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Flashcards in Soc 100 - Politics Deck (54):

Reformist Ideologies

Call for smaller changes to the degree of inequality without challenging basic ground rules.Aka wants changes but not a whole upheaval of the system


Radical Ideologies

Want to upturn the dominant ideologyThe NDP were founded on this principle, to wipe out capitalism and put into program socialized planning.


Counter Ideologies

Anything counter to the dominant ideology.Could be either reformist or radical.



Intellectuals and other highly educated in the society


False Consciousness

Dominant ideologies promote this, a view of world that's out of sync with objective realitye.g. capitalist society may blame workers for their own unemploymentin feudal, blame peasants for sin and disobediencein patriarchal, blame women for signs of insubordination or licentiousness (immorality, sexual unrestraint)


Civil liberties vs civil rights

liberties: freedoms that protect the individual against govt, like freedom of speech, assembly, press, and movementrights: rights people deserve under all circumstances, without regard to race, age, ethnicity, sex, whatever



the shared social beliefs and presuppositions we all draw on every day; our values and assumptions.


Roles and Identities

the way we express our individuality through socially-defined roles and beliefs.



processes by which children are prepared for membership in society; development of the self.



Ability to achieve your goals even when people oppose you.might include pure force.Power includes all times you get your own way: could include force or coercion, or economic power�


Domination (Authority)

“The probability that a command… will be obeyed by a given group of persons.” when people choose to follow someone else: they think it’s right to obey.


What are reasons one would obey orders?

We may calculate some kind of advantage in obeying. We may feel the commander is a legitimate authority. We may just be accustomed to obeying this person�.


Three types of authority: you know these...

Rational-Legal Authority/from legal, rational processTraditional Authority.Tradition makes this person the authority (e.g. monarch); he/she can also designate officials to do things, whose authority thus stems from tradition..Like King Louie, people think they have authority of god so don't challengeCharismatic Authority.from inspiration, can be good or bad


What is Value-Neutral?

we don’t want to judge the values of others in interpreting their decision to obey.


Rational Motive

what people think they're doing, and why


Political Sociology

Empirical study of the way social & economic factors affect the operation of power.May include quantitative analysis, but also qualitative accounts of ideology, beliefs, values insofar as they affect voting.


Difference between poli sci and poli soc

Political scientists are often more interested in political institutions: how do governments work? How are elections carried out? What happens in Ottawa? �Political sociologists look more at the ways socio-economic factors influence votes; they examine broad political cultures, ideologies; they look at power throughout society.


What might some sociologists use to predict what you want and how you vote?

An objective social position, like economic class.Would determine your interest and politics


When analyzing society according to more factors than economic class, like beliefs, values, ethnicity, gender, e.g., we find...

different ‘blocs’ with more specific interests.Stan Greenberg identified ‘Reagan Democrats’: economically disadvantaged but culturally-conservative white voters in Detroit who chose Republican Ronald Reagan in 1980s.We also hear of ‘Soccer Moms’ – a busy, suburban, middle-class woman who often balances family & work.These groups are often ‘swing voters’ – understanding their situation helps parties win their votes!


What background do american voters take on healthcare that is very different from similar countries?

Public healthcare seen as violation of constitutional rights and imposition on liberty, for example.


What two distinct values does political US discourse have and who examined this?

Seymour Martin Lipsetpolitical equality (all have same rights) and achievement (each should be free to pursue own happiness).�


How do countries similar to the US value equality?

US valued such equality most (UK least egalitarian; Canada somewhere in between).


What kind equality are Americans concerned with?

Americans more concerned with equality of opportunity; others more concerned with equality of outcome.


What were the origins of the modern American state? Who examined these to explain US political culture?

Seymour Martin LipsetUS origins in revolution and civil warSimilar countries have more peaceful origins


Political Culture

Broad set of beliefs and values generally held in any one country or political entity.May be seen in the sort of values politicians appeal to in their speeches.


What do politicians often refer to in their speeches, that they think they have in common with the majority of their electorate?

Politicians often refer to certain key values in their speech, which they think are shared by the majority of their electorate – but these messages often vary from country to country. American politicians often refer to values of ‘freedom’ or ‘liberty,’ more than most other Western countries�.


In the relationship between industrialization and the future government of a nation, what affected how societies turned out the most? Who discovered this?

Barrington MooreMoore discovered that the class of the dominant group affected how societies turned out:Strong traditional ruling class often produced fascist govts.Large peasant class often led to authoritarian communism.Strong commercial bourgeoisie produced lively public sphere and liberal-democratic politics�.



Simple messages aimed at convincing masses to support a party or leader.Often consists of quite direct messages about the state of the world.


Control of state apparatus facilitates propaganda how?

opportunity to transmit these ideas more effectively.Totalitarian regimes often organise big public events to celebrate themselves, or control tv/radio.


Why is propaganda's usual simplicity counter-productive?

Whilst some people are convinced, the very crudeness of these messages is often counterproductive: it’s easy to mock.


How do Ideologies differ from propaganda?

Ideologies differ from propaganda in their sophistication. Ideologies contain entire world-views, or ways of thinking about things, not just certain doctrinal statements.Propaganda tries to make you believe a few particular things; an ideology expresses the way you interpret the world as a whole.



A general world-view, consisting of a coherent set of related beliefs, ways of looking at the world, implying certain courses or types of action


Ideology vs Culture

A general world-view, consisting of a coherent set of related beliefs, ways of looking at the world, implying certain courses or types of actionvs.the shared social beliefs and presuppositions we all draw on every day; our values and assumptions.


Dominant vs Reformist vs Counter/Radical Ideology

.Dominant IdeologyExpresses worldview of dominant group in society; beliefs support the status quo.�.Reformist IdeologyBasically accepts dominant ideology, but suggests small changes – e.g. social welfarism..Counter/Radical IdeologyQuestions base of dominant ideology, and suggests alternatives�



The ideological domination of the upper class or elite. Not overt, uses traditional intellectuals to exercise leadership.Hegemony: The act of domination by ideology of one group


How do dominant groups exercise intellectual or ideological hegemony?

their values and ideas are taken as ‘the norm’ for society as a whole


What do studies of hegemony examine?

cultural or intellectual means of control. ‘Intellectuals’ (professors, the clergy etc) guide the masses – but transmit the ruling group’s ideology�.Perpetuate the norm.


Why do non-dominant groups take on the values/desires of the dominant group?

because that’s what they see. Workers think economic individualism or traditional values are ‘good for them.’


False Consciousness

The misguided beliefs that may be held by a dominated group, which inadvertently advance the interests of the rulers (usually promote ignorance in some way, and this naturally becomes part of the society's consciousness, thus, false consciousness).The dominated group takes on the ideology of the rulers, undermining their struggles for power.


Some Marxist theorists argue that if we have a scientific understanding of society, we should be able to explain what each class within society will desire based on their position. Why is this often not the case?

Often, however, oppressed classes don’t desire what they ‘ought’ to want – they are happy to stick with the current system.Mysteriously, workers didn’t always support Communists.


How did Lenin try to remove working class apathy, so they could start a revolution?

Marxist theorists to argue that it was necessary to ‘lead’ the working class to revolution:A ‘vanguard Party’ (Lenin) would help show the working class what they ought to do.Party intellectuals could help the workers develop their own coherent world-view (Gramsci).This would help counter bourgeois domination by giving workers a voice: it would undermine the beliefs that made workers think they should follow bourgeoisie.


Divine Right of Kings

God selected one man to rule over us; his authority was bequeathed to his heirsTherefore, we obey because we recognise God’s authority vested in this person.


Social Contract Theory

we obey because we have consented to government under a rational constitution.Emerges in 17th Century in works of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke et al.


Descriptive vs Normative

The way things are: an objective, scientific, non-judgemental approach.�vsThe way things should be: a value judgement on whether current circumstances are ‘good.’


How do sociologists look at theories of government authority?

When sociologists look at such theories, we aren’t as interested in whether they’re good theories – we just want to understand why people think they’re obeying state.Sociology tries to be descriptive, not normative.


Public Sphere

A third space between private home life and political state, in which free debate takes place to form the public voice and influence the powerful.Emerges in press & coffee houses of 18th century.


The 18th century saw rise of a new 'public sphere,' in cafes across Europe. Who noticed this and what were its effects?

These allowed debate and discourse: whilst people didn’t all take part in government, they could affect it through public opinion.


Discourse Ethics

Combination of sociology & philosophy: establishes moral norms by examining preconditions of all communication.Ideal is free, open, uncoerced discussion�.What Habermas believed was necesary for ALL speech to succeed.This should be basis for deciding all social moral norms, says Habermas.



The common beliefs and values people in a community draw on when they communicate.The lifeworld is ‘taken for granted’: we assume that our interlocutors have same beliefs.


Lifeworld vs Culture?

Lifeworld: The common beliefs and values people in a community draw on when they communicate.The lifeworld is ‘taken for granted’: we assume that our interlocutors have same beliefs.�vsCulture: the shared social beliefs and presuppositions we all draw on every day; our values and assumptions.


According to Habermas, how does the Modern World affect free one-to-one discourse?

replaces it with impersonal systems of power, such as mass media or money. This ‘colonises’ the lifeworld, and stops free debate.


All discourse relies on a _____ of shared symbols, which themselves...

All discourse relies on a lifeworld of shared symbols, which can themselves be questioned and debated, even though they’re taken for granted in communication.


Why do People Obey?

To find out, we try to find out the beliefs about authority that underpin social systems.


Why do People Obey?

To find out, we try to find out the beliefs about authority that underpin social systems.