Government and Politics

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Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China can be described as oligarchies in which power rests in the hands of the ruling Communist party. 7. Political scientists Carl Friedrich and Zbigniew Brzezinski have identified six basic traits that typify totalitarianism: large-scale use of ideology, one-party systems, control of weapons, terror, control of the media, and control of the economy.

8. The United States is commonly classified as a representative democracy, since we elect members of Congress and state legislatures to handle the task of writing our laws. 9.

The principal institutions of political socialization m American society arc the family, schools, and media. 10. Only a small minority of Americans actually participate in political organizations or in decision making on a local or national level.

11. Women are becoming more successful at winning election to public office. 12.

An interest group a often national in scope and frequently addresses a wide variety of social and political issues. 13. Advocates of the elite model of the American power structure see the nation as being ruled by a small group of individuals who share common political and economic interests, whereas advocates of a pluralist model believe that power is more widely shared among conflicting groups.

14. Television is having a growing impact on American political campaigns. KEY TERMS Authority Power that has been institutionalized and is recognized by the people over whom it is exercised.

Charismatic authority Max Weber’s term for power made legitimate by a leader’s exceptional personal or emotional appeal to his or her followers. Democracy In a literal sense, government by the people. Dictatorship A government in which one person has nearly total power to make and enforce laws.

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