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Chapter 15.docx

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Chapter 15: Politics and Ideologies Politics: The process by which individuals and groups act to promote their interests Thoughts of Canadian political system: - Elena (worst ever): o Waste of time/money o Common person has little/no say - Boris (best ever): o Canada provides equal opportunities for everyone o Rights/liberties are protected by Canada Talcott Parsons book: The Social System - politics as a key process in different kinds of social systems – eg families, small groups, large organizations - goal attainment function: all social systems have this political process o for management/administration/promotion of citizen engagement - criticism: o philosophical/anecdotal, not historical o qualitative not quantitative Symour Martin Lipset’s: Political Man - Functionalist questions: what social conditions and social processes promote democracy? - based on quantitative data from political and public opinion polling Michael Adams - of Environics: a public opinion polling firm - Wants to connect political ideas to historical events and cultural values - Very similar to LIpset - Functionalist - Wrote Sex in the Snow, Fire and Ice, American Backlash George Homans, The Human Group - Microsociologist Functionalist - Social exchange theory o Small groups mainly rule themselves through processes of informal control, which we might label ‘strong group politics’ o Unlike Parsons, Homans looked for pay off, practical reasons people value ‘self-gov’ groups  Similar to Goffman Barrington Moore’s Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World - Critical Theorist - Analyzes class relations and effects on politics - By modernizations, dominant class dictates future political system o Middle class  Democracy o Peasant class  Communism o Traditional Ruling class  Fascism - Analyzed 8 different societies Classic Studies: The First New Nation - By Symour Martin Lipset - Questions: What makes American society different from other societies, and what role did politics play in creating this difference? o Ends up explaining Canadian society! - Lipset previously tried to explain rise of NDP in SK and lack of NDP rise in North Dakota (in Acgrarian Socialisim) - America is rooted to equality and achievement o British put less emphasis on equal opportunity (elitist values) o Australia is more egalitarian, less politically populist - Criticism: Canada may be more ‘ascriptive in its status system, more diffuse and more particularistic than the US but no less stable’ Political Science and Political Sociology Political Sociology vs Political Science - Similarities: o both disciplines study politics o explore ideas, such as power and authority - differences: Poli Sci Poli Soc Main Focus - Machinery of gov - Relations b/w - Public admin politics - Elections - Ideologies - etc - etc Approach - sociology: how is power converted into authority Methods - Textual analysis of - Survey research documents/debates - Interviews - Examination of - Group laws/procedures observation Political Authority - Max Weber: first/most influential to analyze workings of authority Type of Authority Description Traditional Authority
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