Lecture_6

Lecture_6 - Introduction to Sociology Part MacroPart I...

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Unformatted text preview: Introduction to Sociology Part MacroPart I: Macro-level Social Phenomena Lecture 6: Power, Inequality, and Conflict Monday, February 16 The The Inevitability of Social Conflict The The Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848) (1848) - The bourgeoisie (owners) and proletariat (workers) - The bourgeoisie controls the State, which in turn controls the proletariat (e.g., via the police force) - Therefore, the workers must revolt! - First, a socialist society would be established (free services, but continued paid labor) - The State would soon “wither away,” and communism (no central government, no paid labor) would be achieved (Government (Government troops firing into a crowd of demonstrators in Petrograd, July 1917) (Bolsheviks (Bolsheviks taking over the czar’s Winter Palace, October 1917) Crises Crises of Legitimacy - States avoid revolutionary conflict to the extent that their authority is seen as legitimate legitimate The State is seen as having the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force - Yet, as soon as the State uses physical coercion, it loses its legitimacy legitimacy in the eyes of the people (the paradox of authority) - The pattern of social inequality can also threaten the State’s legitimacy (National (National Guard troops firing into a group of students at Kent State University, May 1970) Class, Status, and Party Upper Upper class Prestigious status group Powerful party Class, Status, and Party Upper Upper class Prestigious status group Powerful party Relative Relative Deprivation Individual Perceived deprivation of just rewards Frustration Aggression Collectivity Social inequality Civil unrest Social conflict Political Political Opportunity - Discontent is constant, so why is there revolution at some moments but not others? • The cohesiveness of the State is key – when it breaks down, the opposition has an opening • This is exacerbated when there is external international pressure (e.g., the State is occupied elsewhere) The The Power Elite Political, military, and economic leaders comprise a cohesive “power elite” that controls the country: - They have become more powerful as their organizations increase in size and centralize - They are highly interconnected in society and highly business business The The Power Elite Political Economic Military The The Power Elite Political, military, and economic leaders comprise a cohesive “power elite” that controls the country: - They have become more powerful as their organizations increase in size and centralize - They are highly interconnected in society and highly business business - They are interchangeable - They share a common worldview Access Access to Power, by Race Racial Composition of the U.S. Population Racial Composition of the U.S. Congress Access Access to Power, by Race Racial Composition of the U.S. Population Racial Composition of U.S. CEOs Access Access to Power, by Sex Sex Composition of the U.S. Population Sex Composition of the U.S. Congress Access Access to Power, by Sex Sex Composition of the U.S. Population Sex Composition of U.S. CEOs Diversity Diversity among the Power Elite The power elite have become more diverse, but entry is conditional on several factors: - Identity management: acting like white men - Privileged background - Higher education at an elite institution - Relatively light skin ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/07/2010 for the course SOC 1101 taught by Professor Mclaughlin during the Spring '07 term at Cornell.

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