Week2_3_power_society - Introduction
to
Sociology
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Unformatted text preview: Introduction
to
Sociology
 Week
2
 In
one
or
two
paragraphs,
describe
who
has
 power
in
America,
and
how
they
maintain
 their
power
 I.  II.  Why
power
matters
 Three
dimensions
of
power
(Gaventa)
   Proposition:
access
to
college
education
 determined
in
terms
of
“who
pays”
(public
 versus
private)
is
decided
by
power
   College
costs
now
mostly
born
by
families,
 not
by
public
funds
   This
reflects
lack
of
power
by
young
people
   Ability
to
pay
for
college
means
access
to
 college
education
   Servicemen's
Readjustment
Act
1944
(“G.I.
 Bill”)
(52–20
clause)
   By
1956,
7.8
million
veterans
received
 education/training;
2.4
million
home
loans
   Benefits
focused
primarily
on
white
men
   returning
black
soldiers
faced
second
class
 citizenship,
became
force
for
civil
rights
   Growing
income
&
wealth
inequality
 rendering
economy
dysfunctional
   Bottom
80
percent
of
households/families
 going
into
debt
to
maintain
consumption
   How
can
this
change
–
problem
begins
at
 “the
top”
among
the
powerful

 Source: Perrucci & Wysong, p.14 cf. ML King & Marks, MS. In 1968   Methodology:
a
system
of
methods,
 principles,
and
rules
regulating
a
given
 discipline
   Counterfactual:
expresses
what
has
not
 happened
but
could,
would,
or
might
under
 differing
conditions.
Counterfactuals
are
used
 in
research
as
evidence
in
support
of
a
 theoretical
proposition.
 1  2  3  Power
determined
by
winners
&
losers
in
the
 formal
political
process
(pluralism)
 Power
determined
by
who
makes
the
rules
 within
the
formal
&
informal
political
 process

 Power
determined
by
elite
influence
over
 hopes
&
desires
of
the
dominated
classes,
 “engineering
of
consent”
   1st
dimension:
A
has
power
over
B
by
winning
 elections
   2nd
dimension:
A
has
power
over
B
by
making
 election
outcomes
depend
on
money,
thus
 excluding
the
poor
from
political
influence
   3rd
dimension:
A
has
power
over
B
by
making
 B
think
that
current
democratic
practices
are
 best
for
everyone,
although
only
richly
 supported
candidates
win

   Three
dimensions
complimentary,
yet
 represent
competing
social
science
theories
   Pluralists
(1st
dimension)
believe
society
is
 egalitarian;
2nd
&
3rd
dimensioners
believe
 power
elite
call
the
shots
   How
can
one
or
more
dimensions
be
shown
 to
be
“true”
   How
to
discern
consensus
versus
domination/ manipulation?
   Counterfactuals
and
science
   False
consciousness
is
confusing,
bad
term
   “mobilization
of
bias”
(2nd
dimension)
   Methodological
technique:
counterfactuals
in
 time,
and
space
   Paulo
Freire:

   “consciousness
is
constituted
in
the
dialect
of
 man’s
objectification
and
action
upon
the
world”
   Powerless
are
“dependent,”
“develop
a
culture
of
 silence”
   In
the
Paleolithic
era,
language
did
not
reflect
 domination,
but
rather
cooperation
for
 survival
   40
hours
a
week
X
$7.25
an
hour
X
52
weeks
=
 $15,080/year
(gross).

   Average
cost
of
a
year’s
tuition
at
a
public
 four‐year
college
=
$10,000.

   What
about
social
mobility?
 http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/ national/20050515_CLASS_GRAPHIC/ index_03.html
   …“social
myths,
language,
and
symbols,
and
 how
they
are
shaped
or
manipulated”;
”social
 legitimations
that
are…instilled
as
beliefs
or
 roles
in
the
dominated”
   Manipulation
of
symbols
and
values
“makes
 them
appear
objectively
valid,
natural,
 universalistic,
and
meritocratic”
(Lukes
1974)
   They
become
ideologies:
comprehensive
 belief
systems

   Examples
in
American
culture
of
values
that
 appear
“objectively
valid,
natural,
 universalistic,
and
meritocratic”
and
that
 legitimate
the
status
quo?
   “Reminders”
of
these
ways
of
thinking
are
 present
not
only
during
times
of
conflict,
but
 constantly
and
invisibly—preventing
 grievances
from
arising
in
the
first
place
   Case
study:
“Ideology,
Political
Power,
and
 Economic
Development
in
Alabama,
 1990‐2010”
   Why
study
the
maintenance
of
inequality
 here?
   1/3
of
counties
classified
as
persistent
poverty
   1/2
of
counties
classified
as
“low
education”
   Almost
all
of
the
state
classified
as
“medically
 underserved”
   Historically
poorer
region,
so
smaller
tax
 bases
   AL
taxes
its
residents
at
7th
lowest
rate
in
the
 country;
combined
with
small
tax
base,
tax
 revenue
is
lowest
in
the
country
   Tax
system
is
one
of
10
most
regressive
in
the
 country
   Size
of
AL
tax
base
has
grown
significantly
in
 past
20
years:
low
taxes
and
labor
costs
have
 attracted
business
   Mercedes,
Hyundai,
Honda
   By
2000,
unemployment=US
av’g;
GSP
rate
 of
increase
close
to
US
av’g;
median
income
 closer
to
US
av’g
than
ever
   Time
to
start
investing
in
public
resources?
   Yes,
said
an
unlikely
coalition:
Business
 Coalition
of
Alabama;
labor,
education,
and
 low‐income
advocacy
groups;
Republican
 governor
   In
the
economic
interest
of
elites
AND
non‐ elites
   According
to
Gov.
Riley,
in
the
interest
of
 Christians
too
   “From
[the]
biblical
texts
two
broad
moral
principles
of
 Judeo‐Christian
ethics
emerge,
which
provide
a
 theological
foundation
for
the
ethical
evaluation
of
the
 tax
structure
and
funding
of
the
public
schools
in
 Alabama.
These
ethical
principles
forbid
the
economic
 oppression
of
low‐income
Alabamians
and
require,
not
 only
that
their
basic
needs
be
met,
but
also
that
they
 enjoy
at
least
a
minimum
opportunity
to
improve
their
 economic
circumstances
and,
consequently,
their
 lives”
(Susan
Pace
Hamill,
2002)
   Gov.
Riley
agreed;
seen
as
a
slam‐dunk
     Plan
would
establish
a
fund
“which
may
be
used
to
fund
 programs
including,
but
not
limited
to,
the
furtherance
 of
excellence
in
public
education,
college
scholarships,
 health
care
benefits
for
senior
citizens
and
job
training
 programs
to
attract
new
high
paying
jobs
and
otherwise
 provide
for
distributing
state
tax
revenues”
 





tax
burden
on
middle‐
and
upper‐income,




tax
 burden
on
lower
income;
however,
factoring
in
federal
 income
tax
cut
meant
across‐the‐board
tax
reduction
 along
with
$1
billion
increase
in
revenue
   Opponents
such
as
the
AL
Farmers’
 Federation,
Forestry
Association,
Small
 Business
Association,
Christian
Coalition,
 other
anti‐tax
groups
said
No
to
tax
increases
 on
principle
   Why
the
Christian
Coalition?

   PACs
(Abramoff
example)
   "3,000
pastors
and
90,000
religious
conservative
 households
in
Alabama”

   Supporters
had
all
the
apparent
advantages,
 plus
more
media
coverage
   Most
frequent
appeals
were
to
progress
&
 development;
pragmatism;
progressive
principles,
 populism;
self‐interest
   Opponents
   Most
frequent
appeals
were
to
conservative
 principles;
anti‐statism;
uncertainty/risk;
self‐ interest
   Proposal
defeated
by
more
than
2
out
of
3
 voters:
   
75%
of
voters
whose
highest
level
of
education
 was
high
school
or
GED
   
71%
of
rural
voters
   72%
of
those
with
incomes
under
$20,000
   73%
of
voters
who
described
themselves
as
 conservatives

   Opponents
were
mostly
White,
but
45%
of
African
 American
voters
were
opposed
too
   What
explanations
for
opposition
of
people
 who
would
have
benefited
most—people
 with
fewer
opportunities
under
status
quo
 arrangement?

   Through
1st
dimension
of
power?
Through
2nd
 dimension?
Through
3rd
dimension?
   Opponents
had
ideological
advantage:
   appealed
to
conservative
principles,
anti‐statism
 or
anti‐government
feelings,
uncertainty/risk
   (uncharacteristically)
failed
to
refer
to
religious
 values,
or
called
upon
separation
of
church
and
 state
       “People,
I
think,
in
Alabama—if
you
say
that
you
have
 a
tax
proposal
that
raises
anybody’s
taxes,
people
 have
sort
of
a
natural—they’re
negative
toward
that.”

 “This
is
a
state
where,
if
you’re
running
for
a
state
 legislative
seat,
you
sign
the
No
Tax
pledge.

And
 everybody
does
it.”
 “I
think
a
lot
of
times
too,
people
who
are
poor
and
 middle
income,
we
don’t
like
to
see
ourselves
there.

 There’s
an
aspiration
of,
‘I
want
it
to
be
great
for
the
 rich
because
that’s
where
I’m
headed.’”


       “It
took
us
five
elections
in
Greene
County,
Alabama
to
pass
an
 increase
in
the
local
millage.

This
is
a
county
that’s
85%
black,
half‐ poor—the
people
who
were
going
to
pay
that
tax
by
and
large
were
 the
outside
people:
timber
companies,
Colonial
Pipeline,
big
business,
 big
landowners.

The
average
person,
it
was
going
to
have
a
limited
 effect
[on
their
tax
bill].

And
this
was
going
to
go
to
local
education!

 “Part
of
the
blockage
besides
the
distrust
is
the
idea
that
many
of
the
 voters
really
will
tell
you,
they
don’t
see
the
benefit
to
their
family.

 They
see
that
the
money’s
going
to
go
to
the
poor
blacks.”
 “There’s
an
attitude
that
is
still
there…that
you
don’t
want
to
do
 things
like
get
rid
of
the
tax
on
groceries
because
the
sales
tax
is
 really
the
only
tax
that
the
poor
pay;
‘we
give
them
everything.’”

     Governor
Riley
ran
on
a
platform
of
opposing
waste
in
government.

 His
opponent
at
the
time,
[Democractic]
Governor
Siegelman,
also
 ran
on
the
same
platform.

The
Republican
prior
to
him,
Fob
James,
 also
was
noted
for
wonderful
comments
like
“What
do
we
need
to
 pay
government
employees
for?

If
you
can
manage
a
Waffle
House,
 you
can
run
state
government.”

 White
legislators,
black
legislators…the
speech
is
always
the
same.

 The
speech
is,
“This
legislature
is
awful.

These
people
I
work
with
are
 the
biggest
pack
of
clowns
in
the
world.

It’s
terrible,
you
can’t
trust
 them,
blah
blah
blah”…Then,
it
always
pivots
around:
“You’ve
got
 one
defense
against
these
morons,
and
that’s
ME.

I’m
your
knight
in
 shining
armor.”

And
people
are
getting
this
all
over
the
state,
 decade
after
decade
after
decade.
     “The
attitude
in
this
state
is,
“Good
enough.”

The
 attitude
is,
‘If
it
was
good
enough
for
my
grandpappy,
 it’s
good
enough
for
me;
don’t
rock
the
boat
and
let’s
 not
make
any
changes;
I
am
comfortable
with
what
 I’ve
had.’”

 “[Alabamians]
are
used
to
a
way
of
life
that—there
 are
many
people
that
will
tell
you,
this
was
good
 enough
for
me,
and
it’s
good
enough
for
my
children.

 They
resist
change
and
they
don’t
have
a
lot
of
faith
 that—most
of
the
messages
that
resonate
in
this
 state
are
anti‐government.”

   Dominant
culture
maintains
justification
for
a
 status
quo
that
benefits
dominant
groups
   What
about
Civil
Rights
movement?
 Difference
between
fighting
for
political
 equality
and
fighting
for
economic
equality?

 ...
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