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Danziger: Part I Prepared and Presented by Angela Oberbauer ©2010

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1 Danziger: Part I Prepared and Presented by Angela Oberbauer ©2010
Politics and Knowledge

2 What is Politics? A Process in which Individuals and Groups exercise “power” to make change!
Types Of Political Knowledge: 1. Description political knowledge focus on what, and descriptive response based on facts. 2. Explanation answers why, and require adequate explanation of information. 3. Prescription is your value judgment.

3 Sources of Political Knowledge
1.Authority involves respect to authority sources: specific, general, or everyone. 2.Personal Thought involves exercising: rationale, Intuition, and personal experience. 3.Science uses explicit methods to describe and explain by (1) search for regularities; (2)empirically observe phenomena; (3)cumulate previous established knowledge as foundation for further knowledge development; (4)new knowledge must be testable/verifiable.

4 What is Political Science?
Political Science attempts to understand and explain the political world, by developing concepts, improved methods of science, to use systematic and analytic thinking to reduce our misunderstandings and misconceptions of political issues.

5 Danziger, Chapter 2 Political Theory & Political Beliefs
Political Behavior, or Micropolitics: Is A combination of an Individuals, Groups, families, committees, and juries political beliefs are cumulative reactions and orientations toward political phenomena. Normative Political Knowledge: Are the fundamental ideas that can be the basis of an individual’s beliefs and actions. 1. Political Ideologies: Prevalent in Western Political Thought. (pp ) 2. Individual Political Beliefs: basic elements of an individual’s political belief, grounded in a person’s orientations/dimensions toward the political world. 3. Political Belief System: The configurations of beliefs held by individuals. (p. 45) 4. Political Culture: Dominant patterns of political behavior for an entire society. (p. 48)

6 Normative Political Theory
Answers that reflect various approaches for thinking about core questions about Government, society, social obligation, individual obligation. Theorists, and Politcal Ideologies: Thomas Hobbes ( ) in [Danziger, Chapter 2] Conservatism Classical Liberalism Socialism Marxist-Leninist Socialism Democratic Socialism Further Political “Isms” [ibid]

7 Belief Systems of Mass Publics
Political issues have low salience. People focus attention on concrete issues, have minimal grasp of abstract political concepts, and don’t have constraint knowledge. Interest/knowledge is short-term. Fundamental beliefs are stable, but can be volatile in short-term political opinions. 5. Content of beliefs is often inaccurate.

8 Belief Systems of Elites
Have relatively high levels of interest and involvement in political life; hold positions of political responsibility. Elites communicate their beliefs to others. They influence the Mass Publics. Have relatively high levels of “constraint knowledge,” accuracy, complexity. Emphasis is on consistency. However, Elites can have conflicting opinions among themselves.

9 Political Culture The American Political Culture believes in:
Is the configuration of a particular society’s political orientations -- the general belief system of many: The American Political Culture believes in: liberties, rights, political equality, individualism, capitalism, property, universal suffrage, democracy, equal opportunity, and pluralism.

10 Political Ideology/Political Belief Systems
Are an individual’s comprehensive set of beliefs about the political world.(Rejai 1995, pp. 4-11). Rejai’s five important dimensions: Cognitive: knowledge and belief Affective: feelings and emotions Evaluative: norms and judgments Programmatic: the plans and taking action 5. Social base: mobilization of supporting groups and forming the political party.

11 Karl Marx’s Conceptionalization of Ideology
How does Marx analyze ideology? Marx says ideology is an intellectual activity, an idea system. What does Marx say about an idea system? Marx insists that an idea system is only derivative, secondary, and false, and explains his theory through “social reality”.

12 Marx’s explanation of “Social Reality”
Society is broken down into two “structures”: The Substructure contains: --All material, economic foundation of society, including: “The Owning Class”, (which is the “Ruling Class”), and it also contains “The Non-owning Class” (the oppressed and exploited “proletariat.” Marx suggests that the “Substructure” is the most important aspect of a society and gives rise to the “Superstructure”.

13 “Social Reality”, continued
II.The Superstructure: --consists of all other elements of society: art, culture, religion, social and political institutions such as government, education, and it also consists of “ideologies”. Therefore, Marx suggests that the “Superstructure” has no independent reality, and only mirrors the ideas and philosophies set down by the “Ruling Class” within the “Substructure,” thereby, ideologies are “derivative, secondary, and false.”

14 Friedrich Engels’ “False Consciousness”
Engels suggests that the “Ruling Class” only pretend sincere consciousness toward the “Non-ruling,” and that the “ideologies and actions” the Ruling deliberately promulgate through their belief systems are indeed falsehoods set down for the purpose to control the “oppressed and non-ruling Class.” Further, Engels points out that these ideologies are there only to benefit the Ruling Class.

15 Causes for the Rise of Ideologies
I. The French Revolution and its new ideas: The Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen (1789)--men are no longer “subjects” but now “citizens” (king is dethroned). Estates General was expanded to incorporate representatives from the middle-class commoners, now called the “Third Estate”. Democracy: new institutions protecting: life, liberty, equality, fraternity, and citizenship Popular Sovereignty: the people have ultimate authority over government.

16 Rise of Ideologies, continued
II. The Industrial Revolution: More factories were built in urban areas. Improved factory manufacturing. More trade was created internationally. More labor was needed.

17 continued III. Urbanization:
Labor coming into urban areas from rural areas: Ethnic Ghettos were formed; depersonalization of human life. Unions: With the rise of production, groups of dissatisfied laborers formed into unions with specific beliefs and demands from Factory property owners.

18 continued IV. Modernization:
Further, with the 19th century, a rise of literacy through better means of printing. The rise of education, and the condition of ignorance is broken: one begins to challenge one’s subservient status, and becomes activist, even rebellious. Secularism rises: no longer does one automatically follow “set ideas”. Religion begins to loose its hold on those educating themselves. Therefore, “ideology” became the substitute for religion.

19 continued V. Science and Technology: ---Improvements in technology.
---Modern methods of Communications. ---Modern forms of transportation. All of these advancements allowed information about ideologies to reach millions of people across many continents (Rejai 1995).

20 Functions of Ideologies
First: they provide a perspective on social and political reality. Second: provide the individual with a sense of identity and belonging. Third: ideologies serve to achieve social solidarity and cohesion. Fourth: ideologies encourage optimism, hope, promise, utopia, and even paradise. Fifth: they serve to support and maintain a political regime or to challenge and destroy it.

21 Danziger, Chapter 3: Political Actions
Modes of Activity: 1. Individual political actions: voting, campaign activities, rallies, protesting. 2. Political Activists: Foot soldiers; Extremist-activists; political leaders. 3. Political Interest Groups: people who share same interest and want to influence policymaking through: Political action; Provision of material resources; Exchange of Information; Cooperation.

22 Political Actions, continued
4. Political Parties: are political activists that want to win elections, run government, and make policy. 5. Party Functions: serve as brokers of ideas; facilitate political socialization; link individuals to the belief system; mobilize and recruit political activists; coordinate governmental operations; serve as sources of opposition.

23 Danziger, Chapter 4: Influences on Beliefs and Actions
Four broad types of explanatory factors that might account for individual political behavior: The environment: where someone is born, rural, urban, connected to technology. Agents of Political Socialization: parents, schools, religion, peers, the media, events. Personal Characteristics: education, gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race.

24 Four broad types of explanatory factors that might account for individual political behavior, continued. Political “Personality” of top leaders/activists: idealism, aggressiveness, frustration. Or low sense of self-esteem suggested by Lasswell (1960). However, studies suggest political leaders have a high sense of self-esteem (Sniderman 1975). Also leaders have “seven incentives.” Human Nature: innate motivations and inner drives. Or possible fundamental elements of human nature that cannot be altered by socialization and institutions, such as biological/genetic foundations (Wilson 1978; Masters 2001).

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