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CROSS-DISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVES IN EDUCATION Political Science PARADIGM DISCIPLINE AREAS. EPPL 604 Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska College of William and Mary. Generalizations from Political Science.

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EPPL 604

Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska

College of William and Mary

Generalizations from Political Science

  • When authorities feel that the basic ideology and well-being of their political system is being threatened, they may take extreme action against individuals and groups, which denies them the basic right guaranteed under the laws of the state (Banks, p. 344).

  • Authorities tend to resist any change that they feel will reduce their power and influence (Banks, p. 344)

  • Conflict arises within a political system when individuals or groups have competing goals and /or interpret the meaning of laws differently (Banks, p. 344)

  • Politics is the art of reconciliation and that the need for this art always arises from some kind of estrangement (Tinder, 1986, p. 23).

  • When the leaders of one national covet territory held by another nation or when one class resents the easier life of other classes, demand are place on political leadership (Tinder, 1986, p. 23).

Concepts from History & Political Science

Key Ideas and Concepts in Political Science

  • Traditional – Political Science encompasses a wide range of approaches, ranging from the philosophical and ethical to the institutional and power-oriented

  • Behaviorists – heavily influenced by empirical approaches of scholars in the field of psychology; use studies that incorporate statistics via elections, voting patterns, and public opinion surveys

  • Post-behaviorists – concerned with the big questions of politics and the possibility of change; their approach can be seen as a synthesis of traditional and behavioral approaches.

  • Ideology – maintenance of the transition from classical and medieval political philosophy to modern political theory

  • Political Systems – typical emphases: legislative institutions; executive institutions and leadership; judicial institutions and legal process; and the bureaucracy.

The Social Context of Politics

  • How and why individuals participate – Political socialization, public opinion, and electoral behavior are primary sources for understanding the nature of political participation.

  • Two interpretations of the political socialization process:

    - The ‘liberal’ view of socialization sees it as a natural process through which culture is passed on across the generations, mainly through the family

    - The ‘radical’ view of socialization sees it as a deliberate and ongoing process of class indoctrination carried out through the media.

Public opinion is “an aggregate of individual attitudes and beliefs shared by some part of a political community.”

Voting is a way in which citizens participate in the political the political process. The decline in the number of people voting in presidential elections concerns politicians and political scientists; hypotheses:

Voter participation has declined because…

  • Certain groups are alienated from the system

  • (there) is a sense of cynicism about politics and politicians

  • The average citizen fails to see any direct impact of political decision on their lives except in the negative form of income taxes withheld from their paychecks

  • Large numbers of citizens are basically satisfied with the system as it is

  • For most people, politics is not one of their primary interests

Issues in Political Science

  • Management of conflict (justice and order)

  • Determination of who gets what, when, and how

  • Authoritative allocation of values (civil rights vs. personal liberties)

  • Realizations of general will and common good (liberty, quality, efficiency, equity, community)

  • Exercise of legitimate coercion (legitimacy vs. coercion)

  • Decisions of a committee of the ruling class

  • Turning personal troubles (interest groups) into public issues

  • Biased decisions or personal selfishness


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