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2S06 Lecture 28.docx

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David Young

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Fox 1 Lecture 28 SOCIOL 2S06 Thursday January 23, 2014  Neo Marxian Theory & the State A) Neo Marxian Definitions of the State: 1) An Institutional Definition: 2) Functional Definition of the State: • Repressive state apparatuses • Made up of ideological state apparatuses • Althusser suggests that the state performs functions through “ideological state apparatuses” (which function primarily through ideology)-they include: o Religion o Education o The Family o Law o The political system (including political parties) o Trade unions o Communications (“press, radio, and television”) o Culture (“literature, the arts, sports, etc.”) 3) An Alternative Definition: • Carl Cuneo (former professor in the Department of Sociology at McMaster) • Cuneo argues that Althusser includes too many apparatuses-the family, trade unions, and religion should not be seen as part of the state • Cuneo argues that Miliband excludes too many institutions-these include the mass media, education, and the health care system (privately owned mass media, education and health care should not be considered part of the state) • Cuneo suggests that the following are some parts of the state in Canada: o The central and regional governments (federal, provincial, and municipal) o Parliamentary assemblies o The armed forces and police (repressive state apparatuses) o Intelligence and security services (Canadian Service Intelligent Services) Fox 2 Lecture 28 o The judicial and court system o Prisons, reform institutions, and asylums o Law o Institutions associated with public education, public health care, and public mass media B) Neo-Marxian Theories of the State: • Developed in the 1960’s 1) Instrumentalist Theory: a) Key Aspects of the Theory: • The state acts at the behest of the capitalist class (i.e., under the command of the capitalist class) • The fundamental thesis of instrumentalist theory is that the state is an instrument of the capitalist class • Research based on instrumentalist theory has focused on studying 3 things: 1) The composition of the capitalist class (who is part of this class) 2) The mechanisms that tie the capitalist class to the state (2 types of linkages between the # of capitalist class and the state: I. Direct Personal Linkages: o Ex=A corporate executive calls PM Harper (his friend) and tells him what he wants to see in policy and legislation II. Linkages through state institutions: o Ex=A capitalist could be the PM or a member of the cabinet, the
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