Intro to Sociology MWF 12:20

Karl Marx
By: Kayla McCain


Karl Heinrich Marx was born into a comfortable middle-class home in Trier on the river Moselle in Germany on May 5, 1818. He came from a long line of rabbis on both sides of his family and his father, a man who knew Voltaire and Lessing by heart, had agreed to baptism as a Protestant so that he would not lose his job as one of the most respected lawyers in Trier. At the age of seventeen, Marx enrolled in the Faculty of Law at the University of Bonn. At Bonn he became engaged to Jenny von Westphalen, the daughter of Baron von Westphalen , a prominent member of Trier society, and man responsible for interesting Marx in Romantic literature and Saint-Simonian politics. The following year Marx's father sent him to the more serious University of Berlin where he remained four years, at which time he abandoned his romanticism for the Hegelianism which ruled in Berlin at the time.
Marx became a member of the Young Hegelian movement. Finding a university career closed by the Prussian government, Marx moved into journalism and, in October 1842, became editor, in Cologne, of the influential Rheinische Zeitung, a liberal newspaper backed by industrialists. Marx's articles, particularly those on economic questions, forced the Prussian government to close the paper. Marx then emigrated to France.
Arriving in Paris at the end of 1843, Marx rapidly made contact with organized groups of émigr?German workers and with various sects of French socialists. He also edited the short-lived Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher which was intended to bridge French socialism and the German radical Hegelians. During his first few months in Paris, Marx became a communist and set down his views in a series of writings known as the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts (1844), which remained unpublished until the 1930s. In the Manuscripts, Marx outlined a humanist conception of communism, influenced by the philosophy of Ludwig Feuerbach and based on a contrast between the alienated nature of labor under capitalism and a communist society in which human beings freely developed their nature in cooperative production.
Marx was expelled from Paris at the end of 1844 and with Engels, moved to Brussels where he remained for the next three years, visiting England where Engels' family had cotton spinning interests in Manchester. While in Brussels Marx devoted himself to an intensive study of history and elaborated what came to be known as the materialist conception of history. This he developed in a manuscript (published posthumously as The German Ideology), of which the basic thesis was that "the nature of individuals depends on the material conditions determining their production." Marx traced the history of the various modes of production and predicted the collapse of the present one — industrial capitalism — and its replacement by communism.
At the same time Marx was composing The German Ideology, he also wrote a polemic (The Poverty of Philosophy) against the idealistic socialism of P. J. Proudhon (1809-1865). He also joined the Communist League. This was an organization of German émigr?workers with its center in London of which Marx and Engels became the major theoreticians. At a conference of the League in London at the end of 1847 Marx and Engels were commissioned to write a succinct declaration of their position. Scarcely was The Communist Manifesto published than the 1848 wave of revolutions broke out in Europe.
During the first half of the 1850s the Marx family lived in poverty in a three room flat in the Soho quarter of London. Marx and Jenny already had four children and two more were to follow. Of these only three survived. Marx's major source of income at this time was Engels who was trying a steadily increasing income from the family business in Manchester. This was supplemented by weekly articles written as a foreign correspondent for the New York Daily Tribune.
Marx's health did not improve. He traveled to European spas and even to Algeria in search of recuperation. The deaths of his eldest daughter and his wife clouded the last years of his life. Marx died March 14, 1883 and was buried at Highgate Cemetery in North London.


The Homeless

Lance Finley
Stacy Horinek

Homeless Statistics
Poverty is the main cause of homelessness.
Twenty and thirty percent of homeless families surveyed have gone without food for part of the previous month.
The homeless face persistent deprivation and constant threat of harm.
They spend more time in the hospital and in jail than other people living at the poverty level.
The majority of homeless people are victims of violent crimes, and one fourth lack needed medical care.
Children in homeless families have lower GPA’s and fewer attendances

Single men account for about sixty percent of the homeless population.
Families constitute about one third of all homeless and are the fastest-growing group of homeless.
The homeless elderly population are also growing
The majority of homelessness occurs in large cities.
The rural homelessness is a growing problem.
Rural homeless are more likely to be families that are homeless for shorter periods of time, often as a result of domestic violence.
One of the hardest groups to reach, however, is the one fourth of homeless who have been homeless for at least five years.

Preventing Homelessness in America
Permanent housing provides a “base” for people to move out of poverty.
Many organizations that address the homeless population have shifted their focus from emergency shelter to prevention.
McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987, is a federal law that provides funding for homeless assistance programs.
Provides services and housing for an entire range of needs, from medical care to employment.
Placing the Homeless into Permanent Housing
Families and independent able adults should be placed in programs designed to place the homeless into permanent housing as soon as possible.
Tenants who have both serious mental illnesses and substance abuse problems have the hardest time thriving in permanent independent housing.
Groups that assist people in permanent housing should:
Provide services, such as job training, to the residents for a year after placement.
And follow up on the status of their placed people.
Homeless Transitional and Supporting Housing
Transitional housing provides a temporary place for the homeless to live for one to two years.
Transitional housing is becoming less popular with the focus shifting to moving homeless into permanent housing as soon as possible.
Services of the transitional housing include education and job training and homeownership and employment counseling.

Supportive housing provides treatment for the mentally ill and substance abusers.
Clients have access to in-house or off-site services such as medical and psychological care.
Substance abuse treatment is also provided.
Supportive housing is vital because about half of all homeless adults have problems with alcohol and one third with other drugs.
Twenty and twenty-five percent also have a major mental illness.
Supportive housing can be very effective in facilitating treatment of mental illness and preventing emergency hospital visits.

Works cited

Italian Organized Crime
Wyatt Burhoop
Since their beginning in the 1800’s the Italian criminal syndicate known as the mafia has infiltrated the social and economic structures of Italy and now impact the world. They are one of the most notorious and prolific of all criminal societies. They are involved in international criminal activities with various other criminal organizations around the world, especially drug trafficking. These groups don’t just limit themselves to drugs though they are also involved in illegal gambling, political corruption, extortion, kidnapping, fraud, counterfeiting, infiltration of legitimate businesses, murders, bombings, and weapons trafficking. Experts estimate that their global criminal activities are worth $100 billion annually. The La Cosa Nostra is believed to be the foremost organized criminal threat to American society. La Cosa Nostra, or the LCN as it has been dubbed by the FBI, consists of different families or groups normally arranged geographically and are deeply involved in racketeering activities. The LCN operates all over the United States as well as around the world but the highest concentration is centered in New York City and its surrounding areas. La Cosa Nostra has not always been the huge criminal empire it is today but evolved over many years as various gangs gained and lost control. The mafia as it is now known began with a man named Charles “Lucky” Luciano. He organized the Commission, the ruling body of the Mafia. The Commission consists of the heads of several mafia families, which meet and vote on issues that affect all the families. The advent of the Commission heralded 75 years of relative peace and prosperity for La Cosa Nostra. The mafia has thrived by following a strict set of customs and rules such as Omerta, which is the code of silence taken by all family members. The power and influence of the mafia during the prohibition continued after the alcohol was re-legalized by expanding into other criminal enterprises. In recent years there have been reports of mafia associates and members in workers’ unions, these are used to create legitimate business opportunities and cloak members as legitimate business men. The most notable of these are the Teamsters and International Longshoreman’s Association. This allowed crime families to make inlays into very profitable legitimate businesses such as construction, demolition, waste management, trucking, and in the waterfront and garment industry. Additionally this allowed them to pilfer Union pensions and welfare budgets. In the port and docking unions the mafia bribed and threatened union members to inform when valuable shipments arrived so the mob soldiers could steal them. Recently the mafia has been in decline due to incessant Federal law enforcement raids and prosecution and many former mafia members turning states evidence. However, law enforcement officials fear resurgence in mafia activity due to more federal focus on homeland security and less on organized crime due to the September 11 attacks. To avoid FBI attention and prosecution, the mafia has started out sourcing much of its work to third-party sources such as outlaw biker gangs and other low-end criminal organizations.
Arlacchi, Pino (1988). Mafia Business. The Mafia Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Oxford: Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-285197-7
Chubb, Judith (1989). The Mafia and Politics, Cornell Studies in International Affairs, Occasional Papers No. 23.
Critchley, David. The Origin of Organized Crime: The New York City Mafia, 1891-1931. New York, Routledge, 2008.
Dash, Mike. The First Family: Terror, Extortion and the Birth of the American Mafia. London, Simon & Schuster, 2009.
Servadio, Gaia (1976), Mafioso. A history of the Mafia from its origins to the present day, London: Secker & Warburg ISBN 0-436-44700-2

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License