Definitions: Starting Points Ch. 15-16

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Chapter 15: Politics and Ideologies

Politics: the processes by which individuals and groups act to promote their interests

Citizens: people who belong to a state. Citizenship developed out of the relative freedom of city life, granting equal treatment for all residents.

State: the set of institutions with authority to make the rules that govern a society. Weber wrote that the state “claims a monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory”.

Ideologies: coherent sets of interrelated beliefs about the nature of the world that imply or demand certain courses of political, social, or economic action.
(Compare with ideology in Chapter 16)

Power: according to Weber, “the ability of persons or groups to achieve their objectives, even when opposed”. Said another way, power is the capacity to compel people to act in certain ways, and politics is the process by wich people gain and exercise this power.

Authority: power that is considered legitimate by the people who are subject to it.

Propaganda: mass communication whose purpose is to influence people’s political opinions and actions.

Civil liberties: freedoms that protect the individual against government. These include freedom of speech, assembly, and movement, and freedom of the press.

Civil rights: rights we consider all people deserve under all circumstances, without regard to race, ethnicity, age, sex, or other personal qualities.

Chapter 16: Social Movements and Voluntary Associations

Voluntary association: a group formed by voluntary membership. Unlike other voluntary associations, social movements usually have a political goal.

Social movements: organized groups of people with an agenda or plan for social change, to be achieved through agitation and political pressure.

Ideology: a strategy, program, or point of view that justifies the goals and strategies of the movement: for example, it may justify demands for gender equality.
(Compare with ideologies in Chapter 15)

Counter-ideology: an ideology that supports alternative social values and challenges the dominant ideology.

Dominant ideology: an ideology that supports the status quo and the interests of the ruling class.

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