Societal Cleavages I. Socioeconomic Status (ses) II. Region III. Ethnicity



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Societal Cleavages

  1. I. Socioeconomic Status (SES)

  2. II. Region

  3. III. Ethnicity

  4. IV. Religion

  5. V. Ideology

  6. VI. Cross-Cutting v. Coinciding Cleavages

  7. VII. Gender

NOTE: In exploring societal cleavages here, we are looking for politically relevant distinctions & experiences associated with different interests, values, &/or policy concerns




I. Socioeconomic Status (SES)

  1. SES can unite some & divide others

  2. economic resources influence individual political wants (and one’s ability to pursue them)

  3. economic class can provide a dividing line regarding thoughts about use of public authority in labor v. management disputes (and public policy more generally)

  4. shared social position can motivate people to organize politically to retain (or to attack) any associated privileges

II. Region

  1. A common subnational region can unite residents to mobilize

  2. to protect regional traditions

  3. to extract additional financial resources from the national government

  4. to gain greater political autonomy from the central government

  5. EXAMPLES?



III. Ethnicity

  1. A. Members of ethnic groups can develop a shared identity based on:

  2. common (presumed) racial ancestry

  3. common place of residence

  4. common language

  5. common customs & practices

  6. B. As we will discuss shortly, ethnicity becomes more powerful when members of certain ethnic groups are additionally united by a common position on other cleavages:

  7. socioeconomic status, region, religion, ideology, etc.

IV. Religion

  1. A. Religion as a potentially all-encompassing belief system

  2. divine authority superior to all others in all realms

  3. by extension, deviation from those norms is heretical:

  4. should not be tolerated violates moral code

  5. cannot be tolerated toleration implies heresy



  1. B. Religious Political Parties & Movements

  2. Religiously-inspired (inclusive):

  3. no firm mission to convert

  4. [e.g. Christian Democrats in Germany & Italy]
  5. Religiously-inspired (intrusive):

  6. attempts to gain political power to rewrite some/many laws around religious tenets

  7. [e.g. the Bharatiya Janata Party in India]
  8. Religious separatist/autonomist (exclusive):

  9. purify by gaining a sovereign realm

  10. [e.g. the Islamic Republican Movement in Iran]
  11. Religious revolutionary (exclusive):

  12. purify by expanding scope of authority to convert others

  13. [e.g. the Taliban’s jihad within Afghanistan]


  1. C. Models of Church-State Relations

  2. Separation of Church & State

  3. formal policies that aim at no entrenchment of religion

  4. e.g. U.S. (amid underlying Judeo-Christian tradition)
  5. Mixed Signals model

  6. freedom of religion combined with some/many policies that entrench &/or favor particular religions

  7. most countries in the world fit this profile
  8. Theocracy

  9. leaders of organized religion have an institutionalized (& crucial) role in government

  10. e.g. the Islamic Republic of Iran established in 1979

V. Ideology

  1. A. Classical Liberalism

  2. PHILOSOPHICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

  3. people are rational & have free will

  4. people are naturally self-interest

  5. BASIC TENETS

  6. political freedom expansion of political participation

  7. economic freedom expansion of market’s role

  8. emphasis on equality of opportunity rather than of outcomes



  1. B. Classical Marxism

  2. PHILOSOPHICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

  3. people are rational

  4. people’s self-interest is situational:

  5. class relations define people’s true interests
  6. BASIC TENETS

  7. political & economic equality are the source of true freedom

  8. emphasis on equality of outcome as basis of equality of opportunity


Gender

  1. Did you notice that gender was not in Wilson’s list of societal cleavages w/ particular relevance for politics?

  2. Why do you think it was omitted?

  3. In what situations can or should gender be a politically relevant force?

VI. Cross-Cutting v. Coinciding Cleavages

  1. cross-cutting cleavages

  2. cleavages often do not travel together

  3. coinciding (reinforcing) cleavages

  4. several/many cleavages travel together:

  5. people from a certain region or ethnic group share similar SES, language, religion, and/or ideology

  6. When several cleavages coincide, sociopolitical tension and conflict tend to be greater than when cleavages tend to be cross-cutting…

hypothetical examples of cleavage patterns

 

Largely cross-cutting

Fully coinciding

 

Ethnic A

Ethnic B

Ethnic A

Ethnic B

NORTH

30%

70%

100%

0%

south

70%

30%

0%

100%

URBAN

75%

65%

100%

0%

rural

25%

35%

0%

100%

PROTESTANT

40%

50%

100%

0%

Catholic

60%

50%

0%

100%

AFFLUENT

60%

45%

100%

0%

poor

40%

55%

0%

100%



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