1. Does Marx argue that work is inevitably alienating? Why does work within a capitalist economy produce alienation?
Marx argues that work in a capitalist system is inevitably alienating. Work within a capitalist economy denies human nature rather than allowing it; it transforms people into be a commodity rather than a person. Essentially, capitalism devalues human beings, and the more product the worker creates, the cheaper of a commodity they are.
2. In what different respects does labor within capitalism alienate the workers?
There are several different respects in which labor within capitalism alienates workers. First, there is objectification, in which the worker becomes a slave to the object of work. Another respect is in which he receives means of subsistence, thus enabling him to live only as a physical subject.
3. Based on this analysis, under what conditions do you think Marx would argue that labor is not alienating?
Considering Marx stated that there are four types of alienation, I believe he would argue there are four ultimate conditions that should prevent alienation for the worker. First, the work space would need to prevent the worker from alienation from themselves, this could be prevented by having the worker produce in less quantity, hence not devaluing the person. Second, the environment would need to not alienate the worker from others, this could be prevented by eliminating long hours without contact or human interaction. Third, the worker should not be alienated from the produced good, like how if Marx was to create a product, he would see himself in that product. Finally, Marx would argue that preventing the worker from alienation from the act of producing would be beneficial, and to do this one must examine the direct relationship between the worker and the production.
1. According to Wilson, what is the primary cause of inner-city decline? How does his assessment differ from common notions about this problem?
According to Wilson, the primary cause of inner-city decline is both changes in the distribution and location of work, and changes in the amount of education and skill necessary. Another factor weighing in on the ability for inner-city people to obtain employment is the legacy of historical racial segregation. This assessment differs from common notions about the problem in the way that conservatives commonly stress that cultural factors are the primary reason for inner-city decline. And although race and culture are large factors, they are not the only roles at hand.
2. Why have inner city areas lost so many jobs over the last 50 years?
In the past 50 years, in the Woodlawn neighborhood on the southside of Chicago, the number of industrial establishments has dropped from 800 to 100. Job loss like this in inner city areas can be attributed to industrial restructuring, which led to the deterioration of many inner city neighborhoods, which ultimately led to institutional disinvestment. Because of this abandonment, the housing market struggles and low property values end up leading to landlord abandonment. This basically snowballs into lower population density which leads to abandoned building increase which encouraged illegal enterprises and further deteriorates inner city communities.
3. What solutions does Wilson offer? Do you agree with his approach? Why or why not?
Wilson believes we need to generate a public-private partnership to fight social inequality. He wants to stop the threatening of inner city jobs by trying to address social inequality, and although he recognises it might be unreasonable in the current political climate, he believes something has to change. Wilson believes the solution starts with creating better standards for schools, he says that students who meet high standards are better prepared for work and training. Then it involves improving the child care system to support single or low income families, allow parents to work while their children are in nursery schools, and allow paid leave for parents. Next, he suggests establishing a city-suburban partnership by tackling the problems of shrinking revenue and inadequate social services with the disappearance of work. Finally, he talks about the reintroduction of the WPA. The WPA, or the Works Progress Administration, was a public works project created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935. With this system in place, every American over 18 who is looking for work would be provided public jobs at just slightly below minimum wage. I believe Wilson offers good insight as to how the job market and overall quality of life for people in inner cities could be improved. In some situations, this could be seens as a sort of band aid solution, but, it would help a lot of people, and with some slight altering, I think it could help in a long term manner.
1. How do most creatures restrain their desires? How are human beings distinctive in this way?
According to Durkheim, the equilibrium between the needs and means of animal is established with spontaneity; it is dependent on material conditions. When the animal is satisfied, it asks for nothing further. Human beings, on the other hand, are extremely different. When nothing external can fulfil man, it becomes a source of torment. Most of the needs of human beings are not depended as it is with animal, but rather on the comfort and luxuries he craves.
2. Why does modern society afford to individuals less moral regulation. Why is this especially true of people (such as rock stars) who experience sudden fame and fortune?
Modern society affords less moral regulation to individuals because, as Durkheim describes, man is not governed by a material environment imposed on him but rather by a conscience which he feels is superior to his own. This is especially true of people, such as rock stars who experience sudden fame and fortune, because they are not adjusted to societal conditions. This allows them to spiral into ungained equilibrium and their values become unknown.
3. How would Durkheim explain the relatively high suicide rate among rock stars and other celebrities?
Durkheim would explain the high suicide rate among rock stars and celebrities because when fame and fortune is thrown on someone, their ideals become skewed, and they are more likely to upset the scale of their moral compass. This leads to the feeling of hopelessness and anomie, which ultimately can lead to suicide.
1. In what sense do members of a traditional society know more about their world than we do? In what sense do we know more?
Members of a traditional society know more about their world that we do in the sense that they might not know about the production of something or what it takes to create it but they know that they can rely on the function of it. We, on the other hand, know both of the production and of the function.
2. What is “Tolstoi’s question?” Why can science not answer it?
Tolstoi’s question is as follows: “What shall we do, and, how shall we arrange our lives.” Science cannot answer this question because it is based on religious devotion to god more than than a belief in scientific principle. It asks if to live one's life to a greater extent; which god should one serve and devote to?
3. What does Weber see as the great burden of living in a modern society? In other words, what comforts of the past are less available to modern people?
Weber sees the great burden of living in a modern society as people's disinterest in why things are as they are in their society and the rapid acceptance of the logic over the simplicity. In other words, the disenchantment of society.