POG 100 Notes - Ch. 1.docx - Chapter 1 POWER AND POLITICS Power Ability to achieve goals in a political system and to have others do as you wish them to

POG 100 Notes - Ch. 1.docx - Chapter 1 POWER AND POLITICS...

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Chapter 1:POWER AND POLITICS: -Power: Ability to achieve goals in a political system and to have others do as you wish them to. -Influence: The ability to change behaviour in others without exerting direct power over them oE.g. U2 Bono has power and influence. He uses his celebrity on a world crusade for human rights, fair development, and ecological balance. -Regardless of their personal fame and influence, people can be powerful especially when they form groups. oPolitical protests, marches, sit-ins, etc… POWER AND POLITICS: -Political Studies: Formal study of politics within and among nations. -Studying politics helps us understand more of our immediate surroundings, from what we see on the Internet or on TV to our direct involvement in the political process. -Political studies demonstrate how we organize ourselves in a social environment. oIt teaches us how some individuals and groups benefit from society while others do not. -It is important that we try to understand how humans organize themselves into communities and the effects that these communities have on society. oAfterall, politics allows for our collective survival. Without the formal organizing structure, we would be left to fend for ourselves and be pitted against each other. -Government: The institutions and people responsible for carrying out the affairs and administration of a political system. -Politics is about both conflict and conflict resolution; humans are by nature competitive creatures who reply – for better or worse – on their political communities to ensure theirpersonal survival. oConflict: Differences in preferred outcomes among social groups. oConflict Resolution: Process in domestic or international affairs that attempts to reconcile antagonism (either existing or potential) through the use of mediation and negotiation. WHAT IS POLITICS: -One of the fundamental goals of politics is fairness in society. -In the 17thcentury, the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes argued that, without societyand the political authority that accompanied it, humans would suffer in what he termed
a “state of nature”, or a situation marked by an “everyone for themselves” frame of mind. oHe suggested that shaping human society – socialization – is essential for the security of life itself. oSocialization: Process whereby individuals act in a social manner; creation of social and political authority and rules to regulate behaviour and thus permit operation of social units. -Politics is a response to the natural tendency among human beings to come together and create larger organized groups. oAn integral part of that tendency is to seek a way to allocate the benefits and responsibilities that accompany the creation of asocial unit. oIndividual citizens who vote in an election or attend town hall meetings are part of a broader process that leads to decision-making by political authorities.

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