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Sociology Chapter 13 Political and Economic Institutions

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Candice Lawless

on 5 January 2016

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Transcript of Sociology Chapter 13 Political and Economic Institutions

Section 1: Power and Authority
Definitions of Power and Authority
Section 4: The Modern Corporation
The Nature of Corporations
Chapter 13
Section 2: Political Power in American Society
Influence of the Vote
Section 3: Economic Systems
Political and Economic Institutions
There is a close connection between business and government in modern American society.
Economic Institution
is the institution that determines how goods and services are produced and distributed.
(This is a European economic institute.)
Political Institution
is an institution that determines how power is obtained and exercised.
(This is a political institution.)
These two institutions are so closely interrelated that it is very hard to think of them as separate.
What is Power?
is the ability to control the behavior of others.
Max Weber's contributionto political sociology deals with his identification of different forms of power and authority.
(Max Weber)
(Obama is very powerful because he is our President.)
Weber also recognized another form of power called
is to control through force.
(This is an example of workplace coercion.)
Weber recognized that a political system based on coercive power is inherently unstable; that is, the abuses of the system itself cause people to rise against it.
What is Authority?
is power accepted as legitimate by those subject to it.
(Cops have authority over most citizens.)
Forms of Authority
Weber Identified three forms of authority-
charismatic, traditional, and rational-legal
What is Charismatic Authority?
Charismatic authority
is authority that arises from the personality of an individual.
Charismatic leaders normally lead with the power or strength of their personalities or feelings.
(Martin Luther King is an example.)
Charismatic authority alone is too unstable to provide a permanent basis of power. It is linked to one individual and therefore hard to transfer to others.
When charismatic leaders die, the source of power is removed.
(Hitler is an example.)
What is Traditional Authority?
In the past, most states relied on
traditional authority
, which is a form of authority in which the legitimacy of a leader is rooted in custom.
Early kings claimed to rule by the will of God, or divine right.
What is Rational-Legal Authority?
Most modern governments are based on
rational-legal authority
, which is the form of authority in which the power of government officials is based on the offices they hold.
Since rational-legal authority is invested in positions rather than in individuals, people lose authority when they leave their formal positions of power.
(Presidents are an example of rational-legal authority.)
The most familiar democracy to us today is
representative democracy
which is a system of government that uses elected officials to fulfill majority wishes.
(This is an example of a representative democracy.)
A representative democracy operates under two assumptions; not everyone in modern society can be actively involved in all political decision making and political candidates who fail to satisfy the wishes of the majority are not expected to win reelections.
In the U.S. we have a "winner take all" form of representative democracy.
The party with the most votes wins the election!
Is Democracy Spreading?
Since USSR collapsed, it has created opportunities for more societies to adopt democratic forms of government.
is a political system in which a ruler with absolute power attempts to control all aspects of a society.
(These are some leaders that used totalitarianism.)
Characteristics of totalitarianism are; a single political party ruled by one person, a well coordinated plan of terror, total control of all communication, monopoly over military resources, and a planned economy directed by a state bureaucracy.
is a political system controlled by elected or non elected rulers who usually permit some degree of individual freedom.
A leader that uses authoritarianism is the Cuban president, Fidel Castro.
(Fidel Castro)
Usually only a candidate endorsed by a major political party has a chance of winning.
On what do we base our vote?
Most attitudes and beliefs that are expressed as political opinions are gained through a learning process called
political socialization
Political socialization
is informal and formal processes by which a person develops political opinions.
(These two people had different political socialization.)
Children learn political attitudes the same way they learn values and norms, by listening to conversations and by watching the actions of family members.
The level of education a person has influences his or her political knowledge and participation.
Media plays an important role in shaping public opinion by giving certain stories high priority and other low.
Two Models of Political Power
The two major models of political power are
pluralism and elitism
is a system in which political decisions are made as a result of bargaining and compromise among special interest groups.
(This is the pluralism logo.)
is a system in which a community or society is controlled from the top by a few individuals or organizations.
Functionalist Perspective: Pluralism
According to pluralists, major political decisions in the U.S. are not made by an elite few.
Tax breaks come not only to the wealthy, such as Bill Gates, but also to groups such as churches and mental health care facilities.
interest group
is a group organized to influence political decision making
Interest groups were relevant in the 19th century because they were very active in women's rights movements. They also believed in promoting abolition of slavery.
Some examples of interest groups are; the American Medical Association (AMA), the National Organization for Women (NOW), and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Conflict Perspective: The Power Elite
Power elite
is a unified group of military, corporate, and government leaders.
Examples of power elite are military academies, ivy league schools, and boarding schools.
(Military Academy)
is an economic system based on private ownership of property and the pursuit of property.
Capitalists believe that individuals, not government, deserve to own and to control land, factories, raw materials, and the tools of production.
What are monopolies and oligopolies?
are companies that have control over the production or distribution of a product or service.
are combinations of companies that control the production or distribution of a product or service.
The Role of Government in Capitalism
Adam Smith is often misinterpreted as saying that the government should have a strictly hands-off approach where the economy is concerned, but the U.S. government has always been involved in the workings of the economy.
(Adam Smith)
is an economic system founded on the belief that the means of production should be controlled by the people as a whole.
Workers under socialism should profit because both the state and the workplace exist for their benefit.
Mixed Economic Systems
Most nations fall between the extremes of capitalism and socialism and include elements of both economic systems.
For example, countries in Western Europe have developed capitalist economic systems in which both public and private ownership play important roles.
Sociologists study corporations because of their great importance in modern economic systems.
What are Corporations, anyway?
is an organization owned by shareholders, who have limited liability and limited control.
(AT&T is a corporation.)
Limited liability means they cannot be held financially responsible for actions of the corporation.
Corporate Influence
Top corporate officials have tremendous influence on government decisions.
In what other ways do corporations wield power?
Political clout by large corporations is multiplied through
interlocking directorates
Interlocking directorates
are directorates that result when heads of corporations sit on one another's boards.
The political power of corporations is also enhanced by
are networks of unrelated businesses operating under one corporation umbrella.
For example RJR Nabisco, Inc. holds companies in different areas such as tobacco, pet foods, candy, cigarettes, food products, bubble gum, research and technology.
Multinational Corporations
The political influence of corporations is not confined to their countries of origin.
are firms based in highly industrialized societies with operating facilities throughout the world.
(McDonalds is multinational because it is in other places than just the U.S.)
Section 5: Work in the Modern Economy
The Changing Nature of Work
There are three basic economic sectors;
primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors
primary sector
is that part of the economy producing goods from the natural environment. Examples would be farmers, miners, and fishermen.
secondary sector
is that part of the economy engaged in manufacturing goods. An example is producing a computer.
tertiary sector
is that part of the economy providing services. Examples are gas stations, banks, and doctors.
Occupational Structure
are categories of jobs that involve similar activities as different work locations.
What is the shape of the U.S. occupational structure?
A two tier occupational structure has developed in the U.S.
core tier
is an occupational structure composed of large firms dominating their industries.
peripheral tier
is an occupational structure composed of smaller, less profitable firms.
Downsizing and Contingent Employment
The occupational structure in the U.S. has changed dramatically over the last few decades by
contingent employment
is the process by which companies reduce their workforces.
Contingent employment
is the hiring of part-time, short-term workers.
13.1 Power and Authority:
Political systems can be based on charismatic traditional, or rational-legal authority. Democratic, totalitarian, and authoritarian are types of political systems.
13.2 Political Power in American Society:
Two major models of political power are elitism and pluralism. The conflict and functionalist theories have different views of who exercises political power in the U.S.
13.3 Economic Systems:
Capitalist and socialist economies differ in terms of the degree of private ownership and in the extent of the government's role in the economy.
13.4 The Modern Corporation:
Corporations, especially those with multinational connections, have grown very powerful, influencing domestic political decisions and the political and economic institutions of countries around the world.
13.5 Work in the Modern Economy:
Workers today face a changing economy, with companies relying more heavily on temporary workers and on foreign labor.
Types of Political Systems:
democracy, totalitarian, authoritarian
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