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Presentation Outline III. Citizens, Society, and the State a)Political socialization b)Cleavages/Party affiliations c)Civil society/Interest Groups d)Public.

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Presentation on theme: "Presentation Outline III. Citizens, Society, and the State a)Political socialization b)Cleavages/Party affiliations c)Civil society/Interest Groups d)Public."— Presentation transcript:


2 Presentation Outline III. Citizens, Society, and the State a)Political socialization b)Cleavages/Party affiliations c)Civil society/Interest Groups d)Public Opinion/Voter turnout

3 Political Socialization Main agents of political socialization in the UK are: 1)Family 2)Media 3)Schools 4)Church/Mosque How would you define political socialization, and how does this differ from political culture?

4 Family In studies of children’s political socialization in the United Kingdom Motimore and Tyrrell (2004), found that the main influences on children’s political values were parents and the media. According to British geographers Pattie and Johnston (2000), “people who talk together tend to vote together.” Source: Pattie & Johnston (2000), People Who Talk Together Vote Together: An Exploration of Contextual Effects in Great Britain, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 90, No.1, p. 58

5 Media Includes newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and films, internet, etc. We are dependent on the media for what we know and how we relate to the world of politics because of the media-politics connection. We read or watch political debates followed by instant analysis and commentary by “experts.” Often, we read and listen uncritically and are shaped by opinions in the media.

6 Major British newspapers on the political spectrum Left Centre Right

7 Schools The British education system promotes democratic and civic values through courses on civics and social studies The state public schools promote multiculturalism The prestigious and elite “public” schools such as Eton promote service and noblesse oblige and reinforce class divisions

8 III. b) Cleavages 1)Historically, class has been the most important political and social cleavage in the UK 2) Religion is NOT a major cleavage in contemporary Britain, though it has been a source of conflict in Northern Ireland 3)Ethnic cleavages do exist, and there has been conflict at times, though they do NOT represent major divisions throughout the UK: -Scottish /Welsh separatism -tensions between Whites and new immigrants

9 Traditional markers of class Working ClassMiddle ClassUpper Class -53% of UK residents self- identify in this category -generally affiliated with trade unions -skilled or unskilled labour -Not considered a property owning class -Less well- represented in British politics than the middle class -43% of UK residents self-identify in this category -Includes professionals: lawyers, doctors, engineers --upwardly mobile -Value education -Generally a property owning class -Well-represented in British politics -4% of UK residents comprise this class -born into nobility, or bestowed a title (Lord, Baroness) -attend exclusive public/private schools such as Eton -independently wealthy -traditional landholding class

10 Party Affiliation and Class Generally class and Party affiliation coincide Labour Party supportersConservative Party supporters Trade Union members Students Ethnic minorities including Scottish and Welsh Working class Middle class professionals Upper class Business owners Landowners Anglican clergy Military Middle class professionals

11 Does class still matter or exist? Has class been redefined in the UK?

12 Religious/Nationalist Conflict in N. Ireland ReligionPercent of Population Protestantism45.57 Roman Catholicism 40.26 No Religion13.88 Non-Christian religions 0.30 Most Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland identify themselves as Irish, while most Protestants identify themselves as British. For much of the twentieth century Northern Ireland had experienced regular acts of violence between Protestants and Catholics. The violence between the warring factions culminated in the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre and the IRA bombings of 1972, referred to as Bloody Friday.

13 Main Belligerents in Northern Ireland: Irish Catholic: Irish Republican Army (IRA), paramilitary group which sought reunification with Ireland Protestant Ulster Unionists : pro-British paramilitary group which sought to remain loyal to the U.K. British Army: enforced UK government policy of retaining control over N. Ireland and crushing Irish Catholic separatism For furthering reading about this conflict see:

14 Scottish and Welsh nationalism A rise in Scottish and Welsh nationalism led to the creation of the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly after the 1997 referenda Does this mean that Wales and Scotland want independence?

15 The vast majority of Welsh and Scottish identify with their nation rather than the UK state! Source: Rose, Michael & Bond, Ross (2008) National Identities and Politics after Devolution, Radical Statistics, Issue 97, pp. 47-65 www.

16 S upport for outright Scottish independence appears to be declining Interestingly, there is quite a bit of support for Scottish independence from non-Scotts 32% of English and 34% of UK residents favor Scottish independence How might this add to the cleavage?

17 Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of Scotts are NOT satisfied with the status quo. 66% want change!

18 The Welsh are nationalists but according to a recent poll less than 10% of Welsh favor outright independence!

19 Non-white Britons: has integration worked? Roughly 10% of UK citizens are of non- European origin Many are from former colonies (India, Pakistan, and various African states) All U.K. citizens are equal under the law UK citizenship is determined based on place of birth and NOT blood

20 The vast majority of Muslims identify with their religion rather than with their state (U.K.)

21 Race riots: 1981 & 2011

22 Both riots occurred in high crime, poor areas populated mostly by non-White immigrants Same causes: High unemployment and a feeling of discrimination towards non- White British

23 III. c) Civil Society & Interest Groups British corporatism, 1945-1979 British interest groups since 1979 How would you define civil society? What is the difference between interest articulation and interest aggregation?

24 British corporatism IRON TRIANGLE The UK Government Trades Union Congress (TUC) British Confederation of Industry (CBI) Criticisms of corporatism: -Limits the representative process, only two “peak” interest groups participate can directly influence government policy -Undemocratic: countless other interest groups have little or no voice in influencing British politics Advantages of corporatism: -More efficient policymaking process -Government mediates between the interests of Big Business and Labour in an effort to seek compromise -Limits radical policies -Focused on status-quo and continuity Aggregates interests into policy influences

25 British Interest Groups since 1979 Former Prime Minister Thatcher’s reforms dismantled the corporatist system Although the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) continue to exert a considerable influence on government policy, they must now compete with other interest groups in a pluralist system.

26 Pluralism The UK Government Aggregates pluralist interests into policy

27 III. d) Public Opinion/Voter turnout Voter turnout has steadily declined over the last few decades and is lower than other democracies Do the Brits take their democracy for granted?

28 Support for the EU is weak The Conservative/Lib Dem coalition government has promised a referendum on the UK’s status in the EU The referendum will likely take place within the next couple of years

29 Support for the British Monarchy and traditions is still strong. Source: reign-over-us/

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