Sociology 250

First Midterm Examination

October 14, 1999

Time: 75 minutes

Answer each of the five questions.  Within in question you have choices.  There are a total of 75 points on the examination.


1. Definition or Explanation.  (9 points)  Briefly define or explain three (3) of the following..

party                             enlightenment                            authority

value rational                 surplus labour                            petty bourgeois

status honour                 materialism                               use value


2. Short Answer (10 points).  Select one (1) of the following.

a. Briefly explain how Hegel's idealism influenced Marx.

b. For Marx, alienation cannot be solved on an individual basis.  Briefly explain why.

c. What is an acquisition class?


3. Quotes (15 points)  Select one (1) of the following quotes, state who the author of the quote is, explain the quote in contemporary terms, and note how the ideas in the quote fit the theory of the author.

a. “The probability that certain specific commands (or all commands) will be obeyed by a given group of persons.    every genuine form of domination implies a minimum of voluntary compliance, that is, an interest (based on ulterior motives or genuine acceptance) in obedience.    The particular claim to legitimacy is to a significant degree and according to its type treated as ‘valid.’”

b. “In order to extract value out of the consumption of a commodity, our friend the money-owner must be lucky enough to find within the sphere of circulation, on the market, a commodity whose use-value possesses the peculiar property of being a source of value, whose actual consumption is therefore an objectification … of labour, hence a creation of value.  The possessor of money does find such a special commodity on the market: the capacity for labour … , in other word labour-power.”


4. Comparison (15 points).  Select one (1) of the following.

a. Explain the difference between C-M-C and M-C-M’.

b. What is the difference between social class for Marx and Weber?

c. Some approaches to sociology look on the social world as predictable, and others consider humans as creative.  Give one example of each from theories covered in class.

5. Essay.  Write an essay on one (1) of the following topics.  (26 points).

a. “Sociology is a product of the society around it.”  Discuss this with respect to some of the major changes in European society that contributed to the development of sociology. 

b. “Labour is the essence of being human.”  Discuss this with respect to Marx’s approach.

c. Give an example of a group with which you are familiar that is a status group.  Explain how the example fits Weber's definition of status group.

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