soc101_politics_041210

soc101_politics_041210 - Politics Soc 101: Introduction to...

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Politics Soc 101: Introduction to Sociology Monday April 12, 2010
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Key Question How much power to ordinary citizens, and especially young people, have in shaping the politics of the United States? Voting behavior PACs Social action/social movements
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Concept of the State What Is Government? Government refers to a political apparatus in which officials enact policies and make decisions. Politics refers to the use of power to affect government actions.
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Concept of the State What Is a State? A state comprises a political apparatus (government institutions) including civil service officials, ruling over a territory Authority is backed by a legal system Has capacity to use force to implement policies
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Concept of the State What Is a State? (cont) All modern states have Sovereignty : government has authority over given area Citizenship : people have common rights and duties and are aware of their part in the state Nationalism : sense of being part of a broader political community
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Concept of the State Citizenship Rights Most nation-states became centralized through monarchs who concentrated social power Citizens initially had little or no rights three types of rights are associated with citizenship Civil rights : freedoms and privileges guaranteed by law Political rights : ensure that citizens may participate in politics Social rights : guarantee minimum standards of living Basis for welfare state
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Democracy What Is Democracy? Democracy literally means rule by the people, but this phrase can be interpreted in different ways. Is the U.S. really a democracy? Liberal democracy is a system in which citizens have a choice to vote between political parties for representatives entrusted with decision making. Participatory democracy (direct democracy) occurs when everyone is involved in all decision making Can be difficult in large groups
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Democracy Who Rules? Theories of Democracy Max Weber and Joseph Schumpeter put forth one of the most influential theories of the nature and limits of democracy, democratic elitism Direct democracy is impossible as a means of regular government in large-scale societies Rule of power elites is inevitable Multi-party systems allow people to choose who is in power
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Democracy Who Rules? Theories of Democracy (cont) Pluralist Theories Accept that citizens have little or no direct influence on decision making Believe competition of interest groups limits concentration of power of ruling elites
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Who CAN Vote in the U.S.?
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This note was uploaded on 10/16/2011 for the course SOCIOLOGY 101 taught by Professor Clarke during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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soc101_politics_041210 - Politics Soc 101: Introduction to...

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