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Power and politics from a sociological perspective


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The aim of this first session is to introduce the general aims of the course, and to answer any queries you may have.

We will have an initial discussion about what the concerns of political sociology are. In particular, we will be focusing on the connection between politics and society and on the ways in which power, at both the local and the global levels, functions to produce inequalities.

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Power and politics from a sociological perspective

  1. 1. Political Sociology I Week 1: Power & Politics from a Sociological Perspective Dr Alana Lentin
  2. 2. IntroductionsWho am I?Who are you?
  3. 3. What are we dealing with?
  4. 4. What are we dealing with? The State Citizenship Race SexualityGovernance Economics Gender Inequality Nations Social classInterdependence Exploitation Surveillance Globalization Social change Corruption Democracy Protest Punishment Power
  5. 5. Howard Zinn’sA People’s History
  6. 6. ‘Political sociology looks to “the socialcircumstances of politics, that is, to howpolitics both is shaped by and shapesother events in societies”.’ Anthony Orum (1983)
  7. 7. ‘Political sociology looks to “the socialcircumstances of politics, that is, to howpolitics both is shaped by and shapesother events in societies”.’ Anthony Orum (1983)“Is there a distinctive sociologicalcontribution to the study of politics? Ifthere is, it is perhaps in this attempt tomake connections - between constitutionaltheory and class structure, between socialbase and political doctrine, betweenglobal changes and local politics.” Outhwaite and Martell (1998)
  8. 8. Shaping and beingshaped by politicsThink of an examplewhere a governmentdecision or a worldpolitical event hadan impact on you?Have your actionsever had an impacton politics? If so,how?
  9. 9. “The chance of a man or a number of men torealise their own will in a communal action evenagainst the resistance of others who areparticipating in the action.” Max Weber
  10. 10. Power & Resistance
  11. 11. Overview2 3 4 56 8 9 10
  12. 12. Teaching & LearningLecture - main theoretical overviewReaction and critiqueCase study (introduced using film,webdocs, blogs, articles, photos...)Bringing theory and practice together(different method each week)Ongoing contributions (more at theend)
  13. 13. Week 2: Theories of PowerTheoryThe relationship betweenthe state, capital andcitizensMarxist, neo-Marxist versusWeberian approachesPerspectivesThe Hacking ScandalMethodsMapping power exercise
  14. 14. Week 3: The Shrinking WorldTheoryGlobalization,interdependence, decolonialand border thinkingContrasting westernapproaches to globalizationwith historicised emphasison interconnectionPerspectivesThe Big Sell OutMethodsFilm
  15. 15. Week 4: Neoliberalism, Politics & SocietyTheoryThe relationship betweenthe state and capitalunder neoliberalismIdeology andindividualisationPerspectivesPost-Hurricane KatrinaMethodsTV/Newspapers
  16. 16. Week 5: The Disciplinary & Punitive StateTheoryFoucauldian approaches todiscipline, surveillanceand punishmentThe panopticonPerspectivesPrison-industrialcomplex: Prison ValleyMethodsWebdoc
  17. 17. Week 6: A Clash of Civilizations?TheoryThe challenge to westernliberal ideology in the contextof the ‘war on terror’Critical, post-secular analysesof the relationship between theWest and IslamPerspectivesThe ‘veil debate’Methods‘Couscous global’
  18. 18. Week 8:Citizenship & InequalityTheoryTheories of citizenshipSocial exclusion andinequality (class, race,gender)PerspectivesThe UK post-riotsMethodsBlog analysis
  19. 19. Week 9: Democracy and its discontentsTheoryComparative theories ofdemocracyThe functioning of‘liberal democracy’PerspectivesIndian democracyMethodsArticles
  20. 20. Week 10: Action for ChangeTheorySocial movement theoryAfter ‘alterglobalization’PerspectivesThe anti-austeritymovements (UK, Greece,Spain, US...)MethodsAnalysis of activistmethods
  21. 21. Week 7: Assessment WorkshopGuide to essay writingWork on essay planWork around criteria and expectationsPeer evaluation
  22. 22. ResourcesStudy Direct forbonus resources,discussion forum,links to readingsand links to...SlideshareEnhanced podcastson VimeoFacebook group
  23. 23. Your contributionsPick a topicPost it on the Open Forum by Week 2Post on FB continuously whenever youlikeReport to the seminar
  24. 24. Friston 260Mondays 11-1 & Friday am (87)3470