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SOC101Y1 (470)

Politics and Social Movements notes

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Robert Brym

Chapter 18 Politics and Social Movements Terms DefinedAbility of an individual or group to impose its will on others even if they resist Power Authority Power widely viewed as legitimate People who occupy command posts of legitimized power structures Authorities y The power of a group may be widely recognized as legitimate or valid under some circumstances if it is raw power becomes legitimate authoritySocial movements Enduring collective attempts to change part or all of social order by means of rioting petitioning striking demonstrating and establishing pressure groups unions and political partiesPolitical parties Organizations that seek to control state powery The sociological study of politics and social movements focuses on why some peoples demands get articulated and implemented while other peoples demands get ignored or suppressed2 Types of Politics 1 Normal politics When authorities are firmly in power 2 Politics beyond rules When legitimate authority grows weaky Sociologists have proposed various theories to explain these two types of politics y Politics beyond rules Under some circumstances power flows to nonauthoritiesPower from Above Normal Politics The state Set of institutions that formulate and carry out a countrys laws policies and binding resolutionsIn normal politics ultimate seat of power is the state state power widely recognized as legitimate 1Chapter 18 Politics and Social Movements State also is authorized to use force coercive power if necessaryBut use of force by authorities is sign of states weakness should not need force to impose willy The states power is ultimate because its authority stands above all others y Furthermore if the state needs to use force to maintain order or protect its borders most people will regard its actions as legitimateThe State In democratic countries like Canada the government is formed by elected members of the political party that wins most seats in a general electionGovernment initiates policies proposes laws and enforces bothThe government is referred to as the executive branchCivil Society Individuals in civil society private sphere of life also exercise control over the state through variety of organizations and institutions includingSocial movementsMass mediaPressure groups or lobbiesPolitical parties y As noted earlier social movements can influence the state by rioting petitioning striking demonstrating and establish pressure groups unions and political parties to achieve their aims y The mass media are supposed to keep a watchful and critical eye on the state and help keep the public informed about the quality of government y Pressure groups or lobbies are formed by trade unions manufacturers associations ethnic groups and other organizations to advise politicians of their members desires lobbies also remind politicians how much their members votes and campaign contributions matter2
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