POSI 2310 Ch 6
POSI 2310 Ch 6 2310
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Marissa on Saturday September 26, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to 2310 at Texas State University taught by Joshua Quinn in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Principles of American Government in Political Science at Texas State University.
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Date Created: 09/26/15
POSI 2310 Ch 6 Public Opinion and Political Socialization Shaping the People s Voice 0 We form opinions by being social our opinions impact the government I Political Socialization The Origins of America s Opinions a Public opinion opinions of citizens that are openly stated i About government life the way the world should work b Political socialization the process by which people acquire their political opinions beliefs and values i Childhood learning is paramount 1 Shaped by experiences ii Process is cumulative political affiliations usually grow firmer with age iii Friends and family are the number one source of socialization c Primary political socialization agents i Family 1 Family is the strongest of all agents of socialization 2 Has a monopoly on you from birth ii Schools 1 More critical examination of American history in higher grades and in college 2 First exposure to socialization outside of the family 3 Exposure to nationalism pledge of allegiance iii Church 1 Scholars have not studied the effects of religion as well as schools or family but it is a powerful influence 2 Less influence than family or schools 3 Can affect your opinion on issues like abortion samesex marriage d Secondary political socialization agents i Peers ii Media 1 Has an influence on how people are politically socialized 2 More focused on celebrities affects what you think is important iii Leaders iv Events 1 Survivors of World War II and the Great Depression have different political opinions than others don t trust banks 2 After 911 people changed their views about war II Frames of Reference How Americans Think Politically a Frames of reference reference points by which individuals evaluate issues and developments i What you are exposed to influences your perception ii Impacted by age gender social class employment etc iii 3 factors when examining 1 Partisanship party identification 2 Ideology 3 Group membership b Party identification i Who you are drawn to or like who you identify with ii Party identification emotional loyalty to a political party not formal membership iii Major shifts in loyalty rare 1 Usually in response to a major event a Southern Democrats shifted to conservative in 1926 the Great Depression caused party loyalties to change iv FDR is the only president to hold more than 2 terms v Can lead to selective perception 1 People only listen to what they re interested in to people who support their own opinion bias c Political ideology general belief on the role and purpose of government i A coherent set of political beliefs beliefs have to work together ii Few Americans have a true political ideology iii Ideological leanings 1 Economic liberalsconservatives a Liberals want more government involvement b Conservatives want less government involvement free market 2 Social liberalsconservatives a Liberals leave lifestyle choices to the individual b Conservatives think government should enforce traditional values 3 Populists a Economically liberal b Socially conservative i Common in Latin America not US 4 Libertarians a Socially liberal b Economically conservative d Group orientations i Where you spend most of your time people that influence you who you choose to be around ii Religion iii Economic class iv Region v Race and ethnicity vi Gender vii Generations and age viii Crosscutting groups 1 Groups of people with different opinions ix Creates an information cocoon selfselection of information that reinforces your own opinion limits views decreases diversity I The Measurement of Public Opinion a The measurement of public opinion i Traditional method election results 1 Problems not everyone votes people who vote don t usually pick the person they want ii Public opinion polls primary method 1 Measure public opinion using randomly chosen population samples and carefully constructed interviews 2 Samples estimation of population s views a Need at least 1000 people 3 Accuracy of a poll expressed by sampling error a Error based on if people are misinformed if sample isn t random b Margin of error IV The Influence of Public Opinion on Policy a Disagreement over how much public opinion affects policy and how much it should affect policy Limits on public influence i Inconsistencies in citizens policy preferences ii Citizens lack of understanding of issues iii Mastery of issues not necessary for opinion to be of value but some issues require understanding Public opinion and the boundaries of action limits on what you can do i Some policy actions outside boundaries of public acceptability ii The greater the level of public involvement the more likely officials will respond to public sentiment iii Even on popular issues leaders have some discretion Leaders can influence public opinion through concerted effort Page and Shapiro theorists i quotWhen Americans policy preferences shift it is likely that congruent changes in policy will follow 1 When you change your mind the government will follow
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