Sociology Discussion Questions

choose one question and answer to the question based on articles that I attached. Then answers are in the article and choose the best article that fits the answer to the question and write in in your own words. you do not have to use all the articles just the ones that help you answering the question and make sure you appropriately cite any sources of quoted passages or paraphrases.
1. In broad terms, compare and contrast at least two of Marx, Weber, Durkheim and Simmel on the ‘advantages and disadvantages’ of modernity (extensive division of labor, specialization, larger political and legal units, formal rationalization, market-exchange, etc.) for individual human beings. Use the source that is related to the question!
Thank you
2. Present Weber’s argument (drawing from the excerpts from “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” and from “The Social Psychology of the World Religions” in STCE) regarding the effects of religious doctrines and practices (of the religious virtuosos and of the ‘masses’) on everyday/workaday (including economic) lives and conduct.
3. Explain the meaning, and discuss the broader implications, of the following passage from Weber’s “The Distribution of Power within the Political Community: Class, Status, Party”:
“Therefore all groups having an interest in the status order react with special sharpness precisely against the pretensions [to status honor] of mere economic acquisition. In most cases [,] they react the more vigorously the more they feel threatened. As to the general effect of the status order only one consequence can be stated, but it is a very important one: the hindrance of the free development of the market.” (STCE: 212)
4. Based on the ideal-type of bureaucratic administration presented by Weber, analyze your current or most recent workplace (or one you are very familiar with). How are ‘duties’ and ‘rights’ distributed? How ‘impersonal’ (and/or ‘objective’) are recruiting, task-assignment, task-fulfillment, etc? How strictly bound are members’ ‘areas of jurisdiction’? Is it efficient and how so? What is it consistently, systematically good at? Not so good at? Who/what sets the overall goals for the organization? Is the current set-up conducive to the fulfillment of those goals?
5. Analyze the relationships of ‘domination’ (as defined by Weber) between you (the students) and me (the instructor) in our class. To what extent are these relationships of ‘domination’ premised on your belief that my ‘commands’ are ‘rightful’ and that ‘obedience’ to them is morally or legally obligatory, quite apart from questions of coercion or utility? Is the ‘social order’ of this class different from that in other classes, and along which dimensions (e.g. ‘external’ (coercion, utility) vs. internal (legitimacy) bases; tradition vs. charisma vs. reason as sources of legitimacy)?
6. Drawing as necessary from Weber’s general discussion about the connection between trends towards, and demands for, equality, equal treatment, equal participation, etc. and bureaucratization, rationalization, and impersonality, broadly discuss one or more of the following issues at CSUN: evaluation and grading, admission criteria, major requirements, graduation requirement, course availability and enrollment, etc..
7. According to Simmel, what effects does living in a large metropolis (such as the greater Los Angeles area) have on the emotional and cognitive lives of individuals? How do these effects, in turn, impact our sense and expression of autonomy and individuality?
8. Compare and contrast Durkheim and Simmel on the relationship between the number and kind of social groups/circles in which people participate and of which they are members, and the degree of ‘individuality’ (distinctiveness, uniqueness) and freedom/autonomy that is allowed and expected of them.
9. Compare and contrast Simmel and at least one of Marx, Durkheim and Weber on the (positive and negative) effects of the development and spread of a money economy on individual human beings and their relationships (of various kinds).

10. Summarize Simmel’s definition and discussion of the social type/social form of ‘the stranger’, and types of social relations with (or as) ‘the stranger’. Present instances of your own private (family, romantic relationships, friendships) and public (e.g. work, school, etc.) experiences that exemplify, and are illuminated by, Simmel’s analysis.
11. Examine Weber’s stylized presentation of social action within a bureaucracy using Simmel’s sensitizing concepts and analyses in The Metropolis and Mental Life.
12. Examine Simmel’s analysis of fashion (in Fashion) from the perspective of his analytical description of the individual’s quest for ‘individuality’, differentiation and recognition in a ‘metropolitan’/modern cultural and social structural context in The Metropolis and Mental Life.
13. Explore the use of sociability, as the play- or art-form of sociation, in interactions and institutional contexts in which serious and consequential matters, interests and issues are ostensibly and officially pursued and addressed. (E.g. what are the uses and functions (effects) of apparently idle or unserious sociability between and among peers and super-ordinates and sub-ordinates in formal work settings, formal professional settings – such as medical examinations, etc. – based on your own experiences?)
14. Compare and contrast Simmel and at least one of Marx, Durkheim and Weber on the cognitive, emotional and moral life of individuals under modern, urban, capitalist(ic), rationalistic conditions.

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