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SOCIOL 2S06 (332)
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Lecture

Lecture 29 - January 23rd.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCIOL 2S06
Professor
David Young

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Lecture 29 – January 23rd o Althusser suggests that the state performs functions through “ideological state apparatuses”  (which function primarily through ideology) – they include:   Religion  Education  The family  Law  The political system (including political parties)   Trade unions  Communications (“press, radio, and television”)   Culture (“literature, the arts, sports, etc”)  • An alternative definition o Carl Cuneo (former professor in the department of sociology at McMaster) o Cuneo argues that Althusser includes too many apparatuses – the family, trade unions,  and religion should not be seen as part of the state o Cuneo argues that Miliband excludes too many institutions – these include the mass  media, education, and the health care system o Cuneo suggests that the following are some parts of the state in Canada:  The central and regional governments (federal, provincial, and municipal)  Parliamentary assemblies   Armed forces and police  Intelligence and security systems   The judicial and court system  Prisons, reform institutions, and asylums   Law  Institutions associated with public education, public health care, and public mass  media B) Neo­Marxian Theories of the State • 1) Instrumentalist Theory o A) Key aspects of the theory  The state acts as the behest of the capitalist class (i.e., under its command)  The fundamental thesis of instrumentalist theory is that the state is an instrument  of the capitalist class   Research based on instrumentalist theory has focussed on studying three things: • 1. The composition of the capitalist class • 2. The mechanisms that tie the capitalist class to the state o First type of linkage involves direct personal linkages between  the members of the capitalist class and the state o For example: a corporate executive is friends with the prime  minister and tells him what he would like the government to do  in terms of policy, etc. o Second type of linkage involves linkages through state  institutions  o Capitalist hold positions of authority inside the state structure • 3. The connections between the capitalist class and state policy or  legislation  o B) Advantages of the Theory   Draws attention to the linkage that exits between the capitalist class and the  state  o C) Disadvantages of the Theory
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