Textbook Notes (368,123)
Canada (161,661)
Sociology (1,513)
SOC103H1 (103)
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Chapter 14


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SOC103Chapter 15PoliticsIdeologiesEspecially interested in how political power is converted into authority By October of 2009 Canadians had experienced 3 elections within 5 years having cost hundreds of millions of dollars paid by the taxpayerPolitics processes by which individualsgroups act to promote their interests In the last few years have been aimed at dividing Canadians rather than bringing them together This is obvious in the advertisements political parties use to characterizeattack their opponents TV ads regularly highlight the other partys faults rather than making the public aware of a political platform As a result confidence in all the major parties is low voter turnout is lowpeople lack interest in the various party leaders Citizens people who belong to a state Citizenship developed out of the relative freedom of city life granting equal treatment for all residents State the institutional mechanism that collectsspends their taxes makes their lawsultimately controls their lives The set of institutions with authority to make the rules that govern a society Weber wrote that the state claims a monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory Illegal in Canada to discriminate against someone for their political views Ways of looking at politics Talcott Parsons The Social System 1964 1951 Goal attainment function social systems ie families small groups large organizations empires etc have a political process which is necessary for its survival it is not imposed or sinister The political structure or subsystem is not so much committed to controloppression as it is to management administrationthe promotion of citizen engagement Expressesstrives to achieve collective goals through debateconcerted action Parsons assumes that people in the society usually consent to this political processits leaders Criticized more philosophicalanecdotal than historicalmore qualitative than quantitative Works similar to LipsetAdams who want to connect political ideas to historical eventscultural valuesbelieves that clusters of demographicpsychographic or value features will shape the political functioning of a society Thus a societys politics is deeply rooted in peoples beliefsneeds as well as in their histories They also believe in the value of public awarenesspublic engagement in the political process George Homans The Human Group 1950 functionalist microstructure of politics Social exchange theory small groups mainly rule themselves through processes of informal control smallgroup politics ie include ridiculing or excluding people who violate the groups productivity norms Payoff the practical reasons people value such selfgovernment in groups Barrington Moore Social Origins of DictatorshipDemocracy LordPeasant in the Making of the Modern World 1966 critical class relationstheir effects on politics During the process of modernization it matters whether the dominant class in society is the middle class leads to democracy peasant class communism or traditional ruling class landowning aristocracy supported by militaryChurch fascism Classic Studies The First New NationLipset The First New Nation 1967 mirrorquestion what makes American society different Born in revolutionary wara commitment to equalityachievement somewhat conflicting values yet grounded in American identity born in the revolution which birthed the nation basis for institutions such as the American family school political partytrade union The Britishto a lesser extent the Canadians put less emphasis on equality of opportunity because of their more elitist values By contrast Australia is more equalitariantreats achievement more like the US does but because it never had a revolution Australia is somewhat less politically populist than the US Canada is somewhere between the USUK in its central values more egalitarian than British but less so than the USAustralialess concerned with achievementopportunities for achievement than is the US Difference exists because US was born in blood revolutionary warcivil war Canada was founded in peace largely by proEnglish Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution Canada never had a civil warMcCormack 1964 criticizes Lipsets conclusions about the elitist emphasis in Canadian development asserting that Canada may be more ascriptive in its status system more diffusemore particularistic than the US but no less stable Lipset Agrarian Socialism 1950 rise of NDP in Saskatchewanwhy North Dakota nextdoor did not develop a socialist movementPolitical SciencePolitical SociologyPolitical Science machinery of governmentpublic administrationwith elections public opinion polling pressure groupspolitical partiesPolitical Sociology relations between politics social institutions ie families churches workplaces ethnic groupssocial classes ideologiesculture Also study political processes within social institutionsthe way that power is distributedused in different social relationshipsIdeologies coherent sets of interrelated beliefs about the nature of the world that imply or demand certain courses of political social or economic action Power according to Weber the ability of persons or groups to achieve their objectives even when opposed Power is the capacity to compel people to act in certain wayspolitics is the process by which people gainexercise this power Political AuthorityIn Canada political parties compete to hold the majority of these seats in the House of Commons The party with the most seats at the end of a federal election forms the governmentAuthority power that is considered legitimate by the people who are subject to it Weber three types of authorityTraditional supported by ancient traditions dynastic inheritanceauthority is descended directly from God ie chiefs elders Louis XIV of France longestruling monarch72 years Although no longer a colony Canada is still part of the Commonwealth Charismatic based on exceptional qualities personality may invoke God antitraditional promote new social values Rationallegal most common formally established rulesprocedures Weber basis of bureaucratic organizationmodern states The State Three different kinds of modern states Authoritarian forbid public opposition forceful compliance display of public support complete control over country with cooperation of military state church or foreign multinational corporations US a liberal democracy has propped up dictatorships for their own interests Totalitarian more extreme more stable version of authoritarian states intervenes in publicprivate life complete loyaltycompliance completely controls distribution of rewardspunishment ie Nazi Germanythe Soviet Union under Stalin Orwell Animal FarmLiberaldemocratic ideally governed by citizens Do not monitor every actionbelief nor suppress free speechassemblyDirect democracy oldest type of democracy Athens all citizens discussedvoted on all issues of importance
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