The Poverty of Theory
The division of labour implies from the outset the division of the conditions of labour, of tools and materials, and thus the splitting-up of accumulated capital among different owners, and thus, also, the division between capital and labour, and the different forms of property itself.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The German Ideology, 65 (via trashingdays)
If now in considering the course of history we detach the ideas of the ruling class from the ruling class itself and attribute to them an independent existence, if we confine ourselves to saying that these or those ideas were dominant, without bothering ourselves about the conditions of production and the producers of these ideas, if we then ignore the individuals and world conditions which are the source of the ideas, we can say, for instance, that during the time that the aristocracy was dominant, the concepts honour, loyalty, etc., were dominant, during the dominance of the bourgeoisie the concepts freedom, equality, etc. The ruling class itself on the whole imagines this to be so. This conception of history, which is common to all historians, particularly since the eighteenth century, will necessarily come up against the phenomenon that increasingly abstract ideas hold sway, i.e. ideas which increasingly take on the form of universality. For each new class which puts itself in the place of one ruling before it, is compelled, merely in order to carry though its aim, to represent its interest as the common interest of all the members of society put in an ideal form; it will give its ideas the form of universality, and represent them as the only rational, universally valid ones.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The German Ideology, 40-41 (via trashingdays)
[The] aim of the ethnographer’s work is that it be as objective as possible. This is not easy or simple, since it requires researchers to try to set aside their own values and assumptions about what is and is not morally acceptable — in other words, to jettison the prism through which they typically view a given situation. By definition one’s own assumptions are so basic to one’s perceptions that seeing their influence may be difficult, if not impossible. Ethnographic researchers, however, have been trained to look for and to recognize underlying assumptions, their own and those of their subjects, and to try to override the former and uncover the latter.
Elijah Anderson, Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Code of the Inner City, 1999, pg 11. (via socio-logic)
Any group of persons – prisoners, primitives, pilots, or patients – develop a life of their own that becomes meaningful, reasonable and normal once you get close to it.
Erving Goffman, Asylums (1962)
Above all we must avoid postulating “society” again as an abstraction vis-à-vis the individual. The individual is the social being.
Karl Marx - Private Property and Communism 1844 (via dailymarx)
The ordinary practitioners of the city live “down below,” below the
thresholds at which visibility begins. They walk-an elementary form of this experience of the city; they are walkers, whose bodies follow the thicks and thins of an urban “text” they write without being able to read it. These practitioners make use of spaces that cannot be seen; their knowledge of them is as blind as that of lovers in each other’s arms.

Michel de Certeau - Chapter ‘Walking the City' in 'The Practice of Everyday Life(1984)



(via socio-logic)