Delta State University
Sociology 101
Fall Semester 2003

Study Questions
Henslin Text, Chapter 11

(1)  Henslin states “politics is always about power and authority” (p. 294).  What is the difference between power and authority?  What is the difference between authority and coercion?  How is legitimacy determined?

(2)  What is the relationship between politics and the state?  What is the basis of state power?

(3)  Contrast Max Weber’s notions of traditional, rational-legal, and charismatic authority.  Provide an example that illustrates each form of authority in contemporary American society.

(4)  Identify key characteristics of monarchies, democracies, and dictatorships/oligarchies.  Which is the most stable form of government?  The least stable?  Why?

(5)  What role do political parties, voters, and special interest groups play in American politics?  Which exerts the most influence over our political system?  Why?

(6)  Contrast the functionalist (pluarlism) and conflict (power elite) views on how power is distributed in U.S. society.  Which view do you think more accurately represents the current situation in the U.S.?

(7)  Describe how economic systems have transformed since the days of preindustrial societies.  According to Henslin, what has been the driving force in these transformations?  What have been some of the social outcomes?

(8)  Contrast capitalist and socialist economic systems.  What are the defining characteristics of each?  Identify weaknesses of each system, according to critics.

(9)  What is meant by convergence theory?  How does this apply to capitalist and socialist economies?

(10)  What is meant by the “global village?”  Where do corporations fit into the global village?  Is the “global village” a suitable analogy for the “new world order” described by Henslin?  Why or why not?

(11)  How do politics and economics affect unemployment?  What are some policies that the U.S. can adopt to deal with unemployment?