By Bruce Mazlish
During this booklet Mazlish examines the ancient 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 family members within the nineteenth century and ended in the improvement of sociology as a way of facing this situation. Mazlish additionally considers the breakdown of connections in smooth society: how the orderly 18th century global within which God, humanity, and nature have been heavily attached to each other got here to get replaced with one in every of felt disconnection, and the way individualism then got here to be obvious as exchanging a feeling of group in glossy society. He investigates the paintings of a few 19th-century English writers who have been concerned about this breakdown of connections, together with Adam Smith, William Wordsworth, Edmund Burke, Thomas Carlyle, and especially novelists akin to Benjamin Disraeli, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Eliot. He additionally explores the impact of Darwin, provides Engels and Marx as precursors of the technology 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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Additional resources for A New Science: The Breakdown of Connections and the Birth of Sociology
Their message was that if we can be awakened to a broader sensibility, a wider sympathy, by literary means, we can reach across to our fellow humans and establish attachments that go beyond merely that of the cash nexus. Thus, Charlotte Bronte, in Shirley (1849), has her heroine rec- 18 Breakers and Lamenters ommend the reading of Shakespeare. " To which the heroine replies, ". . it is to stir you; to give you new sensations . . "19 Low and high are intended to indicate aspects of both our personal and social nature, which sensibility permits us to perceive and bridge within ourself and with others.
I have already suggested that Adam Smith bifurcated the problem when he left unconnected his treatment of sympathy in the Theory of Moral Sentiments and self-interest in the Wealth of Nations. "27 In saying this, Marshall was promising more than his science of economics actually produced. It was the newly emerging field of sociology that tried to give concrete scientific form to the problem of sympathy or, more generally, to the problem of connections. We will be exploring that effort in detail in the following chapters on sociologists.
Did the family actually provide emotional warmth and security, or was it too often a domestic despotism? Was the guild a useful protection against exploitation, or a coercive impediment to increased affluence? Were the church and state sources of ennobling attachment, or mainly constricting bands around individuals? Obviously, the responses will not be clear-cut—"some of each" will be the appropriate answer in most cases—and the weight given to them will depend on whether an individual experienced his or her situation as a connection or a chain.
A New Science: The Breakdown of Connections and the Birth of Sociology by Bruce Mazlish