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POL 100 Lecture Notes

Political Science
Course Code
POL 100
Sherri Brown

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September 9, 2009
Chapter 1 – What Is Political Science?
Politics affect us even if we dont feel it. They are the decision making tools.
Politics is about who get what, when and how. – Herald
Decisions are based on ideologies. Politics is the same way.
Politics concerns with power
Decisions are all about the exercise of power
Where power derives from
oHow are you empowered
Power over - the reason why one group is being targeted is stemming from a lack of strong political
organization. Where the specific power is located and how is that power exercised over whom?
**system of distributing of societys power and wealth and decision**
Marx (German writer, did his writing in france & England)class analysis
Class analysis:
Bourgeoisie: businessman, owned factories, traded, etc.
Working class: people who worked at the factories, traded, etc
Political revolution (French revolution): when ppl overthrow whole system of government
Social/historical revolution: (1700-1900 – england) system of government changes, changes
because everyone takes part in it, etc. New technology happens, people go to the city, not work in
the farms, and they now run factories, or run machines, with mass production, etc.
Four main approaches to political science studies
Class analysis
oSystem: How society shaped in the past
oStructures (what is overriding social structure)
Canada is referred as a social -democratic capitalist modern state (eg. Sweden,

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socialism is that government takes care of the common good: vs. taxes,
health care, government redistributes the money from taxes in social
goods Sweden, Nederland, germany social democratic state
democratic: government by people, people are voted on
communism: everyone worked, then government would take everything
and then redistribute it: eg. Wheat farmers (china 1950-70, north korea
capitalism: people directly trade/buy/sell on their own without
government monitoring
Marx believes structure can be used to analyze classes
oSystematic inequalities
Differential outcomes
Differences between people (eg. Rich/poor, educated/not educated)
Systematic: looking at the whole system and how it works
Eg. How easy can people go from poor to rich = good example of how to measure
systematic inequalities == social mobility
Disciplinary p ower an d dividin g p ra c tic e s /social mo bility (naming p eo ple wh o
are ab n ormal, etc) , when we le a ve p eo ple o u t,
oWe a ther p eo ple c a n cli mb the social lad d er
oSociety tryin g to discipline p eo ple; that society h as a series of
structures, v alues to discipline p eo ple in b ehaving a c ertain way, etc
LEFT WING: p eo ple b eli eve that the society is u n eq u al in every way and make
oLiberal: fre e d o m to make yo ur own d e cisio n
oMore likely to b eli eve in individu al righ ts
oNegative rights
oFreedom from the government/power and freedom TO have things/etc. (beliefs, money
and rights)
oComes from Marxist tradition, positive rights, freedom to make sure people have
food/education, etc.

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oTODAY, people on the left wing have a combination of liberal and socialist
oFree speech: liberal, socialism: want government to feed or give shelter to homeless
RIGHT WING: co n servatives
oMay n o t b e interested in fre e d o m of spe e c h or o p pres sion, b eli eve in
oh owever most p pl wh o vote co n servati ve often b eli eves in private
okeep it the way it is or they think society can change but slowly and benefit themselves
The way we ap ply these terms h ave chan g ed o v er ti me
Power and Authority
Authority: socially ap prov ed p ower
oSu p p o rted by instit ution
oComes wit h sanction an d p u nishment
Tradition al auth ority
oDerived o n traditio n al, custom h eredity
oNot o p ened to chall en g e an d d ebate
Charismatic auth ority
oBarr a ck o b ama (legal ration al)
oDemo g o g: auth o rity thro u g h sp ok en charisma (eg. Martin luther king)
Legal ration al auth ority
oBased o n rule of law, the b ure a ucratic structures, etc.
oCourts, co n stit utio n, b ure a ucra c y, etc.
oReq uire p u blic legiti ma c y to fu nctio n, and will bre a k d own and cor r u p t
o n c e legiti ma c y is g o n e
oNot k ey to traditio n al or charismatic auth o rity
oLike a social co n tra c t: at o n e ti me, the society c a me to g ether and set
Sovereignty – supreme power
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