minority midterm review

minority midterm review - Pluralism Limits of the...

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Unformatted text preview: Pluralism Limits of the individual • Pub opinion doesn’t occur in a vacuum • Democracy based on popular sovereignty • Problems: people have a hard time coming to a decision, aggregation of preference may not produce majority outcomes (weighted unfairly- min may feel strongly and maj may feel weakly), elite oppressive influence Group Identity and Opinion • Identities can become group when their interests are threatened • Some are obvious (race, religion, etc) some are not (veterans, airline passengers, etc) Things to remember about Identity • People have multiple identities Why some groups form and why some don’t • Pluralist- requirements are the mutual recognition of shared identity and the mutual perception of threatened interests, Groups mobilize when threatened Central Elements of the “Equilibrium” model of Pluralism • Multiplicity of identities serving to damp the power of an individual group, hard for one identity to become tyrannical because people belong to multi identities • Shifting and temporary majorities • Interest group system genuinely represents the underlying interests of society Problem with “equilibrium” model of pluralism • All groups are not equally capable of coming into existence- econ, intelligence, understanding rights, money, education, time • Geographically diffused, hard to organize • Fear- social pressure and outright repression • Groups might not realize that their interests are being threatened- ignorance Not all groups are equally likely to succeed in their efforts • Money (campaigns, donations, lobbying, advertising, etc.) • Disadvantage because of who they are (which may be why they need to organize in the first place)- children, immigrants, unemployed, etc. • Disequilibrium in favor of well-heeled and monied interests “The flaw in the pluralist heaven is that heavenly chorus sings with a strong upper class accent” Group membership doesn’t necessarily reflect the preferences of their membership • Leadership is the product of politics (not uncommon for the leader to not be invested in the group, can walk away because they are a politician) • Membership and leadership goals may be different • Leaders worried about retaining power Geographic system of representation thwarts access (districts for example) Majorities often reach permanency • Madison- temporary majorities behave themselves because they know they won’t always be the majority • If they feel secure in their majority position then they may not behave themselves Balkanization- some theorists suggest that the focus on identity is inherently divisive, very likely to result in a civil disaster and societal breakdown Important pluralism thought • Madisonian idea of rotation of powers in office has essentially never applied to racial and ethnic min--- if majority stays in power (as this would imply) then there is little incentive for the maj to listen to anyone else (lack of response) Eyes on the Prize...
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minority midterm review - Pluralism Limits of the...

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