Tutor profile: Amna A.
Explain and assess the similarities and differences between Marxist and functionalist models of how modern industrial societies work.
There are Two main perspectives in sociology : Marxism and Functionalism FUNCTIONALISM: The famous sociologists who cater to this perspective include: 1) Durkheim: • Organic Analogy • Social facts as constrains: From this point of view it is not the consciousness of the individual that directs behavior, but common beliefs and sentiment that transcend the individual and shape his or her consciousness. Having established to his own satisfaction that social facts can at least for purposes of analysis be treated separately from social actors • The collective conscience and social stability (social order) 2) Parsons: Value Consensus forms the fundamental integrating principle in society. If members of society are committed to the same values, they will tend to share a common identity, which provides a basis for unity and cooperation. From shared values derive common goals. Values provide a general conception of what is desirable and worthwhile. o Goals, provide direction in specific situations. For example in western society, members of a particular workforce will share the goal of efficient production in their factory – a goal which stems from the general view of economic productivity. A common goal provides an incentive for cooperation. o Roles provide the means whereby values and goals are translated into action. A social institution consists of a combination of roles. For instance, a business firm is made up of a number of specialized roles that combine to further the goals of the organization. The content of roles is structured in terms of norms, which define the rights and obligations applicable to each particular role. o Norms can be seen as specific expressions of values. Thus the norms that structure the roles of a manager, accountant, engineer and shop floor worker owe their content partly to the value of economic productivity. Norms tend to ensure that role behavior is standardized, predictable and therefore orderly. This means that from the most general level the central value system to the most specific normative conduct the social system is infused with common values. This provides the basis for social order. MARXISM: • The material basis of social life + two class model (not discussed below) History begins when humans actually produce their means of subsistence, when they begin to control nature. At a minimum this involves the production of food and shelter. Marx argued that, the first historical act is, therefore the production of material life. Production is a social enterprise since it requires cooperation. People must work together to produce the goods and service necessary for life. From the social relationships involved in production develops a mode of life which can be seen as an expression of these relationships. This mode of life shapes human nature. In Marx’s words, as individuals express their life so they are. What they are, therefore, coincides with their production, with what they produce and how they produce it. Thus the nature of humanity and the nature of society as a whole derive primarily form the production of material life. • Private property and the emergence of contradictions With the emergence of private property and in particular, private ownership of the means of production, the fundamental contradiction of human society was created through its ownership of the means of production, the fundamental contradiction of human society was created. Through its ownership of the means of production, a minority is able to control command and enjoy the fruits of the labour of the majority. Since one group gains at the expense of the other, a conflict of interest exists between the minority who owns the means of production and the majority who perform productive labour. The tension and conflict generated by this contradiction are the major dynamic of social change. • False consciousness • Social Change 1) Antonio Gramsci: suggested that ownership of the means of production was not sufficient to guarantee that a ruling class would monopolize power in a society. in order to maintain its leadership and dominance or as he called it, hegemony, a ruling class had to actively try and win support from other members of society. he did not believe that the ruling class could ever rely upon false class consciousness to guarantee its position, since all members of the subject classes had some awareness of their exploitation. The ruling class needed to make some real concessions to other groups in society in order to win their support. Thus the state could not always act exclusively in the interests of the owners of the means of production Furthermore he emphasized the importance of divisions within classes as well as between classes. For example agricultural and industrial workers might to some extent have different interests, and the state might exploit the existence of these divisions in order to maintain ruling class hegemony. SIMILARITIES: Both theories are structuralist theories. Both theories rely on positivist methodology Both theories believe social order is based on shared norms and values (where those norms and values come from is where they disagree) Both theories trying to tell us how societies work Both feel formal social control is necessary Both are criticized by the interactionists for being overly deterministic Both are criticized by the post-modernists for churning out metanarratives. DIFFERENCES: Consensus vs Conflict theory equality vs the two class model social order is based on shared norms and values vs social order is based on the norms and values of the bourgeois vs neo Marxists and the idea that maybe economy isn’t enough (Gramsci) Doesn’t account for social change (parsons does with AGIL) vs. the theory is about the history of the world i.e. how society keeps changing from one epoch to the next.
Subject: International Relations
Explain the different perspectives on international trade? How have they evolved over the past few decades?
There are 2 main concepts of International Trade: Economic Liberalism and Mercantilism 1) ECONOMIC LIBERALISM: There were no international trade rules from the 16th century till the 18th. In the 1800s the widespread notion was that - “World is a global workshop”. The idea of liberalism has its roots in 19th century Europe. Its Proponents supported political and economic freedom. They advocated free trade, low or no tariffs and the right to private property. The Advantages of open international trade policies outweigh its negative effects. States limit the demand for trade protection in order to realize each states specific comparative advantage. The Production efficiency of natural and human resources recognized The main economist to develop the concept was ADAM SMITH: He believed that - the Individuals are best equipped to make social choices "Invisible hand" – Self interest and competition Self interest drives rational choices, competition constraints self interest and prevents it from becoming destructive. He also promoted Laissez Faire system, which basically means ‘let be, let pass’. Also important was the economist DAVID RICARDO: He believed that Free markets increase efficiency and are better off "Comparative advantage" - To make a logical comparison between the cost of producing the goods vs. the cost of buying from others. Eg. Great Britain importing food grains rather than producing them. The idea of free trade in economic policy adopted by WTO, IMF and the WB 2) MERCANTALISM: Classic mercantilist policies used economies as a means to achieve wealth and power. Mercantilist used subsidies to generate exports and restrictions on imports along with development of colonial empires. They Criticize liberalist policies for maintaining a dominant advantage over its trading partners Main theorists – Alexander Hamilton and Friedrich List HAMILTON - Protectionist trade measures: Protection of infant industries National independence and security Favoured subsidies LIST - Protectionist trade policies: Tariffs and import subsidies Free market can only work with increased equality between States and willingness on their part to share cost NEO-MERCANTALISM - The concept of mercantilism has evolved They now have: Recognition of comparative advantage Believe that any state can intentionally create comparative advantage by strategic trade policies and investing in those projects. Political reality: protectionism is a feature of democracy Trade protection required to avoid dependency of nations for certain goods especially food. Eg. US exported soy bean to Japan in 1970s and then cut off when meat prices increased. They also Criticize economic liberalism theory for not being fit for the real political world LIBERALISM TODAY: In 1980s and 90s the US championed globalisation with the expansion of economic liberal principles. Assumptions of globalisation: Generate economic growth Enhance production efficiency Generate jobs Integrate global economy Interdependence of people and states Post cold war: tensions shifted from security to economies. Most popular in developed countries include: Free flow of currency Free markets Free trade Positive sum outcome for its actors Individual improvement State still has a role to play in economy such as: Protect environment Promote education and training Improve transportation and communication MERCANTALISM TODAY: Evolved into economic nationalism as economic policies changed (in response to increased popularity of economic liberalism). Economic nationalism defined as strong loyal sentiments towards a state shared by the members of that state Economic nationalism -> Internal Development The line between wealth and power blurred. To be an independent political power the state needed to be an independent economic power. They Promote market links and develop domestic economy through tariffs and subsidies Friedich List promotes productive power in education technology and industry National wealth increased by manufacturing industries rather than agricultural industries Patriotic economic nationalism instilled in state policies for industrialization of economies THE WORLD VIEW TODAY: Mercantilism changed to economic nationalism Developing nations believe in economic nationalism for nation building and catching up with the western developed nations Still dependent on state for protection of infant industries and policy such as subsidy and tariffs Liberalism most popular in developed states where impact of globalisation is more profound Globalisation tranforms global societies and drives individual or transnational organisations
How is service sector marketing different from manufacturing sector marketing techniques?
Service Sector Marketing: Efficiency and Effectiveness are most important because you are NOT selling a tangible good, but instead, its a SERVICE, for instance, take a popular food joint. It is graded on its efficiency (time it takes to bring your order) and effectiveness (accuracy of the order). Another strategy is maintaining long-term customer relationships because of the prevalent competition in service sector where you can alter your service and win the market share. 1) You must focus on the products marketing mix - 4 Ps : product price placement(physical and perceptual positioning) promotion 2) marketing strategy: targeting segmenting and positioning of your service 3) customer value: potential customers treated with value according to the judgement that the customer is paying you, evaluate the benefit from it. For eg. a hair cut is for 50$, your customer must feel that its worth it, Uber is the same way, or a professional educationist providing you the value for money. (pre sale service and after sale service can also be considered) Manufacturing sector: Tangible goods, commodity marketing. 8 Ps : Product elements (Usability, value, quality, warranty) place (Retail, whole-sale, internet) price (penetration strategy) promotion (Advertising, special offers) process (service delivery, complaints responses) productivity and quality (TQM and six sigma standard) Physical evidence (user recommendations, online buzz) People (Founders, customer relations) Other points to consider are: Marketing mix - explained above Brand equity - how recognised your brand is in the market and how loyal your customer base is mass distribution - making your product available for eg dairy milk niche marketing - exclusivity of product and catering to only one or a specific segment of a market These can be considered by knowing the following about your product: Low involvement product (when a substitute of your product exists in the market) High involvement product (when you have a monopoly in the market)
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