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Chapter 14

SOC101Y1 Chapter 14: Politics and Citizenship
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3 Pages
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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC101Y1
Professor
Christian O.Caron

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If it is widely accepted as legitimate or valid, it is becomes legitimate
authority
If not, non-authorities form social movements to change all or part of the
social order
Power is the ability of an individual or group to impose its will on others, even if
they resist
Normal politics : as it is practised, when authority is in power
Politics beyond the rules : as it is practised when legitimacy of authority grows
weak
State is a set of institutions that exercise control over society
Individuals in civil society also exercise control over the stable (individual
movements, lobbying, etc.)
We live in a heterogenous society with many competing interests and
centres of power
No one group can control politics --> democracy guarantees
Over time, all voters and interest groups influence the political process
almost equally
Pluralist Theory
Elites are people who occupy command positions of a society's
institutions - make decisions for everyone
People who run largest companies, executive branch of government,
and military
Research has found large, persistent wealth-based inequalities in
political influence and participation
Poorer/lower classes participate the least in politics, create the
least change
Elitist Critique of Pluralism
The state is an arm of the business elite
Members of the wealthy families occupy important state
positions, government officials rely on representatives of
businesses for advice, political parties rely on big business for
financial
Capitalist state acts as an arm of big business because it is
constrained to do so by the nature of the capitalist system itself
Ordinary citizens rarely have influence on policy
Marxist Critique of Elite Theory
Elite Theory
Power from Above : Normal Politics
“Politics and Social Movements,” in Commit Sociology, vol 2 p64-88
January 25, 2017
12:00 PM
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January 25, 2017 12:00 PM Politics and Social Movements, in Commit Sociology, vol 2 p64-88 Power is the ability of an individual or group to impose its will on others, even if they resist If it is widely accepted as legitimate or valid, it is becomes legitimate authority If not, non-authorities form social movements to change all or part of the social order Normal politics : as it is practised, when authority is in power Politics beyond the rules : as it is practised when legitimacy of authority grows weak Power from Above : Normal Politics State is a set of institutions that exercise control over society Individuals in civil society also exercise control over the stable (individual movements, lobbying, etc.) Pluralist Theory We live in a heterogenous society with many competing interests and centres of power No one group can control politics --> democracy guarantees Over time, all voters and interest groups influence the political process almost equally Elite Theory Elites are people who occupy command positions of a society's institutions - make decisions for everyone People who run largest companies, executive branch of government, and military Elitist Critique of Pluralism Research has found large, persistent wealth-based inequalities in political influence and participation Poorer/lower classes participate the least in politics, create the least change Marxist Critique of Elite Theory The state is an arm of the business elite Members of the wealthy families occupy important state positions, government officials rely on representativesof businesses for advice, political parties rely on big business for financial Capitalist state acts as an arm of big business because it is constrained to do so by the nature of the capitalist system itself Ordinary citizens rarely have influence on policy
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