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chp15 soc103.doc

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Lorne Tepperman

SOC103 CHP 15 - POLITICS AND IDEOLOGIES - politics are the processes by which individuals and groups act to promote their interests - citizens are people who belong to a state. citizenship developed out of the relative freedom of city life, granting equal treatment for all residents - state is the set of institutions with authority to make the rules that govern a society. Weber wrote that the state claims a monopoly of legitimate use of physical force within a given territory. - elections costs a lot of money, paid by taxpayers - causes a financial burden, as well as psychic costs: politics in the last few years have been aimed at dividing canadians rather than bringing them together. - evidence from TV advertisements of political parties WAYS OF LOOKING AT POLITICS - we can analyze politics in various ways - macro-sociological versus micro-sociological - functionalist versus critical theory - functionalists approach, from the book, the social system by Talcott Parsons, it focused on politics as a key process in different kinds of social systems that include families, small groups, large organizations, empires, and so on. - parsons argues that all these social systems have a political process, which he labels the goal attainment function - this function, is necessary for the survival of the system. - political system expresses and strive to achieve collective goals through debate and concerted action. - parson assumes that people in the society usually consent to this political process and its leaders. - being criticized for - being more philosophical - more qualitative - gives an idea of the political system: politics as social management - another type of political analysis - based on quantitative date from political and public opinion polling - Michael Adams, believes that clusters of demographic and psychographic features will shape the political functioning of a society. - thus, a society’s politics is deeply rooted in people’s belief and needs, as well as in their histories - adams also believes in the value of public awareness and public engagement in the political process - George Homans, a functionalist who focuses are on the microstructure of politics - develops social exchange theory - small groups mainly rule themselves through processes of informal control, which we might label small-group politics. - they exclude people who violates the group’s norms - Parsons believed that groups develop and protect stable patterns - but, Homans looked for the payoff - the practical reasons people value such ‘self government’ in groups. - Moore analyzes class relations and their effects in politics - working to some extent in the traditions laid out by Marx and Weber - moore’s theory based on a close historical analysis of eight different societies is important for our understanding of modernization, and it shows how politics grow out of class relations. -> Classic Studies - The First New Nation - by Lipset - develops a Canada-US comparison, examining the historical transformation of the US from a british colony to an independent country. - to discover reasons for American exceptionalism or uniqueness, he compares with Canada, Australia and UK - key features for the difference - revolutionary war - commitment to 2 conflicting values: quality and achievement - according to lipset, both values are grounded in the american identity and in national development; basis for institutions; families, schools, political party, trade union. - the american revolution symbolize the birth of a new nation, the world’s first new nation. - US was born in blood - Canada was founded in peace - Lipset used historical and comparative methods to tease out societal differences POLITICAL SCIENCE AND POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY - Political science deals mainly with the machinery of government and public administration, and with elections public opinion polling, pressure groups, and political parties. - political sociology is more concerned with the relations between politics, social institutions, ideologies, and culture - sociologists study political processes within social institutions, and the ways power is distributed and used in different social relationships - Political scientists tend to do more library research, textual analysis of documents and debates, examination of laws, rules, procedures, often philosophical and historical - sociologists do more survey research, interview and observe groups POLITICAL AUTHORITY - Authority is essential to politics, and sociologists are especially interested in the social processes that justify and support authority. - Max Weber was the first sociologists to analyze the workings of authority. - 3 types of authority - 1. traditional authority, the power holder is support by ancient traditions, and can expect obedience as long as he or she upholds these traditions - often holds power through dynastic inheritance - power is most secure when there is belief that power is given from god. - 2. charismatic authority, is based on the power-holder’s exceptional qualities, especially the force of his / her personality - charisma can derive from charm and presence - leader can generate feelings of excitement and anticipation, and mobilize an audience toward some goal. - charismatic leaders may provide solutions to problems and promote new social values - 3. rational-legal authority, the most common form of authority in modern societies - based on established rules and procedures - the right to exercise these powers is based on the person’s formal position. - this type of authority is also the basis of bureaucratic organization - weber argues that modern states, like modern organizations are based ideally in the rule of law, which distinguishes them from societies that run on tradition, charm or personal relationships. THE STATE - THREE types of modern states - 1. authoritarian states - typically forbids public opposition and use force to ensure compliance with the written laws. - often, authoritarian leaders force citizens to display public support of the state to prove their loyalty - exercises complete control over country - with coorperation of the military, state church, multinational corporations. - 2. totalitarian states - more extreme and more stabl
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