By Bruce Mazlish
During this e-book Mazlish examines the old origins of sociology, taking a look heavily at how what he phrases the "cash nexus"--the omnipresent substitution of cash for private relations--was perceived as altering the character of human kinfolk within the nineteenth century and resulted in the advance of sociology as a method of facing this situation. Mazlish additionally considers the breakdown of connections in sleek society: how the orderly 18th century global within which God, humanity, and nature have been heavily hooked up to each other got here to get replaced with certainly one of felt disconnection, and the way individualism then got here to be visible as changing a feeling of group in glossy society. He investigates the paintings of a few 19th-century English writers who have been occupied with this breakdown of connections, together with Adam Smith, William Wordsworth, Edmund Burke, Thomas Carlyle, and especially novelists resembling Benjamin Disraeli, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Eliot. He additionally explores the impression of Darwin, offers Engels and Marx as precursors of the technological know-how of sociology and discusses at size the key founding figures of contemporary classical sociology: Ferdinand T?nnies, George Simmel, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber.
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Extra info for A New Science: The Breakdown of Connections and the Birth of Sociology
26 To his contemporaries, by the time of publication of The Origin of Species (1859), Darwin had given the final rend to the fabric of nature, tearing it completely apart. They accused him of philosophical materialism, though he tried to bury his true beliefs in his Notebooks. What was left was a nature "red in tooth and claw," where the survival of the fittest echoed Hobbes's atomistic conception of nature, where each man warred against every other. Social Darwinism appeared to be a cosmic version of the "cash nexus"; that is, a view of nature and society as being at one in their disregard of human values other than the struggle to divide a fixed pie.
Perhaps this should not have come as a surprise. But it was the particular link of this ethnic (or religious) group with the connections problem, in the form of the cash nexus, that seemed novel. My next puzzlement was why my sociologists did not perceive race as a powerful bond in society. The fact is that, in general, they ignored it in favor of national or economic or religious ties. To a post-World War II observer, it was clear what they were overlooking. As the reader will see, it took two of the novelists, Benjamin Disraeli and George Eliot, to recognize the potent force inherent in racism (or perhaps it should be called racialism or tribalism), and to deal with it specifically in the example of Judaism.
In this conception, everything is connected to everything, link by link, and everything has its place. In turn, society conceived of itself as a reflection of this model, with Shakespeare's wonderful lines about such a hierarchical structure, in Troilus and Cressida, catching its convictions: The heavens themselves, the planets, and this centre Observe degree, priority, and place . . The primogenitive and due of birth, Prerogative of age, crowns, sceptres, laurels, But by degree, stand in authentic place?
A New Science: The Breakdown of Connections and the Birth of Sociology by Bruce Mazlish