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Ch 24: Political & Economic Systems

About This Chapter

Use our video lessons to find out about the structure and evolution of economic and political systems. Examine forms of government and political and social power.

Political & Economic Systems - Chapter Summary

In this chapter's lessons, you'll see how economies have developed due to progress in agriculture and industry. Our instructors will describe sectors of modern economies, lead discussions of capitalism and socialism and examine labor in the United States.

Other lessons look at types of governments and political power groups. You will examine theories of social power and world systems. After completing these lessons, you will be able to:

  • Describe how economies have evolved
  • Examine primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of a modern economy
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of capitalism and socialism
  • Define Weber's avenues to social power theory
  • List forms of government, such as monarchies and democracies, and state their characteristics
  • Give information on groups that wield political clout, such as parties and political action committees
  • Explore core and peripheral societies in world systems theory

These short video lessons each include quizzes that let you test your knowledge. If you need to review a particular topic, video links let you go back to the right spot without having to search through the whole lesson. All our lessons are developed and taught by experts who make learning enjoyable. If you have additional questions, you can contact the instructor.

9 Lessons in Chapter 24: Political & Economic Systems
The Evolution of Economy: Changes from the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions

1. The Evolution of Economy: Changes from the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions

Explore how the economy has evolved from the agricultural era into a postindustrial society during the second agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution; how changes in technology and settlements impacted the workforce and economic power; and the primary, secondary, and tertiary economic sectors.

The Modern Economy: Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Sectors

2. The Modern Economy: Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Sectors

The modern economy can be divided into three sectors that reflect the economic development of that society. This lesson will discuss and explore the interaction between the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of the modern economy.

Capitalism vs. Socialism: Differences, Advantages/Disadvantages & the 'Underground Economy'

3. Capitalism vs. Socialism: Differences, Advantages/Disadvantages & the 'Underground Economy'

This lesson explores formal and informal economies by discussing the differences between capitalism, socialism, and the underground economy. Key characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of these economies will be covered.

Labor in the U.S.: Unions, Labor Markets & Professions

4. Labor in the U.S.: Unions, Labor Markets & Professions

This lesson discusses the differences between the two labor markets in the United States - primary and secondary. It also defines labor unions and the characteristics of a profession.

Social Power Theory: Definition of Weber's Avenues to Social Power

5. Social Power Theory: Definition of Weber's Avenues to Social Power

According to prominent sociologist Max Weber, there are only three legitimate avenues to social power. This lesson will discuss the differences between charismatic authority, traditional authority, and rational-legal authority.

Forms of Government: Monarchy, Democracy, Oligarchy & More

6. Forms of Government: Monarchy, Democracy, Oligarchy & More

The governance of nations differs significantly based on who has power. This lesson will differentiate five forms of government: monarchy, democracy, oligarchy, authoritarianism, and totalitarianism.

Political Power: Political Parties, Interest Groups & Political Action Committees (PACs)

7. Political Power: Political Parties, Interest Groups & Political Action Committees (PACs)

Sociologists often analyze political power by examining the relationship between those who hold power and those who seek it. We'll discuss political power and distinguish between political parties, special interest groups, and Political Action Committees.

Social Power Theories: Pluralist, Power-Elite & Marxist Models

8. Social Power Theories: Pluralist, Power-Elite & Marxist Models

This lesson will explain and differentiate three major theories of power in society: The pluralist model, the power-elite model and the Marxist model.

World Systems Theory: Core vs. Peripheral Societies

9. World Systems Theory: Core vs. Peripheral Societies

World systems theory was proposed by sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein. This lesson discusses the three-level hierarchy approach to economics, which consists of core, periphery, and semi-periphery countries, in the context of global inequality.

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