6 August 2010
The Political Sociology of the Welfare State: Institutions, Cleavages, Orientations
Political sociology seeks to understand the relation between social and political life. Its aim is to map variations in the relationship between social structure, political orientations, and political action, and to explain the patterns that arise. Thus broadly conceived, the field will include analyses of issues as different as the rise and fall of political parties, the development and effects of political institutions, or the orientations and action patterns of mass publics. rnrnThe field of survey-based political sociology has changed considerably since its early postwar inception. It has become explicitly comparative, using country variation as an important tool for understanding the mechanisms of political life, and it has become more attentive to the effects of the output side of politics on orientations and action patterns.
Professor Stefan Svallfors, Department of Sociology, Umeå University, Sweden
The objective of this course is to present current research related to this field of research. It aims to describe variations and untangle mechanisms in the links between political institutions, social cleavages, and orientations among citizens in the advanced industrial societies. A particular focus is set on the determinants and development of welfare state attitudes, and their base in social cleavages, especially the class cleavage. The course also deals with methodological strategies and pitfalls in comparative survey research and presents the most prominent data collaborations in the field. Empirical examples from comparative survey research are presented and analysed in detail.
NOK 3000: The fee cover parts of the required reading material, food and social arrangements.