POL 106 – FINAL EXAM STUDY GUIDE Weeks 1116; Chapters 10, 13, 11, 12, 15 Week 11 1. What is public opinion? What the public thinks about an issue or a particular set of issues. People tend to think short term. People care if it is very visible, media. 2. Review fundamental values of personal liberty, individualism, and equality Personal liberty Protection "to" and "from" IndivIf you want to learn more check out chem final review
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idualism Individual interests win out over community interests Equality of Opportunity – everyone should have chance at success Equality of Outcome – government should ensure equality 3. What is cohort replacement? Younger people replace older people – gradual changes. 4. What is political culture? 5. What is the catalystforchange theory? Asserts that public opinion shapes and alters our political culture 6. What is the barometer of public attitudes theory? Theory that media reflect popular culture 7. What is the interactive theory? Popular culture both shapes and reflects popular opinion 8. What is political ideology? The consistent set of basic beliefs about the proper purpose and scope of government. Review the views of liberals, conservatives, populists, and libertarians Liberals – support gov’t action in matters of social equality, the economy, the environment Conservatives limited gov’t spending; against big gov’t Populists government should protect common people against the "moneyed" elites. Libertarians support individual liberty above all & believe gov’t should do as little as possible. 9. What is political socialization? The process by which political culture and values are passed from one generation to the next. Review your notes on the different agents of political socialization Family First and most important political agent (for nearly every person)! It takes about until midage for people to establish a political identity outside of that of their parents. School Outside authority figures; School elections; Civics classes and community projects Peers and community – Peers Greater influence as children get older; Community Exposure to different cultures; Political efficacy Media Children spend 53 hours a week with entertainment media; Entertainment is often at odds with values; People may learn political information, but it varies with the source. Secondary groups aka group affiliations Religion important factor in identity Morality, selfsacrifice, altruism; People raised in religiously diverse communities more likely to be politically active Events Attitudes develop during and after crises 10. Review your notes on identity / identities Selfperfection has large impact on attitude & behavior; Identities are complex; you as an individual may have multiple characteristics that make up your identity; Characteristics you decide to include in your identity can change based on circumstances and over time Week 13 11. Understand the history of political parties in the U.S. How and why did they emerge? Not mentioned in the Constitution; seen as factions Political parties we made to give us power, represent our interests, organization. The first two organized political parties to emerge were: DemocraticRepublicans (Republicans) – Formed by believers in states’ rights & followers of Thomas Jefferson The Federalist Party – Founded by Alexander Hamilton – believed in strong, centralized gov’t; supported the Constitution’s design of a strong national gov’t. Also promoted economic growth & believed it was important to have a friendly relationship with Great Britain (opposition to revolutionary France) The AntiFederalist Party Jefferson is associated w/ the AntiFederalists because of his initial objection to ratification of the Constitution; called themselves “Republicans” or “Democratic Republicans”; They opposed creation of a strong national gov’t With the breakup of the Federalists, different parties began to organize Jackson’s quest for the 1824 presidency led to the formation of the Democratic Party In 1860, Abraham Lincoln, candidate for the new Republican Party, won. Dems represented the southern agricultural interests; Party consisted of many Catholics, immigrants, and poor workers Rep. represented many northern Protestants who wanted to restrict immigration & who supported the temperance movement (social movement against the consumption of alcohol); represented the northern industrial economy What were the initial concerns about parties? Factions were seen as mischievous & dangerous to society 12. What is the responsible party model? In theory, parties function to organize people around their broad ideas of what gov’t should do & accomplish They aid candidates in winning offices so that these policies will be implemented Under the Responsible Party Model, parties… 1) Adopt platforms stating their principles & policy positions 2) Recruit candidates who agree w/ the party’s principles & platform 3) Inform & educate the public about the platform 4) Organize & direct campaigns 5) Organize legislatures to aid in the party’s impact on policy making 6) May hold elected officials responsible for supporting party principles Problems w/ the model: Despite the principles of the model, for candidates, winning office is often viewed as more important than towing the party line! Though traditional party images depict party management as allpervasive, in reality party involvement in political campaigns is limited 13. What is party dealignment? Occurs when we see that individuals leave a political party but they do not actually subscribe to or affiliate themselves with a new party. Despite the decline in partisan affiliation, party identification remains a strong influence in voter choice in elections. 14. What is party realignment? A shift of voter groups from one party to the other over a long period of time. The coming to power (for several decades) of a new coalition, replacing an old dominant coalition of the other party. Can be the result of major historical events or even changes in demographics. 15. Why does the twoparty persist? It is deeply engrained in American politics. Any party that doesn’t support these beliefs cannot win national office. In a winner takes all system, a smaller party cannot gain enough traction 16. What election barriers do third parties encounter? Third and independent party candidates must meet state requirements to be placed on ballots. Republican & Democratic candidates are automatically included on ballots 17. Define “elections” The means by which the public selects representatives who will make policy decisions 18. What is a mandate? The authority granted (to an official or gov’t as a whole) by a constituency to act as the constituency’s representative. He/she has the right to govern as he/she sees fit. 19. What is retrospective voting? Voting for or against a candidate based in his or her past performance within office; used to reward or punish a candidate. 20. We often consider second terms to be more democratic than first terms. Why? 1st term = promises; 2nd = punishment or reward 21. What is political “careerism”? Mentality of “start young and stay in” was not always the case; People used to be parttime; amateur 22. What are the constitutional requirements for presidential and congressional candidates? President – Naturalborn citizen, resident at least 14 years, 35 years old, no more than 2 terms. Senate – Resident of state elected, citizen of U.S. at least 9 years, 30 years old House Resident of state elected, citizen of U.S. at least 7 years, 25 years old 23. Why do incumbents have a strong advantage over challengers when seeking (re)election? They have the benefit of name recognition; strong advantage in fundraising for their campaigns because political actions committees and other contributors support the statistically probable winners – most often incumbents; use their offices to keep their names/faces before the public, use postal services. 24. A successful campaign seeks to… Identify opponents w/ negative images 25. What is a focus group? A small group of people that meet & discuss issues & themes, giving campaign managers the opportunity to develop strategies Week 15 – Part I 26. Define “media” News organizations that convey info about local, national, and international politics to citizens. 27. Who was Walter Cronkite and how did he shape the influence of media within society? Walter Cronkite – news anchor CBS – Kennedy’s presidency – made personal opinion – Kennedy didn’t run again. 28. Understand the different media functions 1) Source of information and opinion Keeping the public informed. Providing firsthand accounts of events. 2) Agendasetting function Providing information about developments in politics at the local, national, & international levels. Working to set the political agenda through their coverage. Shaping a story that may foster public attention & shape public perception. 3) Government watchdog Role of holding gov’t accountable for wrongdoing. Investigating & bringing light to controversial issues. 4) Accomplice to U.S. Gov’t In contrast to the watchdog process, media can help promote gov’t agendas 29. What is spin control? Actions of gov’t officials to shape news coverage to show them in the best light. 30. What are press leaks? Widespread and private transfer of sensitive information regarding gov’t policy from official sources to news media. Often used to try to change policy. 31. What is the beat system? A system in which reporters are given responsibility for covering a particular issue or institution As a result, there are few investigative reporters who make an effort to uncover a multitude of varying sources when putting together a story. 32. The beat system results in the herd effect / pack journalism, which is.... “Beat reporters” are assigned to specific political/governmental institutions. Reporters from different media organizations cover the same “beats”. As a result, *** 33. Understand the transformation of media outlets over time. Early American newspapers relied on revenue for government printing jobs & tended to avoid controversial issues. But during the Revolutionary War, newspapers became important tools for building resistance to British policies & support for independence. After the war was won, newspapers printed The Federalist Papers, which promoted support for ratifying the Constitution. Following World War I, there was a rush to set up private radio stations. Presidential election returns were broadcast for the first time in 1920. Responding to the growth in radio ownership, Congress passed the Radio Act of 1927. Declared that radio stations would be privately owned, but the gov’t would issue the licenses to broadcast on specific frequencies. Late 20th century = fundamental shift to network television news as primary news media outlet. Overall, television news coverage tends to simplify reality (takes long story and makes it short because short attention spans). More incomplete (less depth & analysis) than print media. Print media tend to cater to an upperclass, bettereducated segment of society. Print media are effective in translating facts. TV is better at conveying emotion and feelings.Another concern was the growing trend of cable television and the Internet to appeal to narrower audiences, a practice known as narrowcasting process of appealing to a narrow audience. For example, programs that are targeted at Hispanic viewers are not received by Englishspeaking groups. People who get their news mainly through these narrower channels may be missing the larger picture. Narrowcasting may fragment groups in society. Another area of concern was citizen journalism. Nonprofessionals are involved in collecting, reporting, commenting on, and disseminating news stories. People post consumer reviews, opinions on blogs and bulletin boards, and videos. Some see this as a positive change. Others worry journalistic quality will suffer. Years ago, television watching was a family affair. Most families owning only one television set. In 1975, 57% of homes had only one television. Today 97% of households own at least one television. 55% own at least three. Recent decades = network television news viewership has decreased. Soft news viewership (especially television & internet) has grown. *Note: Soft news is not new to the 21st century (think NBC’s Tonight Show, first aired in 1954). Today, soft news outlets are U.S. citizens’ primary sources of info. 34. What is soft news? Information that is primarily entertaining or personally useful. Soft news is often compared to hard news, which John Zaller defines as the "coverage of breaking events involving top leaders, major issues, or significant disruptions in the routines of daily life." 35. What is the “tabloidization of news”? The trend toward popularity for alternative nonnetwork television news coverage of events. Skeptics of soft news argue that this “tabloidization of news” creates less attention to economics, politics, & society…much more sports, scandals, & popular entertainment. Extra week 15 notes: Muckraking – journalists tried to rake up too much social filth. Earned media coverage – airtime provided free of charge to candidates for political office. Pseudoevents – events that appear spontaneous but are in fact staged and scripted by public relations experts to appeal to the news media or the public. Party press newspapers popular in the early nineteenth century that were highly partisan and often influenced by political party machines. Most newspapers became unabashedly partisan, reaping rewards when their preferred party won an election and suffered when it lost these papers were targeted to the elite, were relatively expensive, and did not have many subscribers. Ordinary citizens, however, often heard newspapers being read aloud and argued about in public gathering places, including taverns, inns, and coffeehouses. Week 15 – Part II 36. How have our beliefs in collective action and selfgovernment influenced our political system? Organized interests provide a safety valve. Times of great social, economic, political, and cultural instability. In their absence, may turn to violent forms of action. 37. Define “egalitarianism”. Notion all people are equal. 38. In what ways does the Constitution provide substantial guarantees that allow political participation, activism, and mass mobilization? 1st amendment and Bill of Rights. 39. What are interest groups? An association that pressures gov’t for policies it favors. Also called an advocacy group, lobbying group, pressure group, or special interest. A group that is determined to encourage or prevent changes in public policy without trying to be elected. ● How do we classify interest groups? Singleissue interest groups focus primarily or exclusively on 1 issue (narrow), such as the environment, peace, or abortion Multiissue interest groups pursue a broader range of issues grouped around a central theme such as the National Organization for Women. ● What are the three primary characteristics of interest groups? They are voluntary associations of joiners. Members share beliefs. They focus on influencing government ● What are the functions of interest groups? Represent constituents; join individual voices. Provide a means of political participation; volunteering, contributing money. Educate the public; sponsoring research, testifying. Build agendas. Serve as government watchdogs ● What are the types of interest groups discussed in class and your textbook?Economic groups trade associations/business interests, labor unions, professional associations. Public interest groups pursuit of a collective good. Ex: AARP – largest interest group – quality of life for older people. Think tanks nonprofit institutions conducting research. Ex: Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute Governmental units local/state gov’t officials reach out to federal; authorities. Ex: National Governors Association 40. How has the presence of interests groups changed over time in the U.S.? Numbers increased from 5,843 in 1959 to 22,200 currently. Americans have more opportunities to influence government Societal/social differences develop into deeper social divisions interest groups help draw attention to important issues. 41. What is the disturbance theory? Groups form when they perceive their interests are threatened. 42. What three key barriers do people face when trying to form interest groups? 1) Tendency to allow others to do the work Freerider problem 2) Cost Raising money takes time, commitment, and (ironically) money 3) Absence of sense of political efficacy feelings of “what good will my membership/dues do?” ● What strategies can be used to overcome these barriers? Must make membership attractive so that benefits outweigh perceived costs. Selective benefits only given to members. Material benefits (“free” stuff!). Solidary benefits activities, sense of belong. Purposive benefits intangible sense of having been part of something worthwhile (ex: blood drive) Required membership. 43. Define “gaining access”. Personal contact with policymakers, both in the legislative and executive branches. “It’s all about who you know.” 44. What is the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995? Lobbyists required to register with the federal government. Can’t give gifts. 45. What is outside lobbying (aka grassroots mobilization)? Interest groups take their case directly to the public. To turn up heat on gov’t. Working from the bottom up. Interest groups trying to get general public to participate.