off-print collection)
Crook, S. Pakulski, J. & Waters, M. (1992), Postmodernization: change in advanced
societies, Sage (chapter 5)
Douglas, M. (1984/1966) Purity and Danger: an analysis of the concept of pollution and
taboo, Routledge.
Douglas, M. (1994), Risk and Blame, Routledge.
Douglas, M. (1996), Thought Styles, Sage.
Douglas, M. and Wildavsky, A. (1982), Risk and Culture, University of California Press
Habermas, J. (1971) Towards a Rational Society, HEB Paperbacks.
Habermas, J. (1988/1976), Legitimation Crisis, Polity.
Hall, S, Held, D. and McGrew, T. Modernity and its Futures, Open University Press.
(chapter 3).
Inglehart, R. (1977), The Silent Revolution, Basic Books.
Inglehart, R. (1991), Culture Shift, Princeton, Princeton University Press.
Scott, A. (1990) Ideology and the New Social Movements, Hyman.
Spybey, T. (1996), Globalization and World Society, Polity (chapter 7)
Yearley, S. (1996) Sociology, Environmentalism, Globalisation, Sage.
Cultural globalisation III: Islam and the ‘West’
The ‘clash of cultures’ between Islam and Christianity has become increasingly visible in the
globalised world. The events of 2001 have brough these issues to a new level of
significance. There is much fear about Islam in the ‘West’ and much resentment of the ‘West’
in developing societies. Since the collapse of State Socialism, Islam is being treated as the
new enemy of peace, prosperity and the ‘American Way’. This lecture aims to cut through
the propaganda. Firstly, this ‘conflict’ is not new: its history dates back a thousand years to
the Crusades (where atrocities were committed by both sides, but arguably Islam was more
accepting of Christianity than vice versa). Secondly, I will outline the ways in which Islam
could be conceived as an alternative to the globalised world and judge the extent to which
this is a reality. This will entail an understanding of Islam as ‘a way of life’, a brief
examination of Islam resurgence across the world and an evaluation of the place of
‘fundamentalisms’ in a globalised world (N.B. the term ‘fundamentalist’ is underpinned by a
value judgement and has connotations of ethnocentricity. What the ‘Western’ media call
‘Islamic fundamentalism’ is more accurately termed ‘Islamism’).
Essential Reading: Cohen and Kennedy (2000) pp. 347-348 & 363-366
Additional Reading
Huntington, S. (1993) ‘The Clash of Civilizations?’ in Foreign Affairs, Vol. 72, No 3, pp 22-49
Ali, T. (2002) ‘The Clash of Fundamentalisms’, London, Verso.
Spybey (1992) Chapter 12
Held, D. et al. (1999) op cit, chapter 7.
Lechner and Boli’s ‘The Globalization Reader’ contains many interesting sections on Islam
Afshar, Haleh (1998) Islam and feminisms: an Iranian case study, Macmillan
Ahmed, Leila (1992) Women and gender in Islam, Yale University Press
Ahmed, A. S. (1988) Discovering Islam: making sense of Muslim history and society,
Ahmed, A. S & Hastings, D. (eds.) (1994) Islam, globalisation and postmodernity, Routledge
Ahmed, A. S. (1992) Postmodernism and Islam: Predicament and promise, Routledge
Boularis, H. (1990) Islam: the fear and the hope, Zed Books
Choudhury, G.W. (1990) Islam and the contemporary World, Indus Thames
Esposito, J. (1988) Islam. The Straight Path, Oxford University Press
Esposito, J. (1996) Islam and Democracy, Oxford University Press
Esposito, J. (ed.) (1997) Political Islam: revolution, radicalism or reform?, Lynne Rienner
Sayyid, B. S. (1997) A fundamental fear: Eurocentrism and the emergence of Islamism, Zed
Waines, D. (1995) An Introduction to Islam, Cambridge University Press
Cultural Globalisation II: ‘Post-Modernity’ in the developed world (and
Is life in the consumer culture or the ‘West’ the realisation of human freedom, or the collapse
of all higher virtues in the pursuit of selfish, decadent emptiness? Are these two the same
thing (two sides of the same coin)? What is ‘post-modernity’? Is it the collapse of established
distinctions, between spaces (the rise of global consumer culture), and/or between times
(the collapse of the narratives of historical development), or is it perhaps only a local and
historically specific response to the transformation of economic and political relations in
recent decades (an ideology of late Capitalism)?
This lecture will present and examine ten dimensions of ‘post-modernity’ and question the
relationship between PM and Globalisation.
Essential Reading:
Cohen and Kennedy (2000) pp. 60, 90-91, 212-228, 230-239, 342-343, or Bauman, Z.
(1998), Chapter 4, and/or Held, D. ed. (2000), Chapter 2.
Additional Reading:
Hall, Held and McGrew, pp. 222-237 and 256-270
Held, D. et al. (1999) op cit, chapter 7.
Bauman, Z. (1991) Modernity and Ambivalence, Polity
Bauman, Z. (1992) Intimations of Postmodernity, Routledge
Bauman, Z. (1993) Post-modern Ethics, Blackwell
Bauman, Z. (1995) Post-Modernity, menace or chance, (see handout).
Callinicos, A. (1989) Against Postmodernism, Polity
Featherstone, M. (1995) Undoing Culture: globalisation, postmodernism and identity, Sage
Foster, H. (1983) The Anti-Aesthetic: essays on post-modern culture...
Hall, S. Held, D. & McGrew, T. (1992) Modernity and its Futures, Open University Press.
(The rest of chapter 5)
Harvey, D. (1989) The Condition of Postmodernity, Blackwell. (Chapter 1)
Jameson, F. (1984) ‘Post-modernism or the cultural logic of late capitalism’ in New Left
Review, No. 146 pp 53-92
Kumar, K. (1995) From Post-Industrial to Post-Modern Society, Blackwell. (Chapters 4 and
Lash, S. (1990) Sociology of Postmodernism, Routledge
Miles, S. (1998) Consumerism as a Way of Life, London, Sage.
Smart, B. (1992) Modern Conditions, Postmodern Controversies, London, Routledge
Smart, B. (1993) Postmodernity, Routledge
Cultural Globalisation III: Global culture?
Famously, Marshall McLuhan described how, linked by technological advances, “the globe is
no more than a village” (1964: 12-13). This idea of the global village remains a popular short
hand for the processes of globalisation, which continued apace. However, McLuhan’s ideas
were part of an era when academic concern focused on ‘cultural imperialism’ and particularly
the role of the mass media in the imposition of a dominant culture. Mass communication
was seen as integral to the policies of ‘modernisers’ who wished to shape the aspirations of
populations in the ‘Third World’. Commercial advertising, plus films and television, were
viewed by theorists in the dependence paradigm as influences which threatened the integrity
of other cultures. ‘Western’ consumer culture stood accused of taking over the world.
Certainly, some consumer ‘brands’ can truly be described as global: Coke, Pepsi,
McDonald’s, Disney, Levi’s and Nike all sell their products to markets the world over. In this
respect they are pervasive (widespread). However, contemporary theorists of globalisation
no longer claim simple, unidirectional ‘cultural imperialism’ is occurring. The idea that a
homogenous ‘Americanised’ global culture exists is challenged by contemporary experience.
Some people actively resist the imposition of ‘alien’ cultures in their lives. The influences of
other, non-American, cultures have an impact in ‘the West’ and elsewhere. Also, new ‘hybrid’
cultures are formed by individuals who adopt the pervasive culture in their specific contexts.
Robertson’s concept of ‘relativization’ will be used to explore the impact of globalisation upon
cultural identities.
However, if we are to think critically about the concept of ‘cultural imperialism’, we might first
want to ask whether hybridity represents a real challenge to the notion of cultural
imperialism, when hybridity was itself a central characteristic of military, political and
economic forms of imperialism in past times (and even today). If we are to suggest that
hybridity negates imperialism must we then accept that the Roman and British empires were
not ‘imperialist’, as they certainly borrowed heavily from the cultures they colonised?
Essential Reading: Cohen and Kennedy (2000) pp. 239-246 & 248-260, or Bauman, Z.
(1998), Chapter 4, or Held, D. ed. (2000), Chapter 2.
Additional Reading:
Hall, Held and McGrew (1992) pp. 304-314 317-320, 323-325.
Held, D. et al. (1999) op cit, chapter 7.
Albrow, M. (1996) The Global Age, Polity
Featherstone, M. (1990) ‘Global Culture: An introduction’ in Featherstone, M. (ed.) Global
Culture. Nationalism, Globalisation and Modernity, Sage. (other chapters useful).
Giddens, A. (1994) ‘Living in a Post-traditional Society’ in Beck, U, Giddens, A. & Lash, S.
Reflexive Modernization: politics, tradition and aesthetics in the modern social order,
Polity. (Esp. p 95 onward)
Latouche, S. (1996) The Westernization of the World, Polity
Hall, S. (1992) ‘The Question of Cultural Identity’ in Hall. S., Held, D. & McGrew, A. (eds.)
Modernity and its Futures, Polity/OUP
Robertson, R & Lechner, F. (1985) ‘Modernization, Globalisation and the problem of Culture
in World-Systems Theory’ in Theory, Culture and Society, Vol. 2, pp 103-12
Robertson, R. (1992) Globalisation. Social Theory and Global Culture, Sage. (Chapter 1)
Robertson, R. (1985) ‘Globalisation’ in Featherstone, M., Lash, S., and Robertson, R. (eds.)
Global Modernities, Sage. (Particularly the penultimate section and the conclusion)
Exam Preparation: Modernity and Globalisation: chicken and egg?
The lecture time in the week after lecture 20 will address exam preparation. The group will
consider the link between modernity and globalisation by looking at the sociological theories
surrounding the causes and consequences of globalisation. Is it, as Giddens (1989)
suggests, that globalisation is simply the world-wide spread of modernity? Or, is it the case,
as Albrow (1996) believes, that the era of modernity has been supplanted by an era of
globality? In a more critical vein, Sklair (2002) argues that what has occurred is simply the
global spread of capitalism.
The final lecture will emphasise how the different aspects of the course fit together. To
understand social relations in the contemporary world sociologists must look both at home
and abroad; give consideration to both the local and the global. Societies are not
impenetrable groupings that begin and end at a national boundary line; they are open to
influences from all over the world.
The main purpose of this lecture is to give a sense of integration and to give guidance on the
module examination.
Essential Reading: Cohen and Kennedy (2000) pp. 358-373, or re-read Bauman or Held
Additional Reading: Spybey, pp. 224-236 Held, D. et al. (1999) op cit, conclusion.
Seminar Listings and Outlines
Bi-weekly seminars begin in the second week of each term to give you time to assimilate
the materials and undertake the required reading/tasks. To re-iterate:
Seminars will begin with a discussion of key definitions to confirm that everyone is up to
speed with that week’s seminar preparation tasks
Debate will centre on lecture materials, essential readings, your wider readings and your
The main purpose is to clarify arguments, improve your grasp of materials and make
connections between theoretical arguments, empirical evidence and your experience.
While all groups follow common guidelines, the exact format can be negotiated between
your group and the tutor.
Seminar One
What is Modernity?
Aims and Objectives: To understand the course programme and agree seminar format
within the group. To familiarise yourself with the course’s analytical framework. To
discuss the idea of ‘modernity’.
Preparatory Tasks: Look up the terms: ‘Modernity’, ‘Modern’, ‘Modernism’,
‘Modernisation’ in a sociology dictionary or in an ordinary English dictionary. Write down
your definitions and reference correctly.
Read essential readings for lectures 1 and 2. Think about the question set out below.
Seminar Activities: Firstly you should get acquainted with the rest of your seminar
group. After introductions you should briefly discuss your hopes and fears about this
course (given its basis in social theory, history and current affairs). This is not an empty
exercise; it will help you, the tutor and the group identify strengths to build on and
weaknesses to address. During the next thirty minutes discuss the different ways of
thinking about and defining the term ‘modern’. Try to arrive at a definition by listing
characteristics of modernity. Divide these into politics, economics and culture. For a
general discussion, consider this question: Has the ‘modern’ way of life created more
problems that it has solved? Think of some key events and dates that you associate with
the rise of the modern world.
Seminar Two
Progress: The West and the Rest
Aims and Objectives: To critically evaluate the term ‘progress’. To begin to understand
how ‘modernity’ was adopted and/or imposed around the world. To discuss the
justifications for the unequal relations which have come to characterise the
contemporary world.
Preparatory Tasks: Locate, write down and reference definitions for the following terms:
‘Progress’, ‘Enlightenment’, ‘Renaissance’ & ‘Reason’.
To read the essential readings for lectures 3 and 4
Seminar Activities: This seminar will involve both group work and discussion. After you
have presented your preparation task materials the next task is for everyone in the group
to individually write down phrases or words that come to mind when you hear the term
‘progress’. Giddens identifies four dynamics of modernisation (industrial production,
capitalist markets, state bureaucratic surveillance and nationalist militarism). Think about
these when trying to outline the idea of ‘progress’. Now, organise yourself into small
groups. Compare your phrases and organise these into a group definition. Come back to
the whole class and share your definition. As a whole group, brainstorm answers to the
following question: What form of modern social organisation (political, economic and
cultural) were implanted by European colonists during the age of exploration? Go back
into the smaller groups. The settlers who followed in the wake of Columbus had many
reasons for believing in the superiority of their own way of life. Think of an example of
‘progress’ that these ‘conquerors’ of the New World could have used to justify their
domination of the indigenous population. Identify who benefited from the change. Now
decide who, if anyone, lost out. Come back to the whole class and discuss your
examples. If there is time, consider the question: ‘was modernity simply imposed on the
rest of the world using brute force?’
Seminar Three
Materialism and ‘Modern’ Economics
It was not Marx that first propagated the notion that history is driven by economic selfinterest rather than political or moral doctrines, even if his name is often associated with
the notion of ‘historical materialism’. Modern economics and economic life could only
exist in a society that accepts a separation between morality and practical action. For
some this represents liberation from the dogma of outdated moral codes which sought to
impose a regimented way of life on everybody. For others modern economics represents
a moral vacuum in which ethical action is either stunted or eliminated. A third way, if you
like, is to suggest that beneath economic exchange there must already be a moral bond.
Is our society so underpinned, or are we really a morally bankrupt collection of selfish
Aims and Objectives: Aim - To identify what is distinct about ‘modern economies’.
Objectives - To discuss relations between morality and practicality in modern society.
Preparatory Tasks: Locate, write down and reference definitions for the following terms:
‘Materialism’, ‘Economics’, ‘Capitalism’, and ‘Morality’.
Read essential readings for lectures 5 & 6.
Write out your thoughts on the following question: Has the national lottery brought the
efficiency, drive and power of economics to the morality of charity or replaced morality
with glamour, titillation and the selfish desire to get rich? In this seminar two groups of
three students each will be expected to present five minute responses to the above
question. One groups will take one stance and the second the other. This should provide
a basis for a lively discussion. Decide in advance of the seminar which group you want
to be in. You may have to play devils advocate if everyone goes for one option.
Seminar Activities: After your definitions have been presented, the next twenty minutes will
be spent with the two student groups developing their argument and giving a brief account of their
answer. This will be followed by a brief discussion. Then for ten minutes students will discuss in
small groups the proposition that economic rationality is the best way to generate the maximum
human happiness (the Utilitarian Doctrine), and that morality is a poor second to money in the
fulfilment of human ‘need’. The following ten minutes will be spend feeding back results to the
group as a whole. The final few minutes will be spent addressing the proposition: ‘Markets
require exchange. Without trust there can be no exchange. Without morality there can be no
Seminar Four
The Nation State and Violence?
Modern nation-states have been responsible for the most violent acts of war, organised
in a manner that would have been far beyond the capacity of feudal dynasties. Modern
European nationalism has been responsible for creating perhaps the most ethnically
cleansed societies the world has ever known. Some would even claim it is perverse to
believe that we are ‘multi-cultural societies’, when in reality we are far less ethnically
diverse than would have been the case five hundred years ago. Modern nation-states
have also seen the emergence of ‘democracy’ and forms of ‘universal’ welfare
provision that could not have been dreamt of in past times. But what came before the
nation-state, in fact which came first, the nation or the state, and what might come after
the nation-state?
Aims and Objectives: Aim: To identify the political and cultural origins of modern
nation-states. Objectives: To discuss the precursors to the nation-state; disputes over
the primacy of the state or the nation in the fusion of the two; and to ask what might
come after the nation-state.
Preparatory Tasks: Read the essential readings for lectures 7 & 8. Locate, write down
and reference the terms ‘nation’ (or ‘nation-state’), ‘nationalism’, ‘sovereignty’ and
‘liberty’. Think about the following: Which came first, the nation or the state? What is the
relationship between individualism and modern state authority? What is the relationship
between democracy and war?
Seminar Activities: The first twenty minutes will be spent outlining the meaning and
significance of the terms: nation, state and nationalism. Then students will spend ten
minutes discussing the origins of ethnic identity (is ethnicity a primordial identity or the
result of contemporary propaganda?). Then, the question for discussion will be: if
democracy is the rule of the people, and nation-states create or built up ethnically
exclusive ‘peoples’, was modern European democracy simply a manifestation of
militaristic nationalism, driven by capitalist expansionism? Was it not, on the other hand,
a genuine step forward towards universal equality and participation? Is the modern
individual victim or hero? Is the nation state ‘Legitimate’ any more?
Think about the following examples:
The National Health Service (Socialist)
The National Trust (conservative with a small c)
The National Lottery (Neo-Liberal)
The British National Party (Neo-Fascist)
What does the term ‘National’ mean in ‘this’ country?
Seminar Five Intervening for change – modernisation and dependency
Aims and Objectives: To understand the terms modernisation and dependency, and
their basis in sociological theory. To discuss the policies of development applied by
powerful nations following World War II and the criticisms of them. To critically evaluate
development and its futures through Giddens’ four-fold framework.
Preparatory Tasks: Locate, write down and reference definitions for the following terms:
‘Dependency Theory’, ‘Underdevelopment’, ‘Evolution’, and ‘Revolution’. Read the
essential readings for lectures 9 & 10. Two groups of three students will prepare five to
ten minute presentations. One will give an outline of modernisation theory (based on
chapter three of Peet (1991) see reading list). The second group will give an outline of
dependency theory (based on chapter four of Peet). It will be important to identify groups
in advance. The aim of the first group will be to explain modernisation theory and its
practical manifestations. The group may seek to highlight the successes and potential
justifications for the approach. Handouts and overheads should be prepared to enhance
the presentation. The second group will explain the tenets of dependency theory and
present arguments and evidence to support the claim that much of modernisation theory
and practice is flawed. Handouts and overheads should be prepared for use alongside
the presentation.
Seminar Activities: This seminar will begin with the two presentations. After which there
will be a group discussion. As a whole group it is important to discuss the following:
What are the links between these particular theories and more general ‘grand’ social
What are the similar/parallel weaknesses of both theories?
What is the purpose of programmes of ‘development’?
Seminar Six: What is Globalisation?
The ‘International Community’ is frequently cited as the source of legitimacy for actions to
regulate the behaviour of ‘smaller’ economic and political actors. But just how ‘global’ is the
‘International Community’, and what are the lobbies behind the scenes that attempt to act
through its guise? Within the remit of ‘risk reduction’ and ‘global security’ there would appear
to be a tension between, on the one hand, international environmental actors and, on the
other international military players. However sometimes the coalitions formed within and
between these two sets of actors are not as one might at first expect. Are the risks we hear
so much about genuine and significant threats or hype in the interests of those who would
seek to impose yet more control and regulation on our lives or those of other people?
Aims and Objectives: To clarify the meaning of the term ‘International Community’ with
reference to environmentalism and the global military order.
To discuss the role of social movements, actors and institutions within ‘World’ affairs.
To discuss the problems and inconsistencies in current ‘World’ governance.
Preparatory Tasks: Find a Web site for either an international ‘non-governmental
organisation’ (Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Amnesty International etc.), a
transnational corporation (Shell, Nestle, General Motors etc.), an international
governmental agency (such as the UN, World Bank, IMF, Interpol etc.), or an
internationally powerful actor (such as the Pentagon, the CIA etc.). Prepare a brief (2-3
minute) presentation outlining the organisation, its international scope and its operations.
Think about how ‘humanitarian’ objectives may clash or be brought into line with other
‘strategic interests’ within the activities of these organisations. In what ways do such
organisations promote, or refute, the idea that we are living in an increasingly global
world? What sort of a world are such actors fostering?
Seminar Activities: Students will deliver their mini-presentations. The second part of
the seminar will consider the international scope of military/political/economic/cultural
activities today. How far are governmental and non-governmental organisations living up
to their promises of ‘making the world a safer place for everyone’?
The final part of the seminar will address the following questions:
1. Shouldn’t we send toxic waste to the third world? Surely, as they die younger anyway,
they won’t be so heavily effected by ‘long term’ after effects, and its a nice little earner
for them.
2. What right have western environmentalists got to tell the rest of the world to save
their rainforests, when the West cut their forests down in the process of economic
3. Why can’t Iraq have nuclear weapons like us? Nobody ever voted to bomb
themselves so being a democracy is a total red herring.
4. With only one global superpower, is ‘Western’ democracy secure, or does the lack of
an alternative ensure that elites will have no incentive to consider the views of the
Seminar Seven: A World Economy? End of industrialism for some, beginning for others?
Aims and Objectives: At the same moment as it is claimed that the more economically
developed countries are now ‘post-industrial’, there is still a question mark over the
extent to which the less-developed countries have become ‘industrial’. Just how much
sense can be made out of the notion of ‘the service sector’ anyway, and what are the
limits, both of entry and departure, of the era of ‘industrial society’.
Aims: To explore the meaning of industrial and post-industrial conditions in a changing
world. Objectives To clarify the vocabulary and to map the changing territory of world
economic life. To understand the role of Transnational Corporations and the terms ‘New
International Division of Labour’ and ‘Export Processing Zones’.
Preparatory Tasks: Read the essential readings for lectures 13 and 14. Locate, write
down and reference definitions for: ‘industrial’ (or ‘industrial revolution’), ‘industry’, ‘postindustrial’ and ‘post-fordism’. Can we talk about a ‘post-industrial’ ‘music industry’,
‘tourist industry’ and even a ‘university for industry’. Ask yourself the following question:
Have so many manual jobs disappeared from the ‘advanced’ societies because
machines now do these jobs or because these jobs are now being done by cheaper
labour elsewhere in the world?
Seminar Activities: The seminar will be based upon a discussion of the following five
1. Is the working class dead?
2. Is the service sector a coherent entity or a misleading term?
3. Is the white collar future female?
4. Are the less developed countries simply going to follow the path taken by the
more developed countries (are we what they have to look forward to)?
5. What are the advantages and disadvantages that TNCs bring for:
a) People in third world countries?
b) People in the ‘post-industrialised’ countries?
Seminar Eight:
United Nations and Bretton Woods Financial Arrangements
Aims and Objectives To explore the role and functions of the United Nations and
Bretton Woods financial arrangements. To consider the bias implicit in the set up &
workings of global institutions.
Preparatory Tasks: Read the essential readings for lectures 15 and 16. Four World
Wide Web sites are to be explored. Everyone should look up one site. The following four
sites are to be examined:
1. Visit the United Nations internet site at
From the home page click on ‘About the UN’. Note some facts and figures (e.g. how it is
organised, its expenditure, the projects which it funds, how much its employees get paid,
how much it is owed and by whom, etc.). Also visit the pages on ‘Economic and Social
Development’ and ‘Human Rights’. What are the UN’s objectives in this field? Find
details of a recent report to bring to the seminar.
2. Visit the World Bank’s internet site at
From the home page click on ‘About the World Bank Group’. Note some facts and
figures. Also visit the pages on ‘Development Topics’. Choose a topic and identify the
Bank’s objectives in that field. Find details of a recent project to bring to the seminar.
3. Visit the IMF’s internet site at
From the home page click on ‘About the IMF’. Note some facts and figures. On this page
there is also a list of Topics of interest – visit the one called ‘Social Aspects’. Summarise
the Fund’s objectives in this field, with examples. Also visit the pages on ‘News
Releases’ to find details of a recent project to bring to the seminar.
4. Visit the World Trade Organisation internet site at
From the home page click on ‘About the WTO’. Note down some facts and figures
(including its functions). Visit the pages on ‘environment’ and ‘development’ and
summarise the WTO’s interest in these areas. Also visit the ‘FAQs’ and ‘Press Releases’
pages to find details of current activities to bring to the seminar.
Seminar Activities: This session is based around the materials which you bring to the
seminar. They can be exchanged with others to build up information about different
global organisations. You will be expected to explain about the organisation you were
allocated and share the results of your searches. Some key questions may be useful
guides for enquiry:
The United Nations: In what ways might the UN be upholding the status quo between
rich and poor nations? Which nations have the most power and influence? How does the
UN seek to protect individual people? Is it successful?
Bretton Woods financial arrangements: In what ways are the existing inequalities
between nations reflected in the set up of the World Bank and IMF? In what ways are
they reflected in their operations? Why do they stand accused of making the poorest
people even poorer?
World Trade Organisation: Is free trade to the benefit of everyone?
Seminar Nine
Alternatives to Western Liberal Democratic Capitalism
Aims and Objectives: To understand the relations between states, nations and global
flows within ‘developed’ countries and within the ‘Second’/’Third’ world. To consider the
alternative pathways to development open to economically less developed countries,
and the potential of new social movements across the globe to challenge traditional
elites and modes of government.
Preparatory tasks: Read the essential reading materials for lectures 17 and 18. Locate,
write down and reference definitions of the following terms: ‘First World’, ‘Second World’,
‘Third World’.
Seminar Activities:
In small groups discuss the following (ten minutes on each):
What is the ‘Second World’? How does the organisation of State Socialism differ
from Liberal Democratic Capitalism and how might it be said to be similar?
How do new social movements challenge traditional conceptions of politics? Do
they represent a real alternative?
Feedback answers to the whole group and consider
What makes the underlying assumptions about ‘First’, ‘Second’ and ‘Third’ worlds
‘ethnocentric’? What are the other problems in using these terms?
Are we truly living in ‘one world’ as NSM activists often claim, or are nation states
still the key players in political life?
The remainder of the seminar will be an open discussion of the following:
The alternative routes to development open to economically less-developed
countries are either State Socialism of Islamism. Do either of these represent
viable alternatives in or challenges to a globalised world?
Seminar Ten:
Globalisation – Convergence and/or Diversity?
Aims and Objectives: To clarify the terms ‘globalisation’ and ‘postmodernity’.
To begin applying theoretical ideas to examples in politics, economics and culture.
To assess the question of whether global culture encourages similarity or difference.
Preparatory Tasks: Read essential readings for lectures 19 and 21. Then think about an
‘everyday’ example of how globalisation/postmodernity effects your life. Locate, write down
and reference definitions for the following terms: ‘Hybridity’, ‘Cultural Imperialism’,
‘Postmodernity/Post-modernity’ (or ‘Postmodern/Post-modern’) and ‘Culture’.
Seminar Activities: This session will be organised as a debate with two sides.
One group will put forward the case that globalised culture encourages ‘homogeneity’
(sameness). Use the following to stimulate ideas:
In what respect is social life becoming similar across the world? Think about
examples in culture (food, entertainment, beliefs), politics (nation-states, citizenship
and human rights) and economics (capitalism and industrialism).
How does capitalism facilitate globalisation and vice versa? What relationship is
there between mass and new communications media and globalisation?
The second group will put the case that globalised culture encourages ‘heterogeneity’
(difference). Use the following to stimulate ideas:
What is postmodernity? Think of examples of postmodern ‘fragmented’ culture (‘pick
and mix identities’, awareness of difference) and the subversion of universal truths
(e.g. doubt about science and progress, and/or traditional roles/values).
Criticise the idea that people are ‘cultural dopes’ who simply accept foreign cultures
in their lives. Think about ‘active adoption’ of pervasive cultural forms and artefacts.
What is a hybrid culture (food, music)? Explain why examples of ‘hybrid’ cultures
might refute theories of homogenisation.
Allow 10-15 minutes to prepare the arguments. Each will give a brief statement of their
position. The seminar tutor will them chair an open discussion.
In the final five minutes the following questions will be considered by everyone:
Is globalisation simply the spread of ‘Western’ culture? Can you think or examples of
non-Western influences on ‘Western’ social life today?
How do people ‘actively reproduce’ global social institutions? Who has the power in
globalised society? Who are the powerless?
Seminar Eleven:
Exam Surgery
Note down any questions you might have here and bring them along to the session.
For this course the assessment is in two parts:
5% seminar preparation tasks (handed in at each seminar)
45% essay (submitted before 3pm on January 14th 2004)
50% examination (at the end of the semester)
The essay will only assess what you are taught in the first term. In the examination emphasis
will be placed on the ‘substantive issues’ covered in Block Two. However, as part and parcel
of the exam answers you will be expected to draw on your theoretical knowledge from Block
One in order to explain and evaluate the ‘substantive issues’ of social change in the
contemporary world. Read on…
Seminar Preparation Tasks
For seminars 1-5, 7, 9 & 10 you will be required to identify and reference definitions for a
number of key terms. These must be ready for the start of the seminar. Materials cannot be
submitted in subsequent seminars. If you have extenuating circumstances these must be
taken up with the module leader (with supporting evidence). Seminars 6 & 8 are slightly
different, as they involve you identifying and taking notes on particular web sites.
The Essay
Write a 1500-2000 word essay on the following statement:
Has 200 years of ‘Modernity’ made the social world a better place?
Making reference to at least two of the following: political, economic and cultural dimensions
of modernity, critically examine the relationship between Modernity and the
idea/achievement of ‘Progress’.
Further Advise: The marking criteria for the overall structure are those outlined in the
Sociology Factfile. Referencing must be completed in the Harvard System OR the Footnote
System Or the Endnote System (see the JSSS handout entitled ‘Guidelines for the
presentation of essays’ 2002/2003 Stages 1, 2, 3). There is no absolute preference, but BE
CONSISTENT and do not use more than one system. Make sure you reference materials
which have been paraphrased from the literature or you will leave yourself open to
accusations of plagiarism.
Essays should be word processed or typed. Essays should be presented on single sided A4
double-spaced, using a 12 or 14 point font. Please do not submit work in plastic wallets, a
single staple will suffice.
The Exam
There is an unseen examination paper at the end of the semester. The examination will
be TWO HOURS in length and students will be expected to answer TWO questions from
a choice of six.
The following SAMPLE EXAMINATION PAPERS give you an indication of the style and
content of the exam. Students who wish to undertake exam preparation by answering
similar questions are advised to use these sample examination papers for this purpose.
The final lecture will include some exam preparation and any queries should be directed
to your seminar leader in the first instance.
Social Change in the Modern World
Two hours
Candidates should answer TWO questions
1. With reference to sociological theories of globalisation, evaluate whether social life is
becoming increasingly similar the world over or if people are being made more aware
of their differences.
2. Describe and evaluate the role of ONE of the following components of the global
institutional framework:
a) The United Nations
b) The Bretton Woods Financial Arrangements
3. Transnational Corporations stand accused of not spreading development but
exploiting cheap labour. Evaluate this argument with reference to the ‘New
International Division of Labour’ thesis and the activities of Export Processing Zones.
4. What is post-modernism? What might a post-modern world look like, and is it the
whole world or just a small section of it?
5. Where has all the industry gone? Has it disappeared entirely, moved elsewhere, or
simply changed?
6. With reference to EITHER the sociology of development OR the sociology of risk
consciousness (or a fusion of the two), assess the claim that ‘global’ environmental
politics is more concerned with first world anxieties than with third world
Social Change in the Modern World
Two hours
Candidates should answer TWO questions
Does the New World Order represent a global village, global pillage, neither or both?
Discuss in terms of the role played by the United Nations today.
Do global economic institutions and/or the New International Division of Labour
encourage modernisation or dependency in ‘developing’ societies?
Bauman suggests that the tourist and the vagabond characterise the polarity of life in a
global world. Does the postmodern represent global cultural choice and freedom for the
rich or cultural imperialism for the poor? Discuss.
Has globalisation permanently undermined the nation state or will it generate reactions
against itself? Discuss in relation to either the history of state socialism or the revival of
5. Do new social movements and/or the post-industrial society represent radical
transformative forces in the political/economic life of developed societies, or has change
been more modest?
6. Is the world today more united or more divided than in the past? Discuss with reference
to the modern idea of progress.
Important: These are sample examination papers intended to convey the form of
the examination. It is NOT the examination paper that you will sit on the day!
It is the responsibility of the student to:
Check with faculty administration that they are registered to take the examination.
Check the time and place of the examination when the exam timetable is published.
Turn up at the right place and time to take the examination.
Access Via Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Go to:
Scroll down to bottom of the page and click on link to: Modernity and Globalisation (Soc2032).
Then click on link to: SOC2032 PowerPoint Lecture Slides. Then select a lecture. The front page for
that lecture will appear. The next moves depend upon which browser you choose.
Via Netscape
Using the left-hand button on the mouse click on Download Presentation Source. A dialogue box will
appear. Note that you have the choice of whether to open the slide show or save it to disc. Click on the
save it to disc option. Opening the presentation will only allow you to print one slide at a time. Now
you need to choose where to save the file to (either to your university space or to a floppy disc). Once
you have saved the file you can either save other files in the same way or move on to printing the
slides as handouts inside PowerPoint – explained below.
Via Microsoft
In this Web Browser you will need to click on the download presentation source using the right hand
button on your mouse. A menu will appear and you need to click on Save Target As... Now you need
to choose where to save the file to (either to floppy disc or your university space).
In both cases you now leave the Web and work with the files you have saved in the same way. Click
the start button in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. Select Office Applications and then
Microsoft PowerPoint 97. This opens PowerPoint. The dialogue box that appears first is for creating
new PowerPoint shows, which you do not need here, so you can press the cancel button in that box.
You will then need to open the file you want to print. Click on the File menu button and then click on
Open. Select and open the file you want to print. Inside PowerPoint you can now edit the print options
and print the slides 2 or 3 or 6 to a sheet, rather than individually. Using the File menu again select the
Print option. The Print option dialogue box will appear. On the left and towards the bottom of this
box you will see the word Slides with an arrow to the right of it. Click on the arrow and choose
Handouts 2, 3 or 6, depending on how many slides you want per sheet. You may wish to choose the
Black and White option to avoid the cost of colour printing. Then print!