Political sociology

Political sociology

Political sociology is the study of power and the intersection of personality, social structure and politics. Political sociology is interdisciplinary, where political science and sociology intersect. The discipline uses comparative history to analyze systems of government and economic organization to understand the political climate of societies. By comparing and analyzing history and sociological data, political trends and patterns emerge. The founders of political sociology were Max Weber (Germany) and Moisey Ostrogorsky (Russia).

There are four main areas of research focus in contemporary political sociology:

# The socio-political formation of the modern state.
# "Who rules"? How social inequality between groups (class, race, gender, etc.) influences politics.
# How public personalities, social movements and trends outside of the formal institutions of political power affect politics, and
# Power relationships within and between social groups (e.g. families, workplaces, bureaucracy, media, etc).

The field also looks at how major social trends can affect the political process, as well as exploring how various social forces work together to change political policies. Political sociologists apply several theories to substantive issues. Each theory claims to be comprehensive, but actually has a few areas of strength because it was developed to address specific issues and operates at one levels of analysis.

Three major theorical frameworks are pluralism, elite or managerial theory and class analysis which overlaps with Marxist analysis. Pluralism sees politics primarily as a contest among competing interest groups. A leading representative is Robert Dahl. Elite managerial theory is sometimes called a state-centered approach. It explains what the state does by looking at constraints from organizational structure, semiautonomous state managers, and interests that arise from the state as a unique, power concentrating organization. A leading representative is Theda Skocpol.

Social class theory analysis emphasizes the political power of capitalist elites. The theory emerged from Marxism in the 1850s based primarily on the premise economic exploitation of one class by another. It split into two parts: one is the power structure or instrumentalist approach, another is the structuralist approach. The power structure approach focuses on Who Rules? and its most well-known representative is G. William Domhoff. The structuralist approach emphasizes how the very way a capitalist economy operates only allows and encourages the state to do some things but not others. Its best known representative was Nicos Poulantzas. Important innovations in the field come from the French Pragmatism and particularly from the Political and Moral Sociology elaborated by Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot

ee also

* Important publications in political sociology
* Political spectrum

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • political sociology — The branch of sociology which is concerned with the social causes and consequences of given power distributions within or between societies, and with the social and political conflicts that lead to changes in the allocation of power . A major… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • political sociology — politikos sociologija statusas T sritis Politika apibrėžtis Tarpinė sociologijos ir politikos mokslų disciplina, tirianti socialinių struktūrų ir politinių institucijų santykius. Nagrinėja daugelį sričių, balansuojančių ant politikos mokslo ir… …   Politikos mokslų enciklopedinis žodynas

  • SOCIOLOGY — as a field of intellectual endeavor is much older than sociology as an academic discipline. Modern sociology can be traced to the Scottish moralists such as Adam Ferguson, David Hume, Adam Smith, and possibly to Thomas Hobbes. The word sociology… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Sociology in Poland — has been developing, as has sociology throughout Europe, since the mid 19th century. Polish sociology is today a vibrant science, with its own experts and currents of thought. As early as in 1917 a Polish scholar, Jan Stanisław Bystroń, wrote… …   Wikipedia

  • political science — political scientist. a social science dealing with political institutions and with the principles and conduct of government. [1770 80] * * * Academic discipline concerned with the empirical study of government and politics. Political scientists… …   Universalium

  • Sociology of law — refers to both a sub discipline of sociology and an approach within the field of legal studies. Sociology of law is a diverse field of study which examines the interaction of law with other aspects of society, such as the effect of legal… …   Wikipedia

  • Political opportunity — theory, sometimes also known as the political process theory or political opportunity structure, is a theory of social movements grounded in political sociology. It argues that social movements are vastly affected by outside political… …   Wikipedia

  • Sociology — For the journal, see Sociology (journal). Sociology …   Wikipedia

  • sociology — sociologist, n. /soh see ol euh jee, soh shee /, n. the science or study of the origin, development, organization, and functioning of human society; the science of the fundamental laws of social relations, institutions, etc. [1835 45; < F… …   Universalium

  • sociology — It has been argued that the very origins of the word ‘sociology’, from the latin socius (companion) and the Greek ology (study of), indicate its nature as a hybrid discipline that can never aspire to the status of a social science or a coherent… …   Dictionary of sociology

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”