Class Notes (838,343)
United States (325,349)
01:790:104 (22)

Public Opinion

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Political Science
Anna Mahoney

Public Opinion • Citizens’attitudes about political issues, personalities, institutions, and events • Where does it come from? o Self-interest- If you have a lot of money, you probably don’t want there to be taxes because it will not be in your self interest o Socialization- The influences that we have from various institutions such as government; info we get from others such as families and schools. Help us to integrate into society; what are societal norms? Who you are exposed to can influence how your attitude is. o Ideology- Can influence your position on different issues; people’s ideologies are not always consistent. You can be pro-life but want to put someone on death row. • Socialization: Induction of individuals into the political culture; learning the values and beliefs that underlie the political system • Your peers are very strong influences on your opinions • Agents of socialization o Family o Social groups o Education o Political conditions- Ex. The Great Depression • Ideology: Underlying orientations, ideas, and beliefs through which we interpret politics o Liberal: Supports political and social reform, governmental intervention in the economy, expansion of social services, more benefits for poor, minorities and women, concern for consumers and environment  Moving forward, progressive, not afraid of change  Government is a force of good and can protect your rights o Conservative: Supports status quo, large government is a threat to liberty, prefer private solutions to problems  Adverse to change  Things are great the way they are and we need to keep them that way o MostAmericans are in the middle of liberal and conservative. However, the people are the ends are the loudest because they are the ones who really care • We interpret political events, proposals, and individuals through the lens of our ideology • How are opinions formed? o Knowledge o Opinion leaders- Could be the leaders of your political party, priest, etc. You respect them in some way so you believe that they have a better grasp on the situation than you o Interest groups- People who get info in the mail of what’s going on in Washington, etc. o Media • Knowledge: o People use shortcuts to cut down the costs of knowledge o Ideology doesn’t always closely align with complex problems  Ex. Farm subsidies o What is wrong with Americans not knowing?  Interests- They won’t be represented • If you don’t know what’s going on, it’s easy to be biased  Corruption Media • Ty
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