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Unformatted text preview: Midterm Exam Study Guide Sociology 182 - Political Sociology Summer Session A, 2007 I. Politics and Power A. Politics defined as the struggle for power by groups. The struggle can be institutional and non- institutional. 1. Institutional politics consists of regular patterns of political behavior that are governed by rules, laws, and procedures that are agreed upon by the participants. In a democracy, political struggle is institutionalized as elections, so that only groups of registered citizens can participate. 2. Politics can also be non-institutional. Non-institutional politics can take many forms: racial politics, sexual politics, office politics, family politics, school politics, church politics, protests by movement activists, and revolution. a) Personal Politics: Politics is not confined to political interest groups like political parties or candidates. In the sixties the phrase the personal is the political was popularized. The clothes that you wear (sweat shop free), the style of your hair (mohawk), the car that you drive (prius), the food that you eat (free range chicken/ freedom fries) can be political statements that either challenge the status quo or support it. B. Power: definitions and dimensions 1. By definition, power implies unequal relations, or a relation between superiors and subordinates. To some extent, all relationships exhibit power differentials. Even in cases where one individual is exercising power over another individual, you can usually trace this power to a larger institutional source - such as when a man is commanding his wife to follow his wishes. The power does not reside only in their relationship, but derives from the institution of patriarchy that endows the man and husband with authority. Those claiming power often appeal to groups or the community to justify their claims. 2. William Roys definition: Power is the ability of some actors to influence the behavior of others, and includes all forms of influence, from persuasion (such as advertising), to authority (such as a professor who requires students to write papers) to coercion (such as a robber who forces someone to turn over his or her money). a) Persuasion includes messages that are intended to alter the recipients beliefs, values, and attitudes in order to yield compliance. Manipulation is a form of persuasion that involves a more concealed and deceptive technique, perfected by commercial advertising and government propaganda. b) Force or coercion involves committing violence against a person or group to induce conformity. Punishments are inflicted or benefits are withheld to to induce conformity....
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- Summer '08