Review questions for Soc. 4111
St. Simon, Comte, Martineau, & Spencer

  1. For Spencer what makes human societies stable?  Why are some societies unstable?

  2. Comte and St. Simon were very similar in many ways.  What holds society together in a stable coherent way?  How do they differ in their conceptions about what keeps society stable.

  3. According to Spencer which type of society is more stable, homogeneous or heterogeneous?  Explain why.

  4. How does St. Simon see society stratified in the positivistic or scientific phase?  Why does that particular differentiation make sense in his view of society?

  5. Explain in detail Martineau's methodological approach.  Why would cemeteries be a good source of information?

  6. Drawing on Comte and St. Simon, can the U.S. intervention in Iraq or Afghanistan bring 21st century democracy to those countries?  Explain why or why not.

  7. What role does Utilitarianism play for Martineau in her analysis of society?

  8. Why is inequality in the U.S. an issue for Martineau?  How would she judge inequality in the U.S.?

  9. The influence of utilitarianism can be found in both Martineau and Spencer. Explain how that notion of the greatest good for the greatest number is put to use in their theories.

  10. Explain why Spencer's theory might be considered social Darwinistic.

  11. Compare Comte's vision of social change to Spencer's.

  12. Historical method is important to St. Simon's, Comte's, and Spencer's theories. What is meant by historical method? How do these three use historical method?

  13. All of these theorists espouse positivistic theory. What does that mean? Explain how they fit under that rubric?

  14. Discuss Martineau's criticism of slavery. Draw on the readings as well as lecture material.

  15. Discuss Martineau's contribution to sociology.