Demonstrate of a case of durable inequality is socially and historically produced

 Demonstrate of a case of durable inequality is socially and historically produced


Recognition that history is not linear citizenship was premised on liberty, fraternity, and freedom

Nation states are not natural or inevitable outcomes

Struggle for power leads to creation of nation state

Intersection of war, state, protection, and money produce certain types of state,

More war requires more bureaucracy


Uses  European state building not as an ideal to aspire to, but as a model to learn from

Doesn’s believe in modanist deterministic conceptions 1-3rd world


The nation-state was not based on sentiment

Those who want power fight over territory and the right to tax those within the bonds


Ethnic cleansing occurs during democratization

The police departments as institutionalized organizations

Written rules and regulations



Hierarchy rigid and symbols uniforms


What is Political Sociology?

  • The moment we have to figure things out and collaborate (division of labor), we become political
  • There’s nothing inherent about power; it’s an organization of relationships that makes power
  • Every single representation of power is presented as something majestic (the capitol, taj mahal, palace of westminster)
    • Something that people shouldn’t dare to challenge (makes you feel small)
    • Looks like there’s stability and permanence when you look at these structures


Welfare: US vs. UK 

  • Both democracies but, when it comes to welfare
    • US: makes citizens feel small, as if they don’t deserve it
    • UK: citizens feel like it is their right, more positive connotation to receive welfare


PoliSci vs. PoliSocio

  • Political Science: What do governments enforce, implement, and what are their consequences of different forms of government?
  • Political Sociology: Why is power organized in the way it is?


Understanding Power

  • The ability to impose one’s will over another individual’s resistance/will
  • Power is sustained through force
  • Domination is sustained through institutionalized power
    • When you’re able to put your power into institutions to make it look more permanent and less like you’re using force and targeting individuals
  • Power is about creating inequalities and hoarding goods/services/property
  • Political sociologists ask: under what conditions is a certain organization of power produced, reproduced, and transformed
  • No aspect of power is taken for granted or viewed as absolute
  • Using explicit force to impose your will is very weak because people will quickly catch on and revolt
  • But those in power can manipulate people into thinking their actions are their own will, usually by giving small benefits along the way (ex: the possibility of getting promoted so you work your ass off in shitty conditions)
  • If you can shift the narrative/determine the discourse, you can empower someone else
    • Ex: “fake news” is now a term everyone uses
    • Ex: “election fraud”


Social Cages

  • People accept unequal circumstances when cost of leaving is much higher
  • The social networks that produce and sustain one’s livelihood and conditions also produces “social cages”
  • One is allowed to leave, but they will lose all the limited social benefits of remaining
  • The trade off explains why disadvantaged people put up with unfair or oppressive rulers
  • Durable systems of inequality are produced SOCIALLY, not inherently along racial, gender identities, ethnic, religious, and other characteristics
    • Solidify that a group has more power, and others are disadvantaged
    • Ensures that systems won’t change overtime
  • One is more likely to be dominated if they lack enough intersections with those in power


Social Closure

  • Once organization around one more characteristic develops, social closure is established to secure privilege
  • Social closures are more successful the less a group shares with those in power
    • Ex: second wave feminism and the power structure in the 1970s vs. Black feminists
    • Ex: colorism!!!
  • Social closures often evoke resistance or at least a desire for resistance


Dimensions of Power

  • Based on networks of social relationships
    • Resistance sometimes requires creating alliances with those in different networks
  • In more advanced democracies, it is less likely that force is needed to get individuals to compile
  • Measure of openness of society is the use of overt vs. covert coercion


Exit, Voice, and Loyalty

  • Why do people stay put when they are faced with discrimination and exclusion?
    • Loyalty
    • An expectation of “this life”
    • This is America, “right or wrong”
    • Provision of minimal services that people could not do without
  • They could exit: either be banished OR they could leave
    • This is highly costly and is only done under duress (exile)



  • Political sociology is most interested in all the forms of  “voice”
  • Voice: elections, personal discussions, protest
    • All the ways that citizens express disagreement OR try to affect their surroundings

Karl Marx: class conflict and the more recent corrections of the modern political state