Political Sociology: Oppression, Resistance, and the State

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Designed to help students analyze and understand political developments in the world around them, this unique text covers a wide array of political sociology concepts and theoretical perspectives. The book’s multidimensional view emphasizes the interplay between power, inequality, multiple oppressions, and the state. Blending elements of today’s prevalent power structure theories, this framework provides students with a unique focus on the structure of power and inequality in society today.

This unique book traces common perspectives within political sociology. However, it adds to the existing field using an intersectional analysis by including state projects around gender, race, and sexuality. Likewise, it engages with commonly ignored perspectives within political sociology such as queer theory, anarchist theory, and post-structuralism. This gives the book a multi-dimensional view that recognizes the need to include, but move beyond, class-based understandings as well as account for the increasing popularity of anarchist, queer, and post-structuralist theories.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412980401
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 11/16/2010
  • Pages: 231
  • Sales rank: 771,593
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Davita Silfen Glasberg is a Professor and Chair of the Sociology Department at the University of Connecticut-Storrs. She has published extensively on issues of bank hegemony, the state in finance capitalism, and political economy, including The Power of Collective Purse Strings: The Effects of Bank Hegemony on Corporations and the State (University of California Press). She is also deeply involved in research regarding the social constructions of race, class, and gender. I am currently working on a book about power, oppression, and the state, which explores this question. She has co-authored the following college texts:

  • Kenneth J. Neubeck , Mary Alice Neubeck , and Davita Silfen Glasberg , Social Problems (5 th edition). 2007. New York : McGraw-Hill.
  • Kenneth J. Neubeck and Davita Silfen Glasberg . 2005. Sociology: Diversity, Conflict, and Change . New York : McGraw-Hill.

Deric Shannon received his B.A. and M.A. in Sociology from Ball State University and his PhD in Sociology from the University of Connecticut, and currently he is an Associate Professor at Quinebach Valley Community College. He authored "Anarchism, Communism, and Socialism" in the Encyclopedia of Modern Revolutions (James Defronzo, ed.) and is co-editor of Contemporary Anarchist Studies: An Introductory Reader of Anarchy in the Academy (Routeledge).

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Chapter 1 Oppression, Resistance, and the State: An Introduction 1

Systems of Oppression and the State 3

Structures of Oppression: Power, Politics, and the State 3

Political Economy 4

Patriarchy 7

Racism 10

Heteronormativity 12

Structures of Oppression and Resistance 13

References 13

Chapter 2 From the Top Down? Power Structure Theories 15

Pluralism 15

Group Pluralism 16

Elite Pluralism 19

Critique of Pluralism 21

Power Elite Theory 25

Critical Assessment of Power Elite Theory 29

Class Dialectic Theory 31

Critical Assessment of Class Dialectic Theory 32

Poststructuralist Theories of Power 33

Critical Assessment of Poststructuralist Theories of Power 34

Comparing Power Structure Theories 34

The Meaning and Dimensions of Power 36

Summing Up 43

Discussion 44

References 45

Chapter 3 Is This the Best (or Only) Possible World? Oppression and Socialization 47

Oppression Values and Ideologies 48

Individual Rights, Group Interests, and Oppression 48

Political Socialization 51

Media 51

Schools 56

The State 59

Patriarchal Socialization and Gendered Oppression 62

Media 62

Family 65

Work 66

Schools 67

The State 69

Resistance to Patriarchal Oppression and Socialization 70

White Superiority Socialization and Racist Oppression 71

Media 72

Family 75

Schools 77

The State 81

Summing Up 82

Discussion 83

References 83

Chapter 4 Power to the People? Voting and Electoral Participation 91

Who Votes? 92

Why Don't People Vote? 97

Social Psychological Explanations 97

Structural Explanations 99

Political Alienation 101

Why Are People Politically Alienated? 103

Scandals in Leadership 103

The Structure of the Political Process 104

Racism in the Electoral Process 107

Is There a Gender Gap? 110

Radical Objections to Voting 113

Power Beyond Voting 115

Direct Action 115

Political Action Committees 117

Soft Money 120

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission 122

Structural Factors of Power Without Voting 123

Discussion 125

References 126

Chapter 5 Who's in Charge Here? The State and Society 129

Marxist Theories of the State 131

Instrumentalism/Business Dominance Theory: "Capture" or Domination? 131

Capitalist State Structuralism 134

Class Dialectic Perspective: "Bringing Class Back In" 137

State-Centered Structuralism: "Bringing the State Back In" 139

Anarchist Theory 141

Theories of the State and Oppression 142

Discussion 145

References 145

Chapter 6 From the Bottom Up? Social Movements and the State 149

Defining Social Movements 149

Explaining Social Movements 153

Absolute and Relative Deprivation Theories 153

Resource Mobilization 156

Political Process Perspective 158

Globalization and Social Movements 162

Social Movements and State Theory 164

Discussion 165

References 165

Chapter 7 State Policies and Practices: Racialized, Class-Based, and Gendered Oppression 171

Toward a Multidimensional View of the State, Society, and Oppression 173

State Projects 175

Selectivity Filters 176

Balance of Political and Institutional Forces 177

Modeling a Multidimensional View of the State, Society, and Oppression 178

The State and Class-Based Oppression 182

State Projects of Economic Intervention and Class Oppression 182

The State and Gendered Oppression 185

Gendering State Projects 188

The State and Heteronormative Oppression 194

The State and Racialized Oppression 199

Racial Formation State Projects 201

Intersectionality of Racialized, Class-Based, and Gendered Oppression and State Projects 206

Summing Up 208

References 209

Index 219

About the Authors 231

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