Weeding Rituals in ancient Russia

It is relatively easy to learn about how a long dead king ruled, or a battle was fought. A simple excavation of a battlefield, or the perusal of any angry politicians’ letters will tell us what we need to know. From The Domostroi we can learn a lot. For example The Domostroi can show us both the size and the structure of ancient households. We discovered that many powerful Russians lived in huge homes that could hold two hundred people.… Read the rest here

The Domostroi (Chapters 50-67)

Food

In terms of food, large estates had a wide range in diet. The upper-class ate nearly every type of meat imaginable: chicken, pork, swan, chipmunk, elk, hare, duck, mutton, goose, etc. They also ate many different types of fish. Grains consisted of barley, kasha, bread, and even noodles. For fruits and vegetables, the upper-class ate cabbage, turnips, various types of melons, apples, and berries. They drank different variations of mead, made with honey, spices, or berries.… Read the rest here

Stewards and Manners

The Domostroi clearly sets out each person’s role in a household. It is very clear on how one should carry themselves and how to act in various situations. In chapter 35, the focus is on how servants should conduct themselves while running errands. They are supposed to be very conservative and follow every instruction given. They are told not to gossip at any point, and to give the utmost respect to whoever they are sent to.… Read the rest here

Vicarious Consumption

Author: Thorstein Veblen was born in Cato, Wisconsin on July 30, 1857. He spent the majority of his childhood working on his family farm as part of a Norwegian immigrant farming community.  His parents stressed hard work and education, an emphasis that would factor into his disgust for conspicuous consumption. Veblen studied and worked at several universities including Johns Hopkins, Yale, and Cornell.  Veblen wrote The theory of the Leisure Class when he was in his early forties.… Read the rest here

The Theory of the Leisure Class

Author- Thorstein Veblen, American sociologist and economics, grew up with a lot of familial emphasis on education and caused resentment for “conspicuous consumption”
Context- 1899, takes place during the Gilded Age of America (economic boom that brought many immigrants from Europe)
Language- matter- of- fact language, extremely critical
Audience- became and instant success, highly praised, meant to be widely read
Intent- to shows the superficiality of the societal trend and to show the societal rift between those that can afford luxury items and those that produce the items (how that impacts class perception)
Message- criticism of how materialism of luxury goods became a symbol of wealth and of “conspicuous consumption” (displaying luxury items to maintain social status), uses dress as an example of display of goods to indicate one’s status

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Frederick Taylor and Scientific Management

The main argument of Frederick Taylor’s “The Principles of Scientific Management” is that men are wasting their time in factories but there are ways to improve that.  The paper itself “was originally prepared for presentation to The American Society of Mechanical Engineers” so he was not writing for the uninformed.  This meant that his writing in the paper was not simple, it was not trying to address the everyman.  Taylor was aiming for people who had seen the issue of workers taking their time.  … Read the rest here

Domostroi Chapters 19-34

The Domostroi focused heavily on religion and obedience and how it is relevant in all aspects of life regardless of social class. Everything in a true Russian Christian’s life must be blessed or prayed on so that God will bless their work. This how-to also instructed men on how to look for a good wife and what made a good wife. A good wife must have all the qualities of a hard worker, a good mother, and is one who puts her family before herself.… Read the rest here

The necessity of clear scientific management

In the article, ” The Principles of Scientific Management”, I think the central claim is that employers  need  to  define a clear scientific management to improve the productivity of workers at maximum level. This is because the author, Frederick Taylor mentions the fact that workers have misunderstood the relationship between increasing efficiency and their position . In particular, he repeatedly mentions that workers have thought their increasing productivity of commodities can lead to the fire. Besides this, he also provides another idea of workers, which they are afraid of keeping hard working for a long time because of their great productivity.… Read the rest here

Domostroi (Chapters 1-18)

The Domostroi represents the many facets of life for the “fortunate few” in Muscovy’s social hierarchy.  Those living under this social system were subjected to strict and detailed standards of behavior and expectations.  We have determined that at the crux of this system was a “culture of fear” that was responsible for ensuring proper social conduct.  This means that this group of people followed the Domostroi‘s guidelines not because it was necessarily beneficial but because they were motivated by fear of consequences.  … Read the rest here

The Unification of Germany

Otto von Bismarck’s successful unification of Germany is one of the most important events in European history.  Unifying over thirty principalities and other smaller states within the geographical vicinity of modern day Germany is, by far, Otto von Bismarck’s greatest achievement.  Starting as a Prussian statesman, Bismarck eventually rose to the title of Minister President.  At this point, Bismarck was beginning to make his move to unify.  In 1866, he had the states of Germany attack Austria.… Read the rest here