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Print Price: $99.99

216 pp.
6" x 9"


Copyright Year:

Imprint: OUP Canada

Seeing Politics Differently

A Brief Introduction to Political Sociology

Karen Stanbridge and Howard Ramos

Series : Themes in Canadian Sociology

Seeing Politics Differently introduces students to political sociology - the study of how power is distributed within society. Arguing that politics is about much more than the debates and decisions of government, this concise text reveals how political struggles are inextricably tied to everyday life. Through thoughtful discussions of key perspectives and approaches, the authors demonstrate the importance of questioning who holds power in our society, where that power comes from, and how individuals and groups can bring about change.

Readership : Students enrolled in third- or fourth-year undergraduate political sociology courses offered out of sociology departments in colleges or universities.


  • "A convincing and accessible account of politics. . . . The extensive references to Canadian material and authors is extremely welcome and addresses a very important absence in the Canadian context."

    --José Julián López, University of Ottawa

  • "The text is clear and accessible. . . . Discussions of difficult subjects such as 'power' are nuanced yet boiled down to an understandable level for undergraduates, without being dull."

    --Gerry Coulter, Bishop's University

1. Introduction
Power: Exercising It; Resisting It
Power as a Process
Outline of Book
2. Materialism
Materialism and Class
The Original Materialist: Karl Marx (1818-1883)
Materialism after Marx
Materialism and Development
Materialism and the State
Materialism and Resistance
Materialism and Contemporary Inequalities
3. Cultural and Social Status
Weber: The Original Critic of Marx
Hegemony and the Culture Industry
Manufacturing Consent
Cultural and Social Capital
Cultural and Social Capital in Action
Social Capital and Social Networks
Presentation of Self
How the Cultural and Social Become 'Capital'
Collective Identity and Challenges to Power
Post-colonialism and Nationalism
4. Institutions
The State
Bureaucracy and Institutional Inertia
The New Institutionalism
The State and Violence
Party Power and Institutions
State Institutions and Claims to Citizenship
Political Opportunities and Political Process Theory (PPT)
5. Emerging Trends in Political Sociology
Social Forces and the Assumptions of Sociologists
Who - or What - Is a Social Actor?
Challenges to Citizenship
Is a New World Possible?
6. Conclusions
Political Sociology Is. . .
Remind Me Again Where the State Fits In
Political Sociology Can Enhance Your Social Literacy
But Where Do I Start?

E-Book (ISBN 9780199000197):
Available through CourseSmart.com

Karen Stanbridge is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the Memorial University of Newfoundland and teaches and publishes work in the areas of state theory, social movements, and nationalism. Her recent research concerns the role and treatment of children in nationalist projects in Newfoundland, Finland, and Ireland.

Howard Ramos is an Associate Professor of sociology at Dalhousie University. He investigates issues of social justice and equity and has published on Canadian Aboriginal mobilization, transnational human rights, and immigration.

Political Sociology - Douglas Baer
Social Movements - Suzanne Staggenborg
Political Sociology - Anthony M. Orum and John G. Dale

Special Features

  • Canadian focus. Spotlights on Canadian situations and viewpoints give students the foundation they need to investigate how power relationships play out within our country's political and social frameworks.
  • Relatable examples. Contemporary everyday illustrations offer students familiar points of comparison through which they can interpret traditional and emerging theories.
  • Concise. Part of the highly regarded Themes in Canadian Sociology series, which is known for its clear and concise approach to current research and trends in the discipline, this book offers students a brief overview of political sociology.
  • Historical and contemporary coverage. Cites both historical and current debates on such topics as wealth, resources, culture, institutions, and globalization, giving students a balanced treatment of the subject.
  • Innovative. Written from a unique sociological perspective, offering students that are new to political sociology a refreshing and accessible introduction to how politics fits into everyday life.
  • Helpful learning tools. Chapter learning objectives, introductions, and summaries guide readers through unfamiliar territory, while questions for critical thought and annotated suggestions for further reading challenge students to actively take their learning in new directions.