Read e-book online Teaching Yourself Social Theory PDF

Read e-book online Teaching Yourself Social Theory PDF

By David E Harris

`Social thought is a truly tricky topic to educate and it really is one who scholars quite often locate challenging to familiarize yourself with. instructing your self Social idea deals a hugely unique and accomplished source that would be welcomed by way of scholars and academics alike' - Barry clever, collage of Portsmouth

`I haven't any hesitation in recommending Harris' textual content to scholars and academics of social theory' - Sociology

This clean and available textual content demonstrates how social concept should be made into an intelligible discourse that touches upon key points of way of life. The abstraction and formalism of a lot modern social idea is criticized as unnecessarily `scholastic' for the newbie. the writer continues that the most difficulties in learning the topic should not intrinsic to social idea, yet derive from how the topic is taught as a school self-discipline. This vigorous publication makes use of non-specialist phrases to introduce extra advanced subject matters, and features a web site with questions and studying publications to a couple of the vintage works.

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One obvious solution is to reduce costs, and, of course, one way to do that is to address the costs of labour. You can keep wages low, or you can make your labour more productive so you get a better return (or both, but they sometimes contradict each other). Making labour more productive can involve making the working day (or week, or year) longer, or using 'labour-saving devices' like machinery to increase productivity, to speed up the work, or to make it more intensive. These are familiar boss-type activities, and, because they are likely to be unpopular with the workforce, you can start to see why, for marxists, work in capitalism must involve at least a local conflict of interest between owners and labourers.

In one case, for example, one set of marxists (gramscians - see Chapter 6) have had to accept a much greater autonomy for the political levels of activity, and there is an interesting story to tell of early attempts to preserve orthodox economic roots, followed by a gradual drift towards theorising political activity as an inde­ pendent 'discursive' activity. Other theorists in this tradition have recast marxism as an early and specific model of nineteenth-century European politics, and have fitted it into a more general account of politics, just as we have outlined above.

2 The old markets worked on a huge scale with many participants, and this gave them a rather abstract and 'objective' quality, apparently with 'laws' of their own, and with their own long-term trends towards equilibrium and relative stability. These 'laws' (of supply and demand) are the ones at the heart of modern (post-marxist) micro-economics, of course. The new finan­ cial markets are much more small-scale, so that different individuals know they can influence matters like the price of money.

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