Sociology Chapter 11

17 terms by btfran

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a formal organization that has the authority to make and enforce laws.


a social process through which individuals and groups acquire and exercise power and authority.


the ability of a person or group to affect the behavior of others despite resistance and opposition.


the legitimate use of power.

traditional authority

authority based on customs that justify the position of the ruler.

charismatic authority

authority based on exceptional individual abilities and characteristics that inspire devotion, trust, and obedience.

rational-legal authority

authority based on the belief that laws and appointed elected political leaders are legitimate.


a political system in which, ideally, citizens have control over the state and its actions.


a political system in which the government controls every aspect of people's lives.


a political system in which the state controls the lives of citizens but generally permits some degree of individual freedom.


a political system in which power is allocated solely on the basis of heredity and passes from generation to generation.

political party

an organization that tries to influence and control government by recruiting, nominating, and electing its members to public office.

special-interest group

a voluntary and organized association of people that attempts to influence public policy and policy-makers on a particular issue.


a representative of a special interest group who tries to influence political decisions on the groups behalf.

political action committee (PAC)

a special-interest group set up to raise money to elect a candidate to public office.


a political system in which power is distributes among a variety of competing groups in a society.

power elite

a small group of influential people who make a nations's major political decisions.

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