FORMAT #soc116 #r00n pp.n text of tweet

NOTE to save space you can use hash tag #116-n where n is the reading number (without the R and without the leading zeros).

In general, we will use the "Point Nine" system to refer to locations in readings. For each paragraph we try to boil its main point down to about a single line. This often takes a lot of thinking, but once you can do it, you have probably understood the paragraph pretty well.

To tweet a reading and have it trackable by other class members we need to tag it with the course tag and the reading tag. We also want to tell people what paragraph we are tweeting.

If we are doing reading number 999 and we have a paragraph at 26.6

The Marxian theory of class conflict has recognized this too, in a way. For Marxists, a key question has been how people, especially the working class, can be organized to fight effectively for power. Usually this has been described as the problem of creating "class consciousness," i.e., having individual workers become aware of their interest as a group. The problem, however, is by no means a simple one. People's feelings of solidarity do not automatically line up into two sharply divided groups of capitalists and workers. A good deal of the time people may act as purely self-mterested individuals, e.g different businesses are by no means allies when they are competing against each other for the same market, and workers are not unified if the are competing for a particular job or a promotion (Collins 1992, 26.6).

we could tweet

#soc116 #R999 26.6 Marx's "class consciousness" is seeing group interest over individual, but does not happen “rationally.”

And here are a few more:

#soc116 #R999 26.9 When groups do form, what determines how many there will be?
#soc116 #R999 27.3 Do real world conflicting groups really ever coalesce into two big factions as Marx described? Skocpol says no.
#soc116 #R999 27.6 Under what conditions to groups (families, parties, etc.) form at all, merge, split apart, etc.?
#soc116 #R999 27.9 Group organization does not depend on rational consciousness (Marx), but on feelings of similarity and belonging.
#soc116 #R999 28.2 Rational interests exist, but they can both unite and divide, free-riding is always a temptation.
#soc116 #R999 28.7 Moral feelings created by social rituals transform interests into rights.
#soc116 #R999 29.1 It all comes down to trust. Where does trust come from? Social rituals. Next chapter is about that.

The Assignment

The important thing here is to successfully convey the meaning of a reading, not to broadcast tweets for the sake of tweeting. We will expect more or less one tweet per paragraph before midnight before class. Normally this would mean Sunday midnight.

In addition, Tweeters are expected to prepare a 250 word max summary of the main points of the reading based on the tweets. not a commentary, but an abstract — what does the article say? Tweeters should be prepared to read this aloud in class to get the discussion going.



46.4 Our theory should be empirically based — not mere philosophy. #soc116 #r005
46.5 Starting point: physical, biological humans in the natural world #soc116 #r005
46.6 The human difference is production. #soc116 #r005
46.8 How we produce determines "form of life" (note how we follow this in anth/soc: hunter/gatherers vs. agriculture, working class vs. professional, blue collar, etc.) #soc116 #r005
47.1 Production <> Population <> Commerce/Intercourse/Communication/Interaction #soc116 #r005
47.2 CLAIM: Social and Political Structure emerge from productive lives of individuals (point: not the other way round) #soc116 #r005
47.5 Hegel starts with mind and derives social life, individuals, the world. Marx goes in the other direction. Material precedes Ideal. #soc116 #r005
47.8 "It is not consciousness that determines life, but life that determines consciousness." #soc116 #r005
48.2 Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to develop a science of it based on the concrete actions of real people. #soc116 #r005


(200 word, 90 second summary) In this passage from "The German Ideology," the "young Marx" (i.e., the Marx who wrote more like a humanist than a political/economic revolutionary) lays out ideas for the study of society that are contrary to dominant ideas of his time — Hegelian idealism. Hegel wrote about ideas, abstractions like justice, morality, or truth, and "derived" things like the state, institutions, and the individual. Marx, in part reflecting the intellectual rise of science (he is writing in the 1840s), wants to ground all thinking in empirical, material reality. Start, he says, from the physical/biological reality of humans — there is no abstract human apart from real embodied existence — living in the natural world. Then we recognize that the fundamental "human difference" is that humans produce things. And, what and how we produce completely conditions our lives. We are used to this idea — we think in terms of hunter-gatherers vs. agriculture, for example, because the mode of subsistence determines the cultural and social; in the contemporary world we think in terms like blue collar vs. white. Producers find themselves in groups interacting. Social and political structures emerge from this. Our material existence produces our consciousness, not the other way round.