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Chapter 5 TXBK Notes

by: Tiara Notetaker

Chapter 5 TXBK Notes POSC 103

Tiara Notetaker
GPA 3.8

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These are the basic notes to Chapter 5 of our POSC 103 Textbook - Introduction to American Government 8th Edition by Turner. Chapter 5 - Public Opinion and Political Participation
American National Government
Joseph Rudolph
Class Notes
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Tiara Notetaker on Saturday September 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POSC 103 at Towson University taught by Joseph Rudolph in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see American National Government in Political Science at Towson University.


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Date Created: 09/17/16
Chapter 5 – Public Opinion and Political Participation 5.1 Public Opinions: What Americans Think About Politics  Public opinion –the views, attitudes, and ideas held by individuals in a community  Polling – the process of using social science methods to get an accurate sense of the  public’s view on an issue  ­ Polling results show that Americans are proud of their country more than members of  other countries, but almost 1 in 4 Americans can’t name the country from which we  gained independence.  Core values: ­ Equality: whether or not Americans actually think that all people are equal, we  believe the government should treat everyone equal. We disagree on the level of  government involvement in improving the lives of minorities. ­ Freedom: Americans believe in doing what is best for themselves (strong support for  st the 1  Amendment), but disagree on what counts as interfering with other’s freedoms ­ Consent of the governed: Americans believe the majority should rule, but with  limited power so the minority can be protected ­ Capitalism: Americans believe in the value of hard work, private property, economic  competition, and profit. Freedom > equality. Everyone starts off equal, but is free to  pursue self­interests and potentially become wealthy. 5.2 The Sources of Public Opinion: Political Socialization  Political socialization – the process that shapes how people think about politics ­ Agents of socialization: “teachers” of politics o Family: transfers attitudes towards authority (police and presidents) o School: student government associations, experiences with students of  different races and religions, teaches history, social studies, politics, etc. o Peer groups: pressure to conform 5.3 Political Participation  Political efficacy – the belief that one can accomplish something by participating  Sense of duty – the belief that it is one’s responsibility to be politically active  Party identification – psychological attachment to a political party motivates one to  participate in the political process  Forms of participation: ­ Staying informed (TV, newspapers) ­ Contacting public officials (letters, petitions) ­ Protests (marches, boycotts, picketing, violence – riots/assassinations) o Civil disobedience – breaking the law to make a point (Exp. Sit­ins) o Passive resistance – not doing anything (Exp. Laying down when an officer  is trying to make an arrest)  Rational actor model – a person will choose the action that gives them the most benefit  at the least cost. If benefit > cost, a person will participate in the political process ­ Exp. Costs = registering to vote, staying up to date, going to the polls, participating or organizing a rally, writing a letter, creating a petition. Benefits = the chance your vote will put the person you want into office, the chance that the person will stick to what  they said they’d do once they’re in office, the chance that your letter/petition/rally  will make a difference. ­ Some lack resources and can’t afford what it costs to participate


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