Manx - Sociopolitical Organization

Social Organization. The class structure is based on occupational and ethnic divisions. Wage labor tends to be performed by Manx, while professional occupations tend to be filled by ethnic English. Both socially mobile and landless Manx tend to leave, seeking education opportunities elsewhere. Highly educated and trained Manx who return often accept employment below their qualifications. Local Tynwald officials wield power, but they find their power increasingly challenged by members of the growing financial sector.

Political Organization. The Isle of Man is a Crown dependency with political and legal autonomy from the United Kingdom. In actual practice, however, the United Kingdom holds considerable power over the Manx. The island's Government, Tynwald, is divided into a bicameral parliamentary body (the House of Keyes and the Legislative Council), and an executive branch (the Queen of England as Lord of Man and the resident lieutenant-governor as her representative in the island). No Manx representatives sit in the British Parliament. Tynwald makes laws concerning insular affairs, while the British Home Office maintains jurisdiction over all International affairs. Even in domestic legislation, the Crown holds veto power, although it rarely exercises it. The Isle of Man has been included in the European Community, thus blurring the distinction between domestic and international matters. Below Tynwald, administration is handled by village and town councils. Village boards are locally elected by a complicated process and are responsible for deciding local affairs. Manx political parties reflect British political parties, but also include the Manx National party and the nationalist party, Mec Vannin. Despite the existence of political parties, most Manx prefer nonpartisan elections. Consequently, many candidates successfully run as independents.

Social Control. Tradition and Manx informal communication networks effectively express public opinion and Control deviance. In addition, a well-developed court system and police force serve to punish criminal behavior.

Conflict. Despite the ongoing ethnic tensions in the Islands, the Manx have avoided becoming embroiled in the ethnic violence in Northern Ireland and Wales. Manx ethnic conflict has been expressed through destruction of property and political opposition. In other areas of conflict, homicide is very rare, but domestic violence and brawling do occur. Summer tourists sometimes fight among themselves, and tourist racing events often result in injuries and fatalities, although these are not considered instances of conflict.

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