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Soc 1 O'Connell Week 9 Lecture and Discussion Notes

by: Priscilla orellana

Soc 1 O'Connell Week 9 Lecture and Discussion Notes Sociology 1

Marketplace > University of California - Irvine > Sociology > Sociology 1 > Soc 1 O Connell Week 9 Lecture and Discussion Notes
Priscilla orellana

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About this Document

These notes cover O'Connell's Soc 1 lectures from week 9, as well as what my TA discussed in section week 9.
Intro to Sociology
Chuck O'Connell
Class Notes
Soc 1, Sociology 1, Intro to Soc, Intro to sociology, O'Connell, UCI
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Priscilla orellana on Thursday March 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Sociology 1 at University of California - Irvine taught by Chuck O'Connell in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 82 views. For similar materials see Intro to Sociology in Sociology at University of California - Irvine.

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Date Created: 03/03/16
Lecture 16 – Week 9 Tuesday 3/1 • Today’s topic: Politics – Who rules America? • Politics is basically the question of who rules society 1. Ruling involves power, which is about the ability to get your way • Answers: 1. Pluralist Model § Says that power in America is distributed among a plurality of interest groups • Groups that advance certain political points, lobby lawmakers to pass bills in their favor. Example of interest groups: Surf Rider Foundation, goal was to protect the coastline from developments that destroy surfing breaks and keep the waters clean. National Rifle Association (NRA), people who want to protect their right to bear arms. MADD Mother’s Against Drunk Driving. • None of these interest groups necessarily have dominance over the entire system. Groups learn to make coalitions with one another and make compromises. • Interest groups generally don’t get all of what they want at once. The pace of change is very slow, often takes several years to get laws passed in their favor. • When you look at interest groups, people with higher socioeconomic status (SES) are the ones who form and participate in interest groups. § Elections involve equal voting rights. Puts poor and rich on the same level, in terms of voting. However, poor people vote less even though you could argue that poor people have a bigger voice in elections since there are many more poor people than rich people. 2. Class Conflict Model § Looks at power in terms of a class struggle between capitalists (own means of production) and the working class. § Sees power in America as the outcome in a political and economic struggle between capitalists and working class. • Power is concentrated in the hands of the capitalist class o How can this be if they are the numerical minority, especially with open and free elections for office? Theorists of this model say that the capitalist class’ power comes from their domination of three key institutions in society: 1. The economy: Since society works under a privatized economy and people must work to produce the things they need to live, you should look first to economy for exercise of power. Food insecurity but there’s mass amounts of food produced, homelessness but there’s vacant houses, clothing being mass produced but there’s people without proper clothing. Decisions about production of these things are made by people who own the means of production aka capitalist class. They decide how many people will be employed, wages, where to build the factories. 2. The ideological apparatus: Companies like CNN, NBC are private companies owned by capitalists, who hire the editors, producers, etc. of mainstream 2 media. They choose what to and not to report. 3. The state: Government and state are not synonymous. The state is the institution of political power through which one class dominates another. Government is the form the state may take. U.S. is a democratic republic. o Say that pluralists only look at how the government operates, how a law is made, how interest groups influence lawmakers to write up and pass certain bills, but politics is really about power, and not all power is exercised in just Congress. Power is about compelling people to do the things you want done. • The potential power of the working class lies in its ability to collectively disobey the system of the ruling class Discussion Week 9 • Why do sociologists study religion? o Religion is ubiquitous phenomenon with a tremendous impact on human behavior o Religion heavily influences aspects of society. A lot of our morals/values come from religion, and our society also influences religion. Example: there are tons of branches of Christianity now whereas at one point there was only one type of Christianity. o Consequences of religion: § Social control by creating and enforcing rules and socializing children to have religious beliefs and values § Legitimizes social structures with secular beliefs (class order) (things that aren’t necessarily religious can be justified using religious beliefs) 3 § Unifies believers and produces conformity in behavior, but it also divides, separating believers from nonbelievers, denominations, religions, and members of other local religious groups. o Karl Marx on religion: says it’s the opiate of the masses, and it’s also the sigh of the poor. It is an ideological apparatus that promotes false consciousness. Makes current social arrangements seem right and inevitable, which promotes the status quo by teaching the faithful to accept their condition. o Emile Durkheim on religion: it promotes a feeling of co mmunity through collective sanctification of the sacred. Brings order and functionality. o Max Weber on religion: religion is a catalyst for modern economic development. Calvinism of the time said that those who have/create/spend wealth (wisely) are the one s who will go to heaven. This was known as the Protestant ethic. • Religious trends in the U.S. o Catholic church losing members because of contraception and divorce issues, Christianity gaining members because of emphasis on evangelism. o Rebellious 60’s was accompanied by a decline in religious observance o Conservation reaction in 70’s and 80’s characterized by rise of evangelicalism and the Religious Right. Religion associated with the Republican Party. o Negative reaction to blending of religion and conservativ e politics. o Decline of mainline denominations, rise of Christian fundamentalism 4 Lecture 17 – Week 9 Thursday 3/3 • Film: o Most of the injured soldiers did not feel that their injuries/sacrifice were worth it. They did not feel like they were fighting for a worthy cause in Vietnam. o Started an underground newspaper published by a group of radical soldiers and distributed at night among barracks, etc. Became the lifeline of the GI movement, slogan was FTA which was said to mean “Fun Travel Adventure” but in reality stood for “Fuck The Army”. FTA entertainment show with anti-war comedians and singers became popular among the soldiers. o Meeli Massacre: officers tried to hide the fact that women and children were massacred in this village in Vietnam. o Richard Nixon was elected because he said he would end Vietnam war, but he actually expanded it and attacked Cambodia. o Anti-war movement causes a near collapse of the army. Many commanders and officers are killed by their soldiers, known as “fragging” because they usually used fragmentation grenades. Richard Nixon implements “Vietnamization” and promises soldiers will not be involved in ground offensive combat and instead changed it to an air war. o Navy officers and airmen now became the center of the GI movement. USS Kitty Hawk became a center in San Diego to get support in keeping the navy ships home. 5


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