Political sociology power and participation in the modern world pdf
Chapter Government and Politics – Introduction to Sociology – 1st Canadian EditionWhen they finally left, others smiled at me knowingly as I breathed a sigh of relief. Not only had I dodged the officers, but my actions had increased my street-cred among the regulars. I was indeed fortunate to have avoided contact with the police. Sociology is the study of human social life. Sociology has many sub-sections of study, ranging from the analysis of conversations to the development of theories to try to understand how the entire world works. This chapter will introduce you to sociology and explain why it is important, how it can change your perspective of the world around you, and give a brief history of the discipline.
Introduction to Sociology/Print version
Political sociology is concerned with the sociological analysis of political phenomena ranging from the State and civil society to the family, investigating topics such as citizenship, social movements, and the sources of social power. The lineage of this discipline is typically traced from such thinkers as Montesquieu, Smith and Ferguson through the founding fathers of sociology — Marx, Durkheim and Max Weber — to such contemporary theorists as Gellner, Giddens, Habermas and Mann. Where a typical research question in political sociology might have been, "Why do so few American or European citizens choose to vote? In other words, political sociology was traditionally concerned with how social trends, dynamics, and structures of domination affect formal political processes, as well as exploring how various social forces work together to change political policies. Elite or managerial theory is sometimes called a state-centered approach. It explains what the state does by looking at constraints from organizational structure, semi-autonomous state managers, and interests that arise from the state as a unique, power-concentrating organization. A leading representative is Theda Skocpol.
Theoretical Perspectives on Government and Power. Until recently we might have been satisfied with an answer that examined how various political institutions and processes function in society: the state, the government, the civil service, the courts, the democratic process, etc. However, in recent years, among many other examples we could cite, we have seen how the events of the Arab Spring in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt — put seemingly stable political institutions and processes into question. What do we learn about the place of politics in social life from these examples? Revolutions are often presented as monumental, foundational political events that happen only rarely and historically: the American revolution , the French revolution , the Russian revolution , the Chinese revolution , the Cuban revolution , the Iranian revolution , etc. Samuel Huntington defines revolution as:. Revolutions are thus to be distinguished from insurrections, rebellions, revolts, coups, and wars of independence Huntington , p.
"Thoroughly revised and updated in this fifth edition, Political Sociology: Power and Participation in the Modern World illustrates the broad social bases of politics .
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Political sociology is the study of power and the relationship between societies, states, and political conflict. The macrofocus has centered on questions about nation-states, political institutions and their development, and the sources of social and political change especially those involving large-scale social movements and other forms of collective action. The micro orientation, by contrast, examines how social identities and groups influence individual political behavior, such as voting, attitudes, and political participation.
Courtesy U. Despite the differences between government systems in the Middle East and the United States, their governments play the same fundamental role: in some fashion, they exert control over the people they govern. The nature of that control—what we will define as power and authority—is an important feature of society. Sociologists have a distinctive approach to studying governmental power and authority that differs from the perspective of political scientists. For the most part, political scientists focus on studying how power is distributed in different types of political systems. Sociologists, however, tend to be more interested in the influences of governmental power on society and in how social conflicts arise from the distribution of power.