Soc In General, Mathius, Comte

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Sociology Prelim 1

"August Comte and the Beginnings of Sociological Theory," Turner & Beeghley

Comte was wriing during the french revolution, he thought of society as an organism and that it was evolving. his goal was to look at the world scientifically
He broke society into 2 parts, socal static and social dynamic
social static- different parts of society and they interact changing and staying the same social dynamic- changes that happen in an area that relate to changes in another an example is the different number of children that people have

"Sociology as a Passion to Understand," Berger

looks at society in a scientific way and have no personal view on thier work- its the misconceptions on society

"Booms, Busts, and Echoes," Bloom & Canning

i. Rapid population growth for the past 140 years
ii. 1960's proposed population growth aided economic development by spurring technological advances there are highly unpredictable things that occur that can change the demographics
iii. for much of human history everything was very stable
iv. even if population growth stopped there are going to be demograhic changes still
v. continuous population growth impacts the economy
vi. promotes labor shortages which puts pressure on wages
vii. the birth rate is higher in developing countries because a lack of contraception
viii. in developed countries the mortality rate increases
b. Population is increasing and mortality rate is declining

"The Scarcity Fallacy," Scanlan, Jenkins, & Peterson

a. Food as a human right
b. World hunger
i. What do economics think about the crisis in food supply
ii. Developing countries don't have enough food and developed countries have too much food

Social Stratification

The unequal distribution of resources or conditions across groups- wealth healthcare race etc etc

Specialization and Rationalization

the division of labor consequences for social solidarity, order

Capitalism and inequality

the emergence of industrial capitalism and associated problems with social stratification and conflict

post industrialization

economic restructuring and the shift to service work nonstandard labor

Globalization and post modernity

breaking down georaphic and social bariars


the # of individuals in a given place that can be supported by its natural resource limits (ie without degrading the environment)

Mathius Model of population growth

The way that this graph folds over time- means that there is a catastrophe- a large catastrophe

Mathius "Path"

i. Population growth-> food scarcity-> food prices increase -> food process decline
ii. Population growth-> labor surplus -> labor wages decline -> emplovers hire more workers -> increased food subpply <- decline in reproduction
1. BOTH lead to laborer poverty and starvation -> decline in reproduction -> population stagnation
i. Positive impact

Mathius-Mechanisms of Population Control

a. War, famine, plagues, natural disasters
b. "premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race
i. "positive checks
famine natural disaster disease war infanticide murder
ii. preventative checks- abstinence and contracepotion

Criticisms of Mathius

a. Implies that social inequality and various catastrophes have long term benefits for society
b. Ignores the role of subsistence technology in improving societys ability to produce and distribute food.
c. Hunter gatheer- horticulture-agrarian-industrial
d. Ignores the role of social organization for avoiding resource scarcity


1/2 a century before comte, not a typical sociologist, wrote Essay on the Principle of Population (1798), published his theory around the time that the worlds population reached 1 billion, he was concerned about resource scarcity because of the widspread poverty in the world, he didnt think the world could hold all of these idividuals

Aguste Comte

the 1st sociologists, he said there was a gap in the sciences of the time sos he developed sociology, he said that theere was a heiracrchy of sciences

Hierarchy of sciences (comte)

Astronomy -> Physics->Chemistry -> Biology -> Sociology
Sociology pulls from every other type of science

Comtes agenda

society is an organism- he wanted to study how the parts of society fit together, he wanted to study short and long term change, he had to pull from all of

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