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Political Science Week 1-Day 2

by: Emily Bernard

Political Science Week 1-Day 2 PLSC 201

Marketplace > Winthrop University > Social Sciences > PLSC 201 > Political Science Week 1 Day 2
Emily Bernard


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About this Document

American Political Culture
American Government
Dr. Belk
Class Notes
political science
25 ?




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Emily Bernard on Tuesday September 20, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PLSC 201 at Winthrop University taught by Dr. Belk in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see American Government in Social Sciences at Winthrop University.

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Date Created: 09/20/16
American Political Culture- Truisms or Comforting Myths? Key Questions:  What are values?  What is an ethos or culture?  What are the core values of American political culture? Defining Terms:  Values (family, money, honesty, education, health, freedom, etc.) o GLWT: “values shape citizen views of the world and define their sense of what is right/wrong, just/unjust, possible/impossible”  Ethos (shared values) o The characteristics/distinguishing values, beliefs, and habits of a group o The disposition, character, or fundamental values peculiar to a specific person, people, culture, or movement  Political culture o Broadly shared values, beliefs, and attitudes about the government o A coherent set of assumptions about the nature of political reality and the political ideals to be pursued o The orientation of citizens toward the political system and toward themselves as actors in it  The American ethos: liberty, equality (opportunity vs. results), democracy 1. Liberal Individualism (Harte) a. Laizzes-Faire morality b. Protestant morality c. Personal responsibility d. How does this liberal individualism establish a standard of justice? e. Why did liberal individualism take root in America? 2. Republicanism a. Belief in representative Democracy b. Supreme power rests with citizens and is exercised by representatives directly or indirectly elected by the people c. Civic duty and responsibility (Wood) i. Participation is expected ii. Individuals should be motivated by morality and virtue 3. Ascriptive Americanism (Smith) a. The ugly strand of ethos b. Something is attached to a people, without choice, usually because of what other think about birth characteristics (similar to stereotypes) c. This leads into notions of a superior race, ancestry, gender, etc. d. Once a group earns a description, it is hard for members to escape e. Problems caused by Ascriptive Americanism i. One could not be a citizen without being “free/independent” ii. The founders’ concept of freedom assumed everyone had opportunity Conclusion:  Values often shape our views of the world  An “ethos” refers to the characteristics/distinguishing values, beliefs, and habits of a group  The three dominant elements are liberal individualism, republicanism, and ascriptive Americanism  Liberal individualism is a mystifying theory that does not allow us to see the realities of ascriptive Americanism  Over time, many people have fought to ensure America lives up the ethos


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