The Political Context Of Sociology

1118 WordsNov 12, 20145 Pages
In his book, The Political Context of Sociology, Leon Bramson ( analyzes European theories of the mass and mass society. Bramson cites Wihelm Vleugls excretion that “not only do different authors associate different concepts with the word ‘mass’: often the same author will use the word to designate different concepts (p. 29). He says that the variety in concepts of “mass” is due to the historical changes in political groups and the extension of rights and powers to a larger citizenry in a post revolution Europe. With the victory of the bourgeoisie in France and the industrial factory system the “masses” was now a term reserved for as a pejorative for a new class of people. As Bramson traces the history of the terms mass and mass…show more content…
He continues that this perspective of 19th century sociology turned into the theory of mass society in the 20th century. This is highlighted by the individuality and loneliness of living in large cities, the impersonality of social relationships, and living an “urban” life that emphasized money and abstraction. However, mass society theorists “stressed the importance of a primary group… and the physical proximity of the members” (p.32). Bransom says that the sociologists of the 20th century refined the formulation of mass society concerning the disorganization of society because of industrialization and the demand for equality by the masses. With this analysis of mass and mass society, one can make clear connections between Bransom’s (1961) work on defining mass society and Gramsci’s (1971) work on his concept of hegemony. First, the ideas Bransom’s (1961) presents that mass society’s focus is to bring down the established primary group is similar to the ways Gramsci (1971) talks about the working class within a hegemonic system. Under Gramsci’s concept, the ultimate goal is for the working class to be conscious of how their function within the state and to ultimately work to subvert the ruling class ideology. His notion that organic intellectuals rise to bring social awareness to others in their community is similar to Bransom’s (1961) highlighting the importance of small occupational groups and family
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