Politics, society and identity - Politics and society

5 important questions on Politics, society and identity - Politics and society

What are societies characterized by?

- A society is a collection of people who occupy the same territorial area.
- By regular patterns of social interaction. 
- Some sort of social structure.
- Social relationships involve a sense of connectedness, in the form of mutual awareness and a measure of cooperation.
- Social divisions

How can society shape politics?

- Distribution of wealth and other resources conditions the nature of state power.
- Social divisions and conflicts help bring about political change in the form of legitimation crises.
- Society influences public opinion and political culture
- The social structure shapes political behaviour (who votes, who joins parties etc).

How has nature of society (and therefore social connectedness) changed over time?

Transition from thick connectedness of close social bonds and fixed allegiances to more individualized social arrangements -->
Modern society: hollowing out of social connectedness,

Linked to the development of postindustrialism and the fading significance of social class, the emergence of information societies and the growth of individualism.

How has industrialization changed the shape of societies?

- Increase in geographical mobility through the process of urbanization
--> led to change in social connectedness; shift from community to association.

- Economically based class divisions displaced the fixed social hierarchies (based on status and land ownership).

What is the leading protagonist of class politics?

Marxist tradition; two class model.

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