Reading for Week 10. Book: Sense of Sociability, Chapter: 12
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SS12: Politics and Ideologies
Political Science vs. Political Sociology
What shaped Tepperman’s understanding of Politics
1.Barrington Moore; Social origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. Deals with class relations and
effect on politics (What happens when certain groups take power). Dominant class is: Middle
class-> democracy; Lower class-> communism; High Class (land-owning +church)->fascism.
2.Talcott Parsons; all institutions have a ‘goal attainment function’. The political structure is
committed to management and strives to achieve collective goals
3.George Homans, if you watch groups, you can see them doing politics.
Hence this chapter discusses under what circumstances do politics have an integrative effect and when is
this effect disintegrating?
Forces pushing People apart
Canada as an egalitarian society; where everyone is treated equally
Ideology; set of believes about the nature of the world; how should be world be run?
Liberal ideology; it’s up to each person to choose their path in life. If my choices turn out badly, I have
only myself to blame. Focus attention away from shared values and towards individual responsibility.
Blame the victim and support the status quo. It is the dominant ideology, and we are taught to accept it
and learn to accept it.
Foucalt; power is exercised by setting standards and defining what is normal and abnormal.; relates to the
concept of ‘deviancy’ and Labelling Theory
Ideologies affect political life by shaping public opinion. Ppl feel very strongly about their ideologies.
Some can believe that it is better and so they want change in government. The think it is the correct and
true way, believing other are simply mistaken.
[Public opinion] Vox Populi, vox dei is all about the democratic system. Believing in polls causes the
bandwagon effect. Ppl vote more for the ‘probable’ winner. They are influenced by propaganda claiming
to be the absolute truth. Hence why ppl become sceptical about information they receive and politicians.
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