Sklair - sociology of the global society
•According to sklair, the states contain some aspect of power, but the most power lies within the transnational government. •This can be understood in terms of spheres and their corresponding transitional practices. •Transnational corporations have much more power then the consumers because of their control over global and capital resources. •The transnational capilitist hold power by either holding office or uses economic power to stop the state from acting against its interests. •Most consumers are effectively trained by TNCs into consuming the products produced by them. •However the global capitalist creates two crisis: –The crisis of class polarisation (division) between the rich and poor within and between nations –The crisis of the ecological unsustainablilty in which finite resourses are used up and the evrionment is damaged or deystroyed.7 •Globalisation is opposed by anti-global social movements, but skailr is pessimistic about their chances of challenging the power of the TNCS. •Sklair is critisied for exaggerating the power of tncs, and neglecting the influnace of the finance such as the banks.
Hirst and Thompson – Questioning globalisation
•They are highly critical on the globalisation theory, stating most corporations stay in their home countries and regions and making most of their profit from the domestic market or the immediate region. •They are argue that states has lost most of their power, that some states still control territory and control populations, shows that they retain much of their power. •Most individuals feel that they are part of a particular state and this gives individuals power over them.
Globalisation and high commodities
•Giddens takes a more balanced view of globalisation, than ohmae and Hirst and Thompson. He sees socialisation in terms of worldwide social relationships linking distant localities and shaping local events. Interactions is stretched across space and time (you can interact with anyone without being physically near them or present at the same time. Via the internet, for example. •This is increasing global competition in business and a world financial market resulting in a global economy. This restricts nation state power since nations have to compete to attract within investment from corporations. •Nation states do not lose their power, they sometimes exercise cultural influence over citizens and they retain some economic power; but nations do not need to co-operate to maintain power against transnational corporations and other groups.
Held and Crew – Transnational issues
•Held and Mc crew argues that globalisation is not a new process, and countries retain strong national identities, but nations need to corporate to maintain power against transnational corporations and other groups. Consuming global products does not destroy the local culture, it may even strengthen them. •Consuming global products does not weaken local power instead it makes them stronger. •Politics is becoming globalised and global political institutions such as UN and EU are increasingly important. ‘Economic connectedness’ and transnational problems are increasing. As a result of these changes peoples lives are less subject to democratic control. •Held and McCrew see increasing the accountability of international institutions as the solution. •Held has been criticised as being idealistic.
Baudrillard – end of politics
•He argues that politics has been detached from reality and is more concerned about it’s image. Rather than being concerned with the substance of policy. •For Baudrillard there is no real difference between the main parties and voters have little real choice. Politicians have no real power and simply try to maintain the illusion that they do. •Politics is simply concerned with simulacra – signs that have no relationship to reality. •Crisitsm: •Politicians do make decisions that effect peoples life's (war is real and leads to real people being killed)
Lyotard – decline of metanarratives
•In postmodern era ideological theories is no longer important. People no longer believe in political ideologies. •Politics become less about principles and more about local issues and the practicality of achcieving things. Which ends up becoming a series of language games about politics. Which becomes a series of language games about specialist topics. Power is more to do with knowledge than the state activities.
Nancy Fraser (1995) sees politics shifting away from the public sphere of the economy and the state, and moving more into the private sphere. Politics become more invovled with the private sphere rather than engaging with issues on a national level. This gives the relatively powerless such as black women or lesbians) ore involvement in politics.
Politics becomes more involved with the definitations of issues rather than control over resources such as money. Issues such as gender sexuality and ethni
.city becomes increasingly important and a greater pullarity of groups now have a greater voice.
Fraser exaggerated the degree to which some of the issue she mentions are nre on the political aganda. A pularity of groups and issues has been in politics for a considerable time.
Patterns of voting behaviour 1945-1974
During that era there was a distinguison between two main parties, and a predictable voting pattern.
The Labour party, was right wing and in favour of high taxation in order to have the welfare state and trickle down wealth in society, through nationalism.
The conservative was seen as right wing, did not mind inequality and believed in low taxation and lower spending on fair; abolish nationalisation and increase competition.
Butler and stokes, believe you were able to predict voting patterns and why people voted for a certain group. For example:
· People voted because of the Partisan self image, by thing in of their self as labour or conservatives.
· There were two party systems. Labour – working class; Conservatives – middle class,,
· People were socialised by parents and the sorts of schools they intended influenced them into supporting a particular party.
· Class as measured by occupation had a key influence on voting.
· There were floating voters; most voted consistently for the same party.
· Third or minor parties attracted few votes.
Throughout the periods there were a small party which failed to vote for the party which associated with their class. This group influenced election outcomes.
Butler & rose put forward a variety of reason for deviant voting. For example the experience social mobility, having a partner from a different class background or having a parent from different class background who voted for different parties.
Many argue that the labour voters were in decline because of the scringing population in working class industrial jobs.
Theories of deliagment
Salvik and Crewe - Partisins deligment
They believe that many changes in voting behaviour were taking places in the 1970’s and 1980’s because:
· The Patrician deliangment was taking place; peoples sense of belonging to a particular group was weaking rapidly.
· Class dealiment was taking place; class was exercising less influence on voting
· These changes were produced such as the working class were buying there own house and leaving trade unions, which weakened their working class attachments.
They believed that people similply were voting for the parites they liked rather than the parties they have been brought up to support.
Heath et al – five class model
They believed that class still had a major influence on voting behaviour. They use a sophistced five class rmodel to support thier claim. Instead of what they see as an over simimplisfied two star model (working class and middle class).
They argue that voters chose on the ideological image of the party rather than on their specific policies. Labour party was losing votes because their ideological image was too left wing for the supports, rather because of the changes in society.
The liberal was gaining support because of its image (right on economic issues but left on social issues.) was close to the ideology supported by voters.
Competing theories of voting
The labout party won the 1997 and 20011 and 2005 lections with comfortatvble majorities. The theorises below examines why this was the outcome of the results.
Crewe & Thompson find evidence of continued dealgnment, either just 16% voters having strong part identification in 1997. Labour failed to attract a new core of loyal voters from a particular social groups, instead it gained support from people without strong party loyalty through:
· Ideological convergence – Moving from one left wing policy to a reasonable policies; and
· Short-term political effects such as buoyant economy.
Class and voting
Heath & evans argue that there is a ideological decline between class and voting, evident in the 1997 general elctins. They attribute this in labout shifiting towards the middle ground inorder to gain both working class and middle class voters. However theat they believe that clas devisons may happen again if big idelological divisions return.
Norris believes evidence from the 2001 elections shows that the influence of class i socntinuing to decline.
Opinion polls to show that labour took part of conservative’s core voters whilst conservatives votes included semi skilled and unskilled workers. How we class difference become more marked in response to the messages put out by the parties.
Non class divison voting
As well as class other factors are important in voeting behaviour.
The influnenc in region voting declined with labour gaining the most voetes in the south and the north and more tactictl voting.
Claerke et al believes that home ownberhsip makes it harder for people to voter labour.
Josntons et al find that the type of constituency more imortatnt that regions, labour does well with regions with indutrail aeras whil conservatives does will with rural and white collar areas. However sine 1997 britain has won more middle Britain constituencies.
Saggar and heath found that in thw 1994 anbd 1997 there were no major changes in the realtionshio between votinf and the ethnicity as thery were momre likely to vote labour. Similar patterns were repated in 2001. In 2005 that the britiszh muslim moved to ht eliberal democracts, because of thier dislike in the irag war,
1960-1970 women were more likely to vote conservatives. This later chance Norris argues becuse of the influence of the feminism women are less likely to choose the right wing parties and gender differences in voting has delinked.
Women under the age of 54 are more likely to vote labour. This is due to measures taken by labour to attract women.
Policy ideology and economics
Crewe thought that policy preference woulf become increasingly important in voting.
Denver argues thatin the 2001 policy preference had a big imoact on the outcome. For example people favour labour polices to increase public spending, however over party image might be more mprtant than spefic policies.
Whitely argues that policy preference were more important than ideological. They were no longer any difference between parites so people voted for the ones they thought would best deliver the services.
Voters did not think labour was hanadling anything well in terms of the economy and the only reason they won is because conseravtatives had a poor image.
Ideology and voting
Budge finds ideologivcal shifts that might explain the recent successes f the labour party. Studing electon manifesto he finds that the labour has shiftred to ther right between 1945 aand 1997 to occupy the middle ground while the conservatives retwaineed right wing polices.
Bara and budge find in 2001 that the conservatice manifesto remained more right wimd than teh views of most electiors.
The economy and voting
Crewe argues that people vote for the party that will do the most for their own prosperity. (pocket book voting
Sanders argues that people vote for the party that has an image of economy competence (skilled in the economy). Labour was successful in 1992 elections because people saw them as more skilled in the economy.
The decline of politics?
Some social sciences believe that politics is changing with the populations becoming disillusioned (disappointed) with politicians.
The power inquiry shows that there has been a voter turnout around 60% at the 2001 and 2005 turnout of around 20% in local elections. Members of political parties have fallen and below 2% of the population can the majority of those are not active members.
However the inquiry found that the populations interest in current affairs and political issues and there were large increases in support for campaigning organisations such as green peace.
Reasons given for declining interests is unhappiness with political parties; the electoral system; difficulties with the process of voting.
In recent elections the parties have concentrated on marginal consentience without engaging most of the population.
In recent elections the parties have concentrated on marginal constituencies without engaging most of the population.
The power inquire found similar patterns in many advanced industrial society’s and think this may be a reflection of a move to a post-industrial society.
The power inquiry suggested solutions include: consistency changes, citing education; increase powers for local government.
Stoker argues that there is a growing disenchantment with party politics and that people’s involvement is cause by political corruption and globalisation or lack of commitment to community organisation.