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womans Own 1987, embed from Getty Images, there are many ways in which sociologists can approach the understanding of society. Karl Marx provided me with this in his formula: M-C-M, for Marx this is the fundamental basis of capitalism. It is for this reason that amongst others that the issue of modernity is central to understanding what sociology is all about. At the same time, I think that the dialogue that emerges from this study of the relationship between the individual and their social construction generates further discussion, more responses to statements asserted. . This is something we largely take for granted today but historically is quite peculiar. I have previously offered an outline of social structures through the work of several key sociological thinkers. When money is used as an intermediary in the process trade, and therefore the circulation of commodities, is made much quicker and easier. So, commodities were sold for money in order to buy other commodities. For instance, the use value of an apple (its nutrition and deliciousness) is completely different to the use value of a pencil but both can be measured with money because they can both be exchanged for money. Commodities, we can see commodities as things produced specifically to be sold in a market. So we will come to sociology last to think about how it responded to these issues.
This has been re-titled Sociology, Capitalism and Modernity. . Marx claims that prior to capitalism the standard formula was: C-M-C, that is, commodity-money-commodity. But due to having limited time and in order to try to explain this complex and important phenomenon to students in the first week of university I searched for a simple way to express a slippery concept. Sociology becomes a response to the statement made because there are different and varied interpretations of how the individual's construction with the social configuration has meaning and relevance. . Broadly what this formula expresses is that capitalism is a system built around using money to make more money. Because money is an objective measure of value (in the sense that it can stand in for almost anything else) it can be used in exchange for anything. Of course money has existed for a lot longer than capitalism but it was used in a quite different way. The first session is structured around the three themes but I will introduce them in the order capitalism, modernity and then sociology.
These are, respectively, the French/American revolution, the industrial revolution and the Enlightenment. It attempts to critically engage with and interrogate the multiple views on modernity. If this is not accepted then there is no point in continuing with the endeavour of sociology at all.
The course exposes students to theoretical perspectives to look at modernity and its constituents as a practice deeply embedded in culture and society. Sociology, for me perhaps the fundamental principle of sociology as a discipline is that society (in some form) exists and can be understood. For instance, I might have a surplus of apples which I have grown. This post summarises some of the things I will discuss with my students in the first session which will focus on introducing these three key concepts. Firstly, it is a store of value. As the circulation of commodities is central to capitalism this is very important. But one of the most powerful, particularly when first encountering sociology is to look for the influence of social structures. The two elements in this formula M and C stand for money and commodities. I have recently re-written my introduction to social theory module. For example, if Marx's ideas were a definitive statement on the nature of human identity, then the feminist movement is a response to this basic assertion. . That is, it encourages people to trade in commodities.