TX Politics and Society Honors
TX Politics and Society Honors POL 1133
Popular in Course
verified elite notetaker
Popular in Political Science
verified elite notetaker
This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Estelle Herman on Thursday October 29, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to POL 1133 at University of Texas at San Antonio taught by Fernando Pinon in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see /class/231354/pol-1133-university-of-texas-at-san-antonio in Political Science at University of Texas at San Antonio.
Reviews for TX Politics and Society Honors
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
Date Created: 10/29/15
INTEREST GROUPS POLITICS Interest groups are not partisan organizations in that they do not seek to win elections or run government They are much more particular than a political party in that they tend to organization around very particular interests such as economic social religious or cultural Whether these interests are narrow and sel sh such as a corporation seeking a subsidy for its product or broader and more social such as the prolife and prochoice groups The point is that while they do not run candidates for of ce they do however seek to in uence public policy In seeking to in uence public policy interest groups take on one or more of the following functions Lobby Direct contact with policy makers in making their case for their issue Research Doing their homework so as to present their side of the issue in a convincing manner Propaganda This is a more public function The goal here is to shed a good light on what they do in the public arena Electioneering While not running candidates for of ce they do support candidates who re ect their interest This they do through direct help in the campaign of a candidate or through campaign nancing THE PLURALIST MODEL OF SOCIETY ROBERT DAHL S WHO GOVERNS In Who Govems a study of the politics of New Haven Connecticutt Robert Dahl put forth the thesis that interest group politics as part of American Politics enhances the democratic process I refer to the model that represents his thesis as the Pluralist Model of Society In this model the assumption is range of interests in any electorate is diverse The second is that thus these different sectors of interests get involved in the policy making process based on the importance of an issue to them This is referred to as the centrality of an issue If that issue is central to their interest then they get involved If it is not then they do not get involved The third assumption is that the decision making process is open and accessible to all sectors in society Thus it would be open to the business sector the old elite sector the working class the African American community the Latino community the gay community feminist community etc THE HEAVENLY CHOIR EE SCHATTSCHNEIDER THE SEMISOVEREIGN PEOPLE EE Schattschneider took off in a different route in his study American Politics in his study The SemiSovereign People According to Schattschneider interest groups are exclusive and tend to be the most selfconscious best developed most intense and active groups According to Schattschneider quotorganization is itself a mobilization of bias in preparation for actionquot pg30 The first assumption is organization Here is where Schattschneider points out that the bias is very apparent Groups tend to organize around particular interests Thus manufacturers organize around their particular manufacturing interests doctors organize around their particular interests auto dealerships organize around their particular interest insurance companies organize around their particular interests etc The second assumption is that groups that have resources to gain or lose tend to be the one s that organize around their particular interests Athird assumption is that American citizens in general don t have that kind of particular focus A fourth assumption is that these groups that get involved in interest group politics then represent a politics that is narrow in scope Hence the narrowing of the scope of con ict tends to in this context mean that the democratic process is narrowed because less voices are involved Understanding the quotscope of con ictquot then one can understand schattschneider s next statement quotPressure politics is a selective process ill designed to serve diffuse interests The system is skewed loaded and unbalanced in favor of a fraction of a minorityquot Pg35 What fraction he is referring to is brought out in this next quote The class bias of associational activity gives meaning to the limited scope of the pressure system because scope and bias are aspects of the same tendency The data raise a serious question about the validity of the proposition that specialinterest groups are a universal form of political organization re ecting all interests As a matter of fact to supporse that everyone participates in pressuregroup activity and that all interests get themselves organied in the pressure system is to destroy the meaning of this form of politics The pressure system makes sense only as the political instrument of a segment of the community It gets results by being selective and biased if everybody got into the act the unique advantages of this form of organization would be destroyed for it is possible that if all interests could be mobilized the result would be a stalemate The vice of the groupest theory is that it conceals the most signi cant aspects of the system The aWIn the p1urah39sthea ven is that the heavenly chorus srngs With a strong upperclass accent Prohah1y90 percent of the people cannot get Into th epressure system Pg345 This does not mean that they only focus on one single issue but rather they focus on issues only as they interact with their main interest Indeed they re ect the pluralist model very well They have no vision of society beyond the one that they have learned well in protecting their interests in the legislature in the executive branch and in the courts They also are very interested in maintaining particular images of what society is about ie a free market where everyone can prosper This is part of their propaganda function and it is not necessarily false but it is onesided That is essentially what propaganda is However the point that Schattschneider makes is that while interest group politics has an quotupperclass accen quot it is not totally and absolutely in a position of power He of course refers to the role of the Republican Party to politicize the business community and to make it an acceptable member of the community and to create solidarity among its diverse members THE SAUL ALINSKY MODEL RULES FOR RADICALS However specialized interest group politics is not the absolute domain of business as the chapter will point to There are consumer advocacy groups cultural groups unions and the case study I want to use local urban groups Saul Alinsky is known as the radical community organizer He established the Industrial Areas Foundation in Chicago to train community organizers from all over the country In San Antonio COPS is an Alinsky organization started by Ernie Cortez In organizing communities throughout the US Alinsky begin with the first principle that participation is the basis of learning of political education Even the most non political communities could learn about the relevance of politics that the impact of public policy He based most of his community organizing on this principle The next