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Chapter

Study Guide Pt.3


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA01H3
Professor
Sheldon Ungar

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Chapter 14 Pages 411-418 Politics
The Future of Democracy
Two Cheers for Russian Democracy
-Russians supported democracy, but that failed because more than 40% of population was under
poverty line.
-This leads to the question of what social conditions must exist for a country to become fully
democratic?
-Now we consider 3 waves of democratization.
The Three Waves of Democracy
-1. During 1922-1942, fascist, communist, and militaristic movements caused two-thirds of the
ZRUOG¶VGHPRFUDFLes to fall under authoritarian or totalitarian authority. Majority of white people
able to vote.
-2. Allied in WW2 returned democracy to many of the defeated powers. Military dictatorships
replaced many democracies in Latin America, Asian, and Africa. Able to gain back democracy
due to the victory of WW2.
-3. Began in 1974. Whole series of authoritarian regimes fell. In 1991, Soviet communism
collapsed. By 1995, 117 countries were democratic in the sense their citizens could choose
representatives in regular, competitive elections. This refers to formal democracies, countries
that hold regular competitive elections. Many of these countries are not liberal democracies,
which is a country whose citizens enjoy regular elections and freedom, which makes political
participation and competition meaningful. Military dictations were thrown out in Portugal and
Greece.
The Social Preconditions of Democracy
-Note that US is not a fan of democracy.
-Also, just because US promote democracy, we should not assume that liberal democracy has
reached its full potential in that country.
-Powerful, pro-democratic foreign states and strong, prosperous middle and working classes are
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economically developed countries only if they will prosper and enjoy help from US and
European Union.
Electronic Democracy
-Polls allow politicians to mould public opinion, not just reflect it.
-Computers allowed citizens to debate issues and vote on them directly. Political participation is
low and declining meaning interest is limited and less than 1/3 of population is participating.
Postmaterialism and the Dilemma of Canadian Politics
-These are those who believe that growing equality and prosperity in the rich industrialized
resulted in a shift from class-based politics to value-based politics.
-Argued that liberal democracies are less stratified that both non-liberal democracies and non-
democracies. Meaning that liberal democracies, the gap between rich and poor is less extreme
and society as a whole is more prosperous.
-New left-right political division is based on age differences and postmaterialist issues.
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-Participation of unconventional political activities is common among young, highly educated
people. This suggests that the future of Canadian politics may lie outside normal politics.
Chapter 18 The Mass Media
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The Significance of the Mass Media
Illusion Becomes Reality
-Human body and mind are extensions of the mass media.
What Are the Mass Media?
-Mass media can be defined as to print, radio, television, and other communication technologies.
-Mass media and mass communication are used interchangeably to refer to the transmission of
information from one person to another.
-Media can be defined through technology, therefore, the transfer of information through
technology.
-Usually one way, meaning many receivers but few senders.
Causes of Media Growth
-Explained through 3 main factors
1. The protestant reformation: Catholic people relied on priest to tell them what was
in the bible. Martin Luther wanted to develop a more personal relationship with the
Bible, as it because the first mass media product in the West and the best-selling book.
2. Democratic movements: Second force that promoted growth of the mass media was
political democracy. Citizens of France US and other countries demanded and
achieved representation in government and at the same time wanted to become
literate and gain access to previously restricted centers of learning.
3. Capitalist industrialization: Modern industries required a literate and numerate
workforce and needed rapid means of communication to do business efficiently.
Turned out to be a major source of profit in their own right.
-Mass media are deeply embedded in the religious, political, and economic needs of our society.
-Among the most important institutions in our society today.
Theories of Media Effects
Functionalism
-Coordinates the operation of industrial and postindustrial societies.
-According to functionalist theorists, it does not end there because in addition, the mass media
are also important agents of socialization.
-Third function of mass media is social control. Meaning mass media helps to ensure conformity.
-Fourth and final function is to provide entertainment. Television, movies, magazines give us
pleasure, relaxation, and momentary escape form tension.
Conflict Theory
-Conflict theorists criticized functionalist approach for paying insufficient attention to the social
inequality proposed by the media.
-Some people benefit from the mass media more than others and favours the interest of dominant
classes and political groups.
-Two ways which dominant classes and political groups benefit disproportionately from the mass
media.
1. Broadcast beliefs, values, and ideas that create widespread acceptance of the basic
structure of society.
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