2nd Semester Complete Chapter Summaries

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL214Y1
Professor
Nelson Wiseman
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 2 Ideology and Political Culture What are the values that Canadians hold that make them distinct from other nationsHow are Canadian values and beliefs different from Americans especiallyUntil latter half of twentieth century we used to believe that Canadians believe in a more orderly less individualistic society than that of the United States in which the state is more so expected to engage in activities that promote the welfare of society and the development of an independent CanadaOur tie to Great Britain remained very strong until middle of the century and saw Canada as more British than American in its institutions values and heritageBut this question has become less plausible over last couple of decadesMany still believe that Canadian values are less individualistic and less hostile to government than the USHowever as the bonds joining Canada to US economically and culturally have multiplied and deepened we are still obsessed with what it takes to be CanadianThis obsession however is not prominent in French Speaking Canada namely QuebecThey are dominantly insulated from American cultural influences by language and for much of their history by the strongly Catholic character of their society French Canadians have been less likely than English Canadians to define themselves with the USThis is the basis of French Canadian nationalismWhat does it mean to be a QuebecoisIdeas Values and InstitutionsIdeas assume various forms in political lifeWhen they take form of a set of interrelated beliefs about how society is organized and how it ought to function interpretative map for understanding the world we have an ideologyMost people are not aware of having ideological learnings and are not aware that they may be labelled as conservative or liberalWhen a nation is pragmatic however this means that an ideology is so entrenched that it is a national conventionA political culture consists of the characteristic values beliefs and behaviours of a societys members in regards to politicsObviously not every citizen will share these values of political culture however when speaking of a nations political culture we are speaking about the majorityIn Canada research on political culture is mostly focused on differences between French speaking and English speaking Canadians and on the question of whether or not English Canada is characterized by regional political cultureTo determine whether significant and persistent differences exist political scientists have attempted to measure such things as levels of political knowledge feelings of political efficiency political participation and alienation attitudes toward political authority and different levels of govt and the sense of belonging to a particular communityThey also looked at individual personalityCanadians are said to be more deferential than AmericansWe focus on relationship between a persons general attitudes towards authority and non conformity issues like protection of civil liberties toleration of political dissent the group rights of minorities and attitudes toward public authoritiesThe main conclusion of this the general personality traits show up in an individuals political ideas and actionWe categorize political ideas throughleft wing right wing and centristThese labels are used to signify the broader ideological premises believed to lie behind an action opinion or statementThe centre is virtually the mainstream of societys politics and those who occupy this location on the political spectrum are most likely to identify themselves as pragmaticRight and left conflicting belief systemsThey include basic notion of how society the economy and politics should operateRight winged people adhere to more of a individualistic belief system while left winged people are more collectivistHowever in reality the politics of left and right are much more complicated than simplified portraits suggestLiberals believe that individuals should be allowed greatest freedoms possible while social conservatives believe in rejection of pluralism that reject traditional valuesHowever libertarians and social conservatives can have a shared apathy of modern welfare that may cause them both to be categorized on the rightThere are therefore limitations to left right categorization of political ideasThere are therefore 3 main ideologies that we use to categorize political cultureSocialism greatly influenced the politics of Western societies since the American and French revolutionsLiberalism and ConservatismClassical liberalism liberalism was associated with freedom of religious choice and practice free enterprise and free trade in the realm of economic freedom of expression and association in politicsClassical conservatism was based on the importance of tradition It accepted human inequality as the nature of things Conservatism then emphasized the importance of continuity with the past and the preservation of law and orderClassical Socialism although there was no party having the label socialist socialist ideology has been influential in various waysThis was based on the principle of equality of condition a radical egalitarianism that distinguished socialist doctrine from liberalisms advocacy of equality of opportunity Socialists supported a vastly greater relm for the state in directing the economy better working conditions and greater rights for workers also emphasised social services like healthy pensions education etcModern Liberalism does not place individual freedoms above all else Instead by their belief that governments can and should act to alleviate hardships experienced by poor and oppressed They are now more likely to be concerned with group rights than individual freedoms It has now been associated with support for multiculturalism and openness towards non traditional lifestyles and social institutionsModern Conservatism embraces economic beliefs that once were the classical liberals Similar to classical liberalism they defend principle of eqaulity of opportunity and are more likely to place protection of personal freedoms before advancement of minority rights Although like earlier times conservatism is still acquainted with more richer people it is worth noting that conservative parties often receive much support from middle classModern Socialism has changed the least However much less confidence today that state ownership of the means of economic production and distribution is desirableModern Socialists or social democrats advocate egalitarian society with the acceptance of capitalism and inevitable inequalities generated from thisThe classical ideologies were formed in response to one another as well as the social and economic conditions in which they were rootedBut as the character of Western societies have changed so too have the ideologies that slug it out in their politicsConsequences of globalization A debate in which moral considerations are seldom far from the surfaceExplaining Ideas and InstitutionsExplanations of Canadians political ideas and of the institutions that embody them are grouped into three groups fragment theory role of formative events and economic explanationsFragment TheoryCanada along with other new world societies was founded by immigrants from EuropeThey were fragments of the European societies that gave birth to themThey represented only a part of the socioeconomic and cultural spectrum of the European society from which they originatedThese immigrants brought cultural baggage values and beliefs from European nations kind of like a genetic code that sets the limit to later cultural development in new world societiesBut why should the ideas of founders carry such weight that they shape political culture for subsequent generations Fragment theory is kind of weak on thisThey would say that transmission of fragment culture from generation to generation presumably depends on social structures and political institutions that date from the founding period and embody the dominant ideas of the founding immigrantsCanada is composed of Loyalists that left the USSome say this is because of conservative or Tory valuesFormative Events counter revolution and the conquestSocieties are marked by certain major events at critical periods in development these are formative eventsThe society will evolve along particular lines instead of others
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