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Political sociology

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Political sociology Focusing on power or political realm Resource Mobilization Theory Resource Mobilization Theory: Gamson, Tilly, McCarthy & Zald is now the dominant ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Political sociology


1
Political sociology
  • Focusing on power or political realm

2
Micro-level Politics
  • - voting studies and political attitudes
  • Phil Converse nature of belief systems in mass
    publics and role of opinion leaders and local
    influentials
  • Bill Gamson how media affects attitudes and how
    groups (as opposed to mass media) frame issues

3
Organizational/Institutional Politics
  • Pluralism Dominant Theory of Decisionmaking in
    U.S. Government
  • Competing leaders
  • Compromise
  • Logrolling helping out
  • Greatest good for greatest number
  • Protection of minority interests
  • Multiple interests
  • Multi-faceted class, status, party
  • Issue specific
  • Cross-cutting

4
Weber's Theory of Interests
  • Class life chances education and property
  • Status life style Goths or Metrosexuals or Hip
    Hop Players/Gangsters or stay-at-home moms
  • Party power
  • ability to get what you want despite resistance
  • might be class based, status based, both or
    neither
  • tends to be more status based when economy is
    stable class based during economic upheavals

5
Cross-cutting soldidarities
bmw
bfw
6
Organizational and Institutional
  • Party Systems

Anthony Downs Effects of Two Party System
convergence
liberal party
conservative party
Distribution of Constituent Political Attitudes
7
Integrated Political Theory of 1970
  • Mass society Macro Level/Institutional
  • accessible elites lack of intermediate buffers
    between masses and elites
  • available masses lack of integration into local
    associations and collectivities
  • Available Masses swept into mass movements that
    threaten accessible elites

8
Kornhauser's Mass Society
  • Available Non-elites Lack of secondary,
    voluntary associations mal-integration
  • Accessible Elites Vulnerability to non-elite
    influence, direct or mediated

9
Collective Behavior Organizational and Group
Level Theory
  • Neil Smelser, Theory of Collective Behavior,
  • mass movements begin with breakdown of social
    control
  • milling and gossip conducive to generalized
    beliefs
  • need for immediate action
  • sense of empowerment
  • utopian goals

10
Frustration-Aggression Social Psychological
Theory
  • Ted Gurr intolerable "want-get" gap
  • literature on reference groups
  • relative deprivation
  • James Davies
  • "J" curve of declining rewards/expectations
  • intolerable gap (like Gurr)

11
Davies J Curve of Rising Expectation Leading to
Frustration
High
intolerable want-get gap
expected
Rewards
obtained
Low
Early
Late
Time
12
Political Theory in 1970
  • Masses were not politically informed or rational
    in political attitudes or actions (Converse)
  • Pluralism required that elites remain accessible
    but masses must be integrated into intermediate
    associations (Kornhauser)
  • Parties tended toward moderation, but masses were
    susceptible to extremist appeals (Downs and
    Smelser)

13
Political Theory 1970 Predictions
  • nonroutine political action increased when times
    were hard and social integration and social
    control broke down
  • nonroutine action increased as routine action
    declined
  • nonroutine participants were socially isolated
    and politically uninvolved/uninformed
  • nonroutine action was ineffective/expressive
    (emotional rather than rational)

14
Viewed From Functional Theory
  • Routine action indicated value consensus and
    integration
  • Non-routine action was indicative of "anomie" and
    malintegration
  • Protests, demonstrations, marches, and riots of
    1950s and 1960s were dysfunctional
  • society was out of balance/equilibrium, moving
    toward anarchy and chaos

15
Viewed From Conflict Perspective
  • Sociologists sympathetic with movements of the
    Fifties and Sixties Civil Rights, Students,
    Anti-War
  • Challenged Functional theory
  • Argued that protesters were as rational as people
    who studied them
  • Celebrated the awakening of American democracy

16
Evidence Challenging Functional Theory
  • Jeff Paige (Oct 1971, ASR) survey of 237 black
    men in Newark, NJ
  • riot participants had high efficacy and low trust
    of government
  • rioters were knowledgeable but distrustful
  • Rioters were knowledgeable but less trustful
    compared to civil rights activists

17
Percent Participation by Trust in Government
Rioting
18
Evidence (continued)
  • Feagin and Hahn, Ghetto Revolts (1973)
  • found rioters more likely to be long-term
    residents
  • rioters well integrated into ghetto community
  • targets were chosen rationallyabsentee landlords
    rather than local residents

19
Bill Gamson, Strategy of Social Protest (1975)
  • Historical Analysis of Political Challengers,
    1800-1940
  • Roughly half were at least modestly successful in
    achieving their goals
  • Challengers with modest (reform) goals were not
    more successful
  • Challengers who used nonviolence were not
    necessarily more successful
  • Organized challengers were more successful

20
Outcome of Resolved Challenges
21
Charles Tilly
  • Shorter and Tilly, Strikes in France (1974)
  • Strikes more common when times were good
  • Low unemployment
  • Economic growth
  • Tilly, Mobilization to Revolution (1978)
  • Political violence and routine political action
    (e.g., voting) often go hand in hand

22
Evidence Summary
  • Research accumulated in 1970s to challenge
    various pieces of the mass society, collective
    behavior, and relative deprivation theories of
    political influence
  • Thus the integrated theory has been thoroughly
    critiqued and challenged both theoretically and
    empirically

23
Challenges to Pluralist Model of Decision-making
  • While Mass Society, etc. was being challenged, a
    variety of studies challenged the pluralist model
    of decision-making
  • These studies are generally guided by conflict
    theory and are might be called the ruling elite
    model of decision-making

24
Ruling Elite Studies
  • Floyd Hunters study of Atlanta, Community Power
    Structure (1953) is the classic study of elite
    networks and elite domination of public policy
  • Dorothy Nehils study of Boston indicates elite
    domination through networks of business and
    political elites
  • Bachrach and Baratz (1962) classic on
    nondecisions promoted by elites

25
Ruling Elite Studies (continued)
  • Matthew Crenson, Unpolitics of Air Pollution
    (1971) showed how pollution remained a
    non-issue in the most polluted cities
  • Our own Robert Perrucci and Marc Pillisuk (ASR
    1970) showed how inter-organizational leaders,
    who served on multiple corporate boards and
    linked these orgs
  • Had a reputation for local power
  • Had similar attitudes and interests in local
    politics

26
Pluralist Versus Ruling Elite and Functional
versus Conflict Models
  • Methodological distinctions
  • Pluralist focus on public policy decisions and
    public meetings
  • Ruling elite focus on inter-organizational
    networks and reputation for power/influence

27
Debate (continued)
  • Theoretical arguments
  • Liberals argue that poor people or non-elites
    have to fight their way into the polity
  • Elites promote non-decisions/status quo
  • Political challenges predicted by
  • Interests
  • Organization
  • opportunity
  • Political challenges produce social change

28
Tillys Mobilization Model
Organization
Interest
Mobilization
Repression/ Facilitation
Opportunity/ Threat
Power
Collective Action
Source Tilly (1978), p. 56
29
Tillys (1978) Interests
  • Marxist use class as predictors of the
    interests people will pursue in the long run (p.
    61) these are objective class interests
  • Subjective/expressed interests Tilly uses these
    to predict what people will do in the short run
  • Marx roots interests in the relations and modes
    of production and the relations between and
    within classesthe relations of life and work
  • Weber distinguishes class, status, and party
    interests, which may or may not predict
    collective action.

30
Tillys (1978, p. 63) Organization in Terms of
Categories and Networks
high
Printers Union Local
All Brazilians
organization
Catness
Friendship Networks
low
Casual Crowd
low
high
Netness
31
Tilly (1978, p. 112) on Government Response to
Challengers
Small Facilitation Sc
ale of Toleration Claim Repression
Large Weak Strong Power of
Group
32
Tillys Model of Collective Action Predicted by
Power, Mobilization, and Opportunity/Threat
8
opportunity
Collective Goods Obtained
mobilization
break even
0
threat
-1
Low
High
Resources Expended
33
Power, Mobilization, and Opportunity/Threat
Tilly (1978)
  • Power results from relations with others,
    including governments. Facilitation or
    repression are the extreme reactions to
    collective action, decreasing or increasing the
    cost/benefits of collective action. Graphically,
    power is represented by the shape of the S curve
    that describes the return on collective actions
    (collective goods obtained/resources expanded).
    The steeper the curve the greater the power.
  • Mobilization limits the potential return,
    however, since the resources expended cannot
    exceed mobilization (mobilization is defined as
    resources controlled by constituents
    probability that these will be committed).
  • Opportunity is "the extent to which other actors,
    including governments, are vulnerable to new
    claims which would, if successful, enhance the
    contender's realization of its interests." (p.
    133)
  • Threat is "the extent to which other groups are
    threatening to make claims which would, if
    successful, reduce the challenger's realization
    of its interests." (p.133)

34
Resource Mobilization Theory
  • Resource Mobilization Theory Gamson, Tilly,
    McCarthy Zald
  • is now the dominant perspective on social
    movements and social change
  • it has been challenged by conservatives and
    radicals and has been tweaked by friendly critics
  • McAdam political processs theory
  • Tarrow political opportunities

35
Challenges to Resource Mobilization Theory
  • State centered theory Skocpol, Evans
  • Bringing the State Back In
  • need to focus on ability of governments
  • to effect policy innovations
  • to manage constituent discontent
  • to accommodate other governments

36
New Social Movement theory
  • Focus on difference between labor movement
  • rational
  • materialist
  • self-interested
  • And new social movements (e.g., anti-nuclear)
  • community building versus policy
  • status (versus class)
  • more expressive

37
Social Movement Theory Today
  • Some cynics suggest return to 1950s
  • But new theories are different from 1970
  • Tilly's model of interests, organization and
    opportunity is an interactive contingency model
    of political influence
  • Skocpol and Goldstone and other state-centered
    folks offer similar model of state capacity

38
State-Centered Model
  • Skocpol, et al. view state in world system
  • relations with other states affect capacity
  • help from friends
  • problems with enemies
  • state has similar relations with constituents
  • possibilities for support
  • threat of opposition

other states
state
constituents
39
Political Process Model
  • Sid Tarrow and Doug McAdam developed this model
    to accommodate both
  • Constituents and
  • The State
  • Tarrow (1994) waves of political protest occur
    in response to political opportunities
  • increased access, influential allies, divided
    elites, and unstable alliances (pp. 86-89)

40
Political Process (continued)
  • Tarrow argues that
  • Organized interests
  • Seize opportunities
  • To gain new advantages
  • New interests emerge
  • take advantage of already be-leaguered
    authorities
  • Until elites are able to re-establish alliances,
    close ranks, and close off political opportunities

41
Political Process (continued)
  • Tarrow explains at the end of a wave/cycle
  • Challengers and elites attempt to
  • Consolidate gains
  • Minimize losses
  • What remains is the residual of reform (p. 186)

42
Political Process (conclusion)
  • Political process theory is, essentially
  • A liberal, interactive, contingency model
  • That focuses on the relations between governments
    and their challengers
  • This is a friendly amendment to Resource
    Mobilization theory the dominant perspective in
    political sociology
  • It is being challenged by conservatives and
    radicals
  • Piven and Cloward are among the radicals

43
Poor Peoples Movements
  • Piven and Cloward argue that institutional
    conditions create and limit the opportunities
    for mass struggle
  • Furthermore, not formal organizations but mass
    defiance won in the 1930s and 1960s
  • organizations that were developed tended to
    blunt the militancy (p. xv)

44
Poor Peoples Movements (cont.)
  • formal organizations collapsed as the movements
    subsided (p. xvi)
  • John L. Lewis and the Congress of Industrial
    Organizations did not create the strike movement
    of the industrial workers
  • it was the industrial workers who created the
    CIO (p. 153)

45
Piven and Cloward vs. Resource Mobilization theory
  • Piven and Cloward argue against the idea that
    organizations produce collective action or
    political protest
  • They argue that collective action or protest
    produces the organizations

Political organization
Political protest
46
Questions
  • Where do rights come from?
  • government?
  • political challengers?
  • Do rights matter?

47
Questions (continued)
  • Consider rights movements
  • Bill of Rights
  • Right to unemployment compensation
  • Right to collective bargaining
  • Civil rights
  • Welfare rights

48
Where Did These Rights Come From?
  • All of these rights were promoted by political
    challengers
  • Anti-federalists
  • Unemployed workers
  • Workers
  • Blacks
  • Welfare recipients

49
Rights (continued)
  • All of these rights were granted by the state
  • Federalist concessions Bill of Rights
  • FDR/Wagner Wagner Act
  • JFK/LBJ
  • So rights are both demanded and granted

50
Piven and Cloward (and Hogan)
  • Political Opportunities, interests, and
    organization are all rooted in institutional
    structure
  • Crises in republican capitalism
  • Depression of 1930s
  • Destruction of Southern cotton economy
  • Rise of post-industrial or postmodern economy
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