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FSU AMH 2020 - Lecture notes

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2/18/13IDEAS IN THE LATE 19TH CENTURYSOCIAL DARWINISM AND THE RISE OF MODERM LIBERALISM- Spread of evolutionary science in US. Debates change the way many Americans think about their role in society- CHARLES DARWIN; most famous scientist of late 19th century. popularized the idea that organisms changes over time, explained the diversity of species throughout the world. - Voyage of the Beagle 1830; Darwin’s 2 year journey to note geological features in observes natural world around him. - noticed slight variations of dif. types of plants and animals depending on environment- Galapagos islands, birds (finches with uniquely shaped beaks) of each island had important differences that made then better adapted to their environment.- also looked at tortus of each island had slightly different shape to their shell- After civil war, debate over evolution explodes- Darwin’s EVOLUTIONARY THEORY; species are comprised different features, tend to increase in population (combined with other factors like disease and food supply) = condition of struggle for survival. each species has unique advantage- species that survives, reproduces and passes on ability...- NATURAL SELECTION; individual organisms that posses the most useful variations and adaptations to their environment will survive and transmit their genetic characteristics to the next generation- due to this process, populations will evolve and change throughout generations- Darwin’s assertion counters religion and creates complexity and variety of interpretations of what evolutionary science means to humanity- Darwin book did NOT apply evolutionary species to Humanity. focused on plants and animals.- SOCIAL DARWINISM; believed that humans compete in a struggle for existence in which natural selection results in “survival of the fittest”- This meant that weak, dumb, and slow people would die off while the smart, fast, and capable would succeed and increase their numbers- not developed by Darwin. originated in Britain in late 19th century, later transited to US. enormous success and popularity starting in the 1870’s. eventually influenced how many generations of Americans viewed society. - Led to creation of political philosophy. - THE POLITICS OF SOCIAL DARWINISM: 1) gov’t should not interfere w/ the natural process of human social and biological evolution 2) gov’t should not regulate corporations 3) gov’t should not interfere w/ the economy 4) gov’t should not take measures to cure social ills or poverty- HERBERT SPENCER; most famous philosopher of his day (1870-80s). FATHER OF SOCIAL DARWINISM. coined the term “Survival Of The Fittest”- believed humanity would move forward if gov’t stepped out of the way... let the weak and the dumb die and humanity will be more affluent. stressed importance of political freedom. compared socialism to slavery- Spencer: individuals ought to ignore laws of state and fight against them- 1st and only philosopher to sell over 1 million copies during his own lifetime- Carnegie supported Spencer- WILLIAM GRAHAM SUMNER; promoter of social darwinism. most prominent of social darwinism. believed the laws of man could not abolish survival of the fittest. “even if we try to protect the unfit, we will not be successful. - sumner wrote book: FOLKWAYS- were the product of social development over long periods of time. extremely powerful influences on human thought and behaviors. gov’t attempts to promote social reform or social change- MODERN LIBERALISM & SOCIAL LIBERALS; gov’t is here to do something. promotes progressive society through legislation. gov’t should create social safety net. - opposite of social Darwinists- LESTER WARD; one of the first american sociologists. 1st President of American Sociological association. Critic of Sumner and Spencer. society could cooperate and prosper as a whole. Promoted gov’t sponsored education. believed education would harness power of society to create better world. Book...- DYNAMIC SOCIOLOGY; 1) human progress depended on the creation of a planned society directed by a strong, but Democratic, gov’t. 2)sociology should be based on Experimentation and the Scientific Method. Sociologists and Gov’t Officials could cooperate and learn of better ways to improve society.- THORSTEIN VEBLEN; studied under Sumner and rejected Sumner’s ideas. Critic of american capitalism and social Darwinism. Book...- THE THEORY OF THE LEISURE CLASS; 1) Ruling class is engaged in less productive and less time consuming activities- they have time for leisure (leisure class) 2) lower class people want to emulate the leisure class and emulate in the same activities and consume the same products 3) Leisure class, & other engage in CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION= the use of wealth for the sake of displaying social status (the way elites demonstrate their wealth Ex: silver utensils, fancy carriages)2/20/13PROGRESSIVES AND PROGRESSIVISMSTHE SOCIAL JUSTICE MOVEMENT & THE EFFICIENCY MOVEMENT- Progressive Era-(1900-1917)- term progressive=problematic b/c it means different things to different people. “catch all” for any type of reform movement- Conscious social justice movement, Efficiency movement.- Conscious social justice movement. sought to reform society to improve life of poor. wanted to create social safety net for poor- MUCKRAKERS; derogatory term “scraped up the filth”. drew attention to social problems by writing editorials, books, articles... 3 key areas: 1)exposed wrongdoing of 0gov’t officials 2) exposed corruption in big business 3) shed light on as array of social problems. - theme of rich vs. poor continues- IDA TARBELL; one of most prominent Muckrakers. Critical of Standard Oil. her book: The History of the Standard Oil Company. her father got taken down by standards business practices. Accused leaders of standard oil and other large corporations ofusing unfair tactics that put her father and other small business owners out of business. Standard used immoral ethical business practices against laborers. - UPTON SINCLAIR; another Muckraker. book: The Jungle, called attention to problems in meatpacking industry and more (unpleasant living conditions, hopelessness, corruption of people who could regulate and change things). - He pits the poor against the rich. Grew up seeing both sides rich (grandparents) and poor (parents). moves to N.Y. and starts writing and shedding light on problems of the poor. workers can’t pick up and move b/c they


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