Major Concepts of Political Sociology

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MD SAEED ANWAR SOCIOLOGY DISCIPLINE KHULNA UNIVERSITY

Introduction Political science and sociology began to develop as independent disciplines in the nineteenth century under the influence of marginalist economics which attempted to demarcate the study of the ‘political’ from that of the ‘social’ and the ‘economic’ Political sociology broadly conceived is the study of power and domination in social relationships. It could thereby include analysis of the family, the mass media, universities, trade unions, and so on. Political sociology was traditionally concerned with how social trends, dynamics, and structures of domination affect formal political processes, as well as exploring how various social forces work together to change political policies (Burnham, 2012) Major Concepts of Political Sociology Political Culture Political culture refers to what people believe and feel about government, and how they think people should act towards it. To understand the relationship of a government to its people, and how those people are going to act toward that government and others, it is necessary to study what those people believe about themselves and government. Daniel Elazar define that "Political culture is the particular pattern of orientation to political action in which each political system is imbedded" (Elazar, 1972). So Political culture is the traditional orientation of the citizens of a nation toward politics, affecting their perceptions of political legitimacy. Features of Political Culture a. Deference looks at the respect, acknowledgment or inferiority of authority and superiors in society. b. Consensus represents the key link between government and public agreement and appeasement. c. Political culture homogenous in nature. (Wikipedia, 2012)

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Political socialization Political socialization is a concept concerning the “study of the developmental processes by which children and adolescents acquire political cognition, attitudes, and behaviors”. It refers to a learning process by which norms and behavior acceptable to a well running political system are transmitted from one generation to another. It is through the performance of this function in which individuals are inducted into the political culture and their orientations towards political objects are formed. Political sociology the process through which we acquire political orientations--a process of political learning. Socialization happens both directly and indirectly. (Wikipedia, 2012) Agents of political socialization: There are many agent of socialization like family, school, religion, mass media, political party, work place and others. (answer.com, 2012) Political polarization The term "polarization" comes from political science. There, it is a measure of the electorate's response to a political figure or position; it is not an assessment of, or a value judgment upon, a political figure. It does not mean that a political figure is necessarily unelectable. Political figures can receive a polarized response from the public through actions of their own, through historical trends or accidents, or due to external forces such as media bias. Political scientists principally measure polarization in two ways. One is "plain" or generic polarization, often referred to as popular polarization, which happens when opinions diverge towards poles of distribution or intensity and the other form that political scientists examine is partisan polarization, which happens when support for a political figure or position differentiates itself along political party lines. (Wikipedia, 2012) Political Modernization The political aspects of modernization refer to the ensemble of structural and cultural changes in the political system of modernizing societies. The political system comprises of all those activities, processes, institutions and beliefs concerned with the making and execution of authoritative policy and the pursuit and attainment of collective goals. Political...
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