The Sociology of Politics1
ONE of political sociology's prime concerns is an analysis of the social conditions making for democracy. Surprising as it may sound, a stable democracy requires the manifestation of conflict or cleavage so that there will be struggle over ruling positions, challenges to parties in power, and shifts of parties in office; but without consensus -- a political system allowing the peaceful "play" of power, the adherence by the "outs" to decisions made by the "ins," and the recognition by the "ins" of the rights of the "outs" -- there can be no democracy. The study of the conditions encouraging democracy must therefore focus on the sources of both cleavage and consensus.
Cleavage -- where it is legitimate -- contributes to the integration of societies and organizations. Trade-unions, for example, help to integrate their members in the larger body politic and give them a basis for loyalty to the system. Marx's focus on unions and work____________________