Material Type:
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
  • Oss0212
  • Sociology
    Media Formats:

    Describe the fundamental features of capitalist and socialist societies


    OER Text Material

    Types of Economic Systems

    Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World, 13.2. This section reviews the basic features of capitalism and socialism, providing a brief comparison of strengths and weaknesses of both types of economic system. Democratic Socialism is discussed in depth, with a special mention to Scandinavian countries to discuss social welfare systems and explore how democratic socialism can operate.

    Supplemental Material (Videos and Reading)

    “Global Capitalism in the Age of Trump” by Ho-Fung Hung

    Contexts, Vol. 17, Issue 3, pp 40-45 (NOTE: Available via OhioLINK). Abstract: “On the origins and consequences of Trump’s attempt to de-globalize the American economy, from working-class living standards to the global balance of power.”

    Safety Nets: Hammocks or Trampolines? By James Wimberly

    Reality-Based Community; October 29, 2011.

    Description: This blog entry illustrates the benefits of safety nets to encouraging risk-taking behaviors.  Using an analogy, he compares entrepreneurship to children wearing safety harnesses to cross rope bridges, Wimberly illustrates how we are more likely to engage in particular behaviors with the benefit of a safety net. Using rankings of start-up densities in OECD countries, Wimberly argues that social safety nets encourages people to engage business start-ups, which may otherwise be considered too risky.


    Source Title: Economic Systems & the Labor Market: Crash Course Sociology #29

    Source URL and/or bibliographic details:

    Description: At 3:20 the video discusses two types of economic models, capitalism and socialism.


    Source Title: Capitalism and Socialism: Crash Course World History #33

    Source URL and/or bibliographic details:

    Description: Taking an historical perspective, this video provides an overview of the development of capitalism and socialism.  Video abstract:  “John Green teaches you about capitalism and socialism in a way that is sure to please commenters from both sides of the debate. Learn how capitalism arose from the industrial revolution, and then gave rise to socialism. Learn about how we got from the British East India Company to iPhones and consumer culture in just a couple of hundred years. Stops along the way include the rise of industrial capitalism, mass production, disgruntled workers, Karl Marx, and the Socialist Beard. The socialist reactions to the ills of capitalism are covered as well, and John discusses some of the ideas of Karl Marx, and how they've been implemented or ignored in various socialist states.”


    Source Title: If democratic socialism is so bad, why is Norway so great? by Ryan Cooper

    Source URL and/or bibliographic details:

    Description:  This opinion piece compares the U.S. and Norway on a number of economic and social measures in response to the title question.  This would make a good discussion starter in class and would also provide a good example of how to use accessible data to support claims in papers.