Rise of sociology as an intellectual tradition. Classical tradition in sociology of the XIX century — страница 5

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developed. For K. Marx, the mismatch between the basis and superstructure, or between economic and social, is a major source of social disruption and conflict. As for social conflict, it was Karl Marx who provided extensive work on conflict theory relating to the economic basis of the society in relation to social classes. He basically highlighted class struggle and supported the working class for a healthy society. However, K. Marx was rather pessimistic about capitalism because he witnessed ruin of peasantry and rapid enrichment of the bourgeoisie, growth of poverty and crime in towns etc. That’s why he put forward a new approach to social development, that of destroying the old society and substituting it with a new one, more fair. In other words, advocating revolutionary

change of the society K. Marx used the conflict perspective, that’s why he is regarded an initiator of the theory of social conflict. An Italian scientist Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) made several important contributions to economics, sociology and moral philosophy, especially in the study of income distribution and in the analysis of individuals’ choices. He introduced the concept of Pareto efficiency and helped to develop the field of microeconomics with ideas such as indifference curves. He is well known for the observation that 20% of the population owned 80% of the property in Italy, later generalized (by Joseph Juran and others) into the Pareto principle, and generalized further to the concept of a Pareto distribution. The Pareto index is a measure of inequality of

income distribution. V. Pareto’s social policies were put on paper in his work, Mind and Society, in which he discussed questions of elites and elitism. Elite is a selected group of people whose personal abilities, specialized training or other attributes place them at the top of any field. Elitism is a belief or attitude that elite are the people whose views on a matter are to be taken most seriously, or who are alone fit to govern. Thus, elite is seen as occupying a special position of authority or privilege in a group, set apart from the majority of people who do not match up with their abilities or attributes. Members of inherited elite are called aristocrats. Abilities or attributes that identify elite vary. They include: high level of academic qualifications, high level

of experience in a given field, high intelligence, high natural abilities such as athletic abilities, high creativity, good taste, claimed God-given qualities, abilities, or status. Commonly, large amount of personal wealth, often assessed as a reward of elite qualities by those who are impressed by it, are insufficient on their own, as every nouveau riche can attest. Elitism takes many forms, some of which are positive and some negative. Positive forms of elitism are formed in situations in which members of a community with special abilities or special qualifications are afforded greater respect in honour of their abilities or qualifications. Their position in the top of their field is used in order to benefit everybody. Negative forms of elitism are formed when a group of

people with high abilities or attributes conspire to give themselves extra privileges at the expense of all other people. This form of elitism may be described as discrimination. At times elitism is closely related to social class and stratification. V. Pareto thought that a social system is in constant circulation as the elites are transformed - the old ones decline, the new ones emerge, so the elite circulation takes place. Thus, the society should be considered “the cemetery of elites”. V. Pareto asserted that the bourgeoisie which emerged as new aristocracy, or elite as a result of the French revolution, threatens to collapse. For him, revolutions were also circulation of elites as a dominant social class is opposed not by the population but by a new elite which is

supported by the population and which comes further and further from it as far as it gets more access to power. The question sounded in E. Durkheim’s theory “How is order possible?” in V. Pareto’s theory would sound as “How is the society governed?” It was inevitable in the circumstances that to certain theorists the society should present a picture not of harmony and unity, but of conflict and struggle. Ludwig Gumplowicz (1838-1909), a Polish-Austrian sociologist, was among them. He is well-known for his theory presented in his work, Race conflict (1883). In the history of mankind L. Gumplowicz sees a never-ending conflict of hordes, tribes, races, classes and other groups. These struggles may change their forms, but they never change their essential character –