Uncategorized, W.E.B. Du Bois

Du Bois Reading Response

The reading for Du Bois was much more accessible than the other three readings we had for this class. Du Bois’s main target was racism. The chapters in the book started off with a song, which I skipped over because I thought that they were not important. However after class, it made sense to me why he had lyrics of songs during the beginning of every chapter. I believe the showed the rational and cultural equality between a both white and black cultures.

            In the forethought where Du Bois talks about how he has stepped within the veil, I thought that was pretty strong line. The veil meaning, you can see everything out of the veil but cannot see within the veil.  One of the biggest concepts that Du Bois talks about in the book is the double consciousness. During that time period African Americans struggled the “multifaceted conception of self”, which is known as the double consciousness (looking at one’s self through the eyes of others).

Du Bois talks about how the blacks in the south should have the same equal rights as the whites, more over they should be treated with justice and equality.  I think Du Bois did a pretty good job with his book, it was a easy read, and it was easy to understand. The choice of his words was really powerful in my eyes. Overall I like Du Bois and his writing and his thoughts.

Max Weber, Uncategorized

Weber Exam


@Marxists: Just left an enlightening lecture at #agsac about capitalism as a synthesis. #dialecticalmaterialism


Max Weber

@Weber: The livetweets from the #agsac lecture just reminded me of the numerous flaws in #Marxistteleology. @Marxists #naivehistoricalmaterialism


Max Weber

@Weber: Additionally, last I checked no so-called “opiate” could bring about what the #protestantethic has. #agsac


Max Weber

@Weber: If @Marxists would look beyond teleology they would be able 2 see the importance & power of culture & what has become of the #protestantethic

Emile Durkheim

A short Study Guide for exam #2

  • Both Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim both speak about division of labor. ( Ideas are opposing)
  • Karl Marx’s idea of  division of labor:
  1. In division of labor we see two opposing forces. Throughout history there has been class struggle.
  2. Marx sees the tension between the oppressed and oppressor. (Not a good thing)
  3. Not stating that capitalism is bad but rather there needs to be a revolution.
  • Durkheim’s idea of division of labor:
  1. Division of labor creates individuality, specialization and hierarchy
  2. Equilibrium necessary for society. (sees this as a good thing)
  • For Durkheim civilization is a byproduct of increased organic solidarity.
  • Solidarity:  cohesion, unity
  • Two solidarity: Organic (depends on societal parts, division of labor)& Mechanic (collective conscious, born into society with certain roles.)
  • Durkheim- society not oppressive, natural occurrence needed to balance society
  • capitalism is an organic solidarity of structure that works for society as a whole.



Karl Marx, Uncategorized

Marx:Exam #1(Full marked response)

Dialectical Materialism is an important aspect of Karl Marx. This term may seem loaded but if we take this term in parts we can better understand it

Lets first start with the term dialectical. What prefix do we recognize? Dia- This prefix means two. You see this prefix in words such as dialogue, which means a conversation happening among two people. Dialectical in this case means the interplay of two ideas, which we will term thesis and antithesis. The overall effect of this is the synthesis. The thesis and antithesis come together to bring  forth or revolutionize a new idea which we will term the synthesis. (Synthesis in other words is the joining of both aspects of thesis and antithesis. )

Now let’s work with the word materialism. You can think of materialism in opposition to idealism. In idealism  individuals are concerned with ideas which are intangible. Materialism, on the other hand, deals with physical matter (Tangible).

Dialectical materialism is a method of inquiry to understand the world. This the method that Karl Marx uses to explain his theory on class struggle. Marx uses this method to map out his argument. He argues that throughout history there has been individuals who own necessary resources and other individuals who sell their labor power. This tension between the two classes has called for a revolution. Let’s see how this map looks visually.

Master                                  Lord
                feudalism                             Capitalism
Slave                                      serf

In this map, the master and later the lords own the means of production. The slave and serf were using their energy and labor to produce commodity for the master and lord. Basically, the slave and serf did not own any resources and sold their labor power.

Due to the tension between these two classes a new system was created. Many have called dialectical materialism as idea dealing with transformation or revolution. You should have the class map out something using this method. You can take some part of American history to do this . For example, the idea of voting…

Born citizens                           white men                    Men
                    14th Amend.                       15th amend.                            19th
citizens                                      Non- white               Women

In this diagram we see that born citizens could only vote but not naturalized citizen. The tension between this group caused fir a change, which lead to the 14th amendment. This diagram goes on to map other tension and revolution dealing with voting in America.

Emile Durkheim, Uncategorized

Durkheim Reading Response

Initially going through this reading on my own I interpreted the Durkheim reading to be about two different types of unity in our society. However to me I understood it as mechanical solidarity being that of something an individual has no choice over having. An example would be people feeling connected through work, education, or lifestyles. The organic type I understood it to be the interdependence that rises from specializing work. Now after the discussion we had in class I more or less saw things more clearly on parts where I might have been a bit off. We see how mechanical solidarity becomes a more organized mentality where the function of group unity is ideally most important. So I see it as more of a routine behavior. While organic solidarity is based on the differences that each person has, therefore all becoming something collective as an end product.

Shifting away from Marx’s ideas, Durkheim was more focused on how things occur in our lives through natural means. It is amazing to see just how influential the division of labor is in society. It is a moving force for the two types of solidarity defined. The example used in class with the shifting of mechanical and organic solidarity was very enlightening. Seeing as how both sides are merely inversed, it helps to view it in a light of individuality not having any positive or negative aspects to it. Instead it is merely only a natural process which occurs.

Trying to decipher the idea of objectivity and how problematic it can be has me a bit stumped. Durkheim talked about how civilization can become an object of desire, in other words, becoming an ideal. The problem when something becomes ideal is that it turns into to something almost always unattainable because nothing is perfect. Another issue I can possibly see occurring is that when too much emphasis is put on a symbolic object the idea of what that thing really is loses value. Not sure if I deviated away from the main point but hopefully it’ll be clearer after seeing everyone else’s idea on the matter.