Midterm Exam Study Guide

Midterm Exam Study Guide - Midterm Exam Study Guide...

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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 Roy’s 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. 
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b) Force or coercion involves committing violence against a person or group  to induce conformity. Punishments are inflicted or benefits are withheld to 
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