lec041210 - Sociology 101 Professor Deborah Carr Topic:...

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Professor Deborah Carr Topic: Health/Medical Sociology Monday April 12, 2010 Politics Key Question: How much power do ordinary citizens, especially young people (18-24) have in shaping the political direction of the United States? I. Concept of the state (review of textbook material) A. What is Government? 1. Government refers to a political apparatus in which officials enact policies and make decision. a. e.g., The government runs social programs, distributes and collects funds, takes military action, etc. 2. Politics refers to the use of power to affect government action. a. The word “politics” refers to the general use of and access to power (e.g., office politics, sexual politics). B. What is a State? 1. A state comprises a political apparatus (i.e., government institutions) including civil service officials and elected officials, ruling over a geographic unit or territory. a. The power of the state is backed up by a legal system. However, b. The state has the authority to use force to implement policies – whether military force, taxation, imprisonment, etc. However this force cannot be used beyond geographic boundaries (if you are caught speeding in Highland Park, but live in New Brunswick, you will go to traffic court in Highland Park as this is the geographic area where you violated policy). 2. All modern states have: a. Sovereignty: authority over a given geographic area. b. Citizenship: people have common rights and duties and are aware of their part in the state. c. Nationalism: sense of being part of a broader political community. C. Citizenship Rights 1. Citizen rights are fairly modern phenomena. Rights associated with citizenship typically encompass: a. Civil rights: freedoms and privileges guaranteed by law, like fair access to jobs and school, the right to marry, pay that is equal to one’s peers. The “civil rights” movement of the 1960s fought to ensure that women, gays, Blacks, Chicanos and others had the privileges granted by law to white men. b. Political rights: ensure that citizens may participate in politics and have the right to vote. c. Social rights: guarantee minimum standard of living. This is the basis for the welfare state. i. The welfare state encompasses government organizations
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lec041210 - Sociology 101 Professor Deborah Carr Topic:...

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