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SOCA02H3 (398)
Lecture 5

SOCA02- Lecture 5.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCA02H3
Professor
Malcolm Mac Kinnon
Semester
Winter

Description
(late to class)-SOCA02- February 9, 2012  Politics  Income tax is about 120 years old; was supposed to be only temporary  Power can be legitimized when it becomes authority  There are three ways across history that power is legitimized according to Weber o Traditional authority is found in tribal and feudal societies; it is inherited by way of family or clan, or it can be derived from religion; when societies lack legitimacy, they have problems; ex. The old soviet union was a totalitarian society, ended up killing about 25 million of their own people; it ultimately collapsed due to lack of legitimacy  Nero in Rome; someone said to him that people were protesting in the streets; ‘let them hate as long as they fear’; o dull continuity- things just keep going on the same/same old way without a change in society for a long period of time; one of the most common English names is Smith, from Blacksmith and passed onto his son which is dull continuity or tradition; people consider social relations to be almost sacred/ do it the same way as ancestors; Monarchy (rule of mostly Kings who ruled by divine right) in the middle ages; we’ve done it this way ‘time out of mind’; traditional authority thrives when people share the same world view, but as the division of labour increases, it fragments people because the occupation has a big impact on the way one thinks; cultural diversity is also a fact of life in modern societies, tradition disappears; however, some elements of tradition are found in the modern world and they play a minor role in politics; before the selection of a governor general is finalized, it is approved by the Queen because it is tradition; traditional authority still prevails in other parts of life such as the authority of parents over children (why do I have to do this? Because I say so. No explanation needs to be given); patriarchy is traditional authority, the rule of men over women, and this is contested in countries like Canada; o Legal-rational authority is legitimized through respect for the law; Rational-legal arguments- the law is rational which is why we legitimize it; Peerage- peers can only be tried by other peers (aristocrats, commoners, etc.); aristocrats cannot be jailed for debts; aristocrats had better facilities when imprisoned; all people stand equal before the law according to rational-legal arguments; Bill Clinton was impeached (legally prove that someone is unfit for office) because the law applies to him just as it does to anybody else; chain of command- people accept the fact that each office is regulated by rules; bureaucracy; rank is not natural; natural rank is traditional; superiority and inferiority is determined by performance (how well one does the job/skills one has); our society is full of bureaucracy (including UTSC); easier to keep track of people by giving them a number; bureaucratic organizations are utilitarian which means they are there to achieve goals and accomplish something; bureaucracy works with specializations, although some people decide to remain generalists (someone who can do a little bit of everything); authority is organization specific- the boss can only control your behaviour on the job/ organization-specific authority; o Charismatic authority- history is full of charismatic individuals; they can emerge during political revolutions when they wish to overthrow existing rule; this is someone with exceptional qualities; while traditional authority is dull and goes on the same way, charismatic authority is volatile (explosive) and it corrals people to do things they normally wouldn’t do; rational-legal is abstract, impersonal, while charismatic leaders fly by the seat of their pants, highly personalized and specific to an individual; in our world, you get appointed to an office or bureaucracy on the basis of training, whereas under a charismatic individual, it is not well known how this happens; charisma-species magnetism- is when people find some individuals attractive; you don’t have to be nice to be charismatic, you can be thoroughly nasty such as Adolf Hitler who had political charisma; they followed him into the abyss; diabolical charisma- intrinsically evil; Hitler unleashed the second world war which created millions of deaths; other charismatic leaders are Mau, Mandela, Gandhi; charisma is a young person’s game, when you get old, it goes bye-bye (Fidel Castro); Che Guevara; Napoléon had political charisma, as well as Martin Luther King who also had prophetic charisma; charisma has also played a huge role in religion- prophetic charisma; Tao (Taoism), Mohammed (Islam), Christ (Christianity); Hinduism is the oldest religion and the founders are murky because it is so old; prophetic charisma is revolutionary (it changes things); charismatic prophets have disciples who follow the leader with absolute devotion and loyalty; when someone turns on that prophet known as Judas (someone who is disloyal, stabs you in the back); gains legitimacy by making a claim to be the chosen one; charismatic prophets are written about later to have miraculous powers, sometimes referred to as a Messiah; charismatic prophets often offer a new dispensation (a new way of getting salvation); charisma is unstable because leaders get old and die; Weber says we routinize the charisma (in terms of Christ, the Catholic Church which is also rational-legal meaning church bureaucracy); routinizing charisma with bureaucracy, stabilizes it; Roman Catholic church, in principle, can last forever;  Who holds the power in Canada? Voters? Small elite? There are four models of political power, we discuss two in lecture (book has the other two)  Elite theory of democracy- small groups run the show and make all of the important decisions that affect society; the small group is called elites; elites monopolize power, and it comes from Karl Marx; according to him, the ruling class was the bourgeoisie who owned the means of production and it is a capitalist class (the elite are always small in number); it also controls the government (elected officials), security forces; this elite oppressed workers which Marx called the proletariat (not a lot of discretionary income); they also shared the same economic interests; C. Wright Mills had a book called the Power Elite (American society in the 50s)- government, business, military was the power elite; when he wrote his book, the military had much more power than it does now; America spends more money on its military than the rest of the world combined; wealthy people are more involved in politics; below the power elite is the legislative branch; voter turnout is decreasing over time, younger people are less likely to vote than older Canadians, and if these trends continue it will be below 50% by 2020; cynicism- what is the point of voting if it is not going to make a difference- poorer people are more likely to be struck by political apathy; William Domhoff (Who Rules America?) says that there is a corporate conservative coalition who is made up of upper class individuals, corporate leaders; most liberal group in Canada is the United Church (first female minister); (look at written notes) Domhoff argues that these groups often overlap; Obama turned down the pipeline from the oil sands to the US because he is part of the liberal labour coalition and environmental groups are part of his backing despite the fact that labour unions (also LLC) would be in favour; you cannot really be on one side completely; power elites are not static, they do not last forever, referring to their makeup and influence; military-industrial c
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