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Lecture

Special Interests

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Department
Sociology
Course
Sociology 3321F/G
Professor
Dr.Mike
Semester
Fall

Description
Special Interests • Special Interest Groups – a political alliance of people interested in some economic or social issue (e.g., the NRA, AARP, AMA) • Political Action Committees (PAC) – organizations formed by special interest groups, independent of political parties, to pursue political aims by raising and spending money • The U.S. principle of democracy is violated by the special interests, which by financial support of political candidates attempt to deflect the political process for their own benefit. The existence of lobbyists does not ensure that the national interest will be served or that the concerns of all groups will be heard. Voter Apathy in the US - Compared to other industrialized countries, voter turnout rates in the U.S. are the lowest. There are three major reasons: 1) Most American voters believe (correctly or incorrectly) that their vote does not count or matter; they feel powerless to Political Action Committees. 2) There are two major political parties (republican and democratic) which represent a coalition of interest groups. 3) Voluntary registration for voters and bureaucratic constraints involved in registration may turn away many potential voters. War and Peace • War is violent conflict among nations or organized groups; peace refers to the absence of violent conflict. • Although people think of peace as the normal state of affairs, with wars breaking out from time to time, wars have always been part of human history. Indeed, in its short history, the United States has been involved in ten large-scale wars and many more minor conflicts
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