Textbook Notes (368,430)
United States (206,037)
PS 101 (13)
All (13)
Chapter 5

Intro to US Gov & Pol [COMPLETE NOTES] Chapter 5 -- I 4.0ed this course

12 Pages
Unlock Document

Political Science
PS 101
All Professors

PS 101 Chapter 5 How often was politics discussed in your home when you were growing up? I. Textbook Notes A. Key Words o Public Opinion: Citizens’views on politics and government actions o Level of Conceptualization: The amount of complexity in an individual’s beliefs about government and policy, and the extent to which those beliefs are consistent with each other and remain consistent over time o Liberal-Conservative Ideology: Away of describing political beliefs in terms of a position on the spectrum running from liberal to moderate to conservative o Latent opinion:An opinion formed on the spot when it is needed(as distinct from a deeply held opinion that is stable over time) o Considerations: The many pieces of information a person used to form an opinion o Political Socialization: The process by which an individual’s political opinions are shaped by other people and the surrounding culture o Mass survey:Away to measure public opinion by interviewing a large sample of the population o Population: The group of people that a researcher of pollster wants to study, such as evangelicals, senior citizens, orAmericans o Sample: Within a population, the group of people surveyed in order to gauge the whole population’s opinion. Researchers use samples because it would be impossible to interview the entire population. o Issue Scale:A survey response format in which respondents select their answers from a range of positions between two extremes. o Sampling Error:Acalculation that describes what percentage of the people surveyed may not accurately represent the population being studied. Increasing the number of respondents lowers the sampling error. o Random Sample:Asubsection of a population chosen to participate in a survey through a selection process in which every member of the population has an equal chance of being chosen. This kind of sampling improves the accuracy of public opinion data. o Ideological Polarization: The effect on public opinion when many citizens move away from moderate positions and toward either end of the political spectrum, identifying themselves as either liberals or conservatives. o Policy Mood: The level of public support for expanding the government’s role in society; whether the public wants the government action on a specific issue II. Lecture( 2/4/13)-The Development of PoliticalAttitudes A. Basics of Political Socialization 1. Definition a. The process by which an individual’s political opinions are shaped by other people and the surrounding culture b. Answering the question of why people hold the political beliefs that they do 2. Dimensions of political socialization a. Ideology and party identification b. Specific policy attitudes c. Patterns of behavior 3. Two Principles a. Primacy principle i. What is learned first is learned best b. Structuring principle i. What is learned first structures what is learned later c. Together, these explain why childhood experiences are so important for later beliefs and attitudes B. Agents of Socialization 1. Families a. Children come to see what their family views as good or bad, what they value, what they believe b. Stronger effects when families talk about politics more 2. Schools a. More general effects(patriotism, following the law) b. Comparing democracies vs. autocracies 3. Peer groups a. Affect attitudes and propensity to participate b. Why do we see conformity in these groups? 4. Media a. News and entertainment programs 5. Events a. Can cause people to revise their fundamental beliefs b. Some are individual in nature c. Others affect large groups C. More on Families 1. Research shows that families generally have homogenous political beliefs a. e.g., about 4/5 of spouses share a party identification 2. In families with homogenous political beliefs, children receive consistent messages a. When both parents are Democrats and Republicans, children tend to share that identification b. When both are Independents, children overwhelmingly share that identification D. More on Groups 1. Primary Groups a. Agents of socialization with which people have regular face-to- face interactions(family, friends, classmates, coworkers) 2. Secondary a. More large scale and diffuse(e.g, religious, civic, and professional organizations) 3. Social/Demographic Groups a. Gender, race, education level, region of country b. Sometimes these strongly associated with opinions, sometimes not E. Patterns of Political Socialization 1. Preschool a. Basic concepts(president, police, patriotism) b. Children have only vague and often inaccurate conceptions c. Start to get sense that a world exists outside of their families with rules to be followed and people in charge 2. Elementary School a. Further develop basic concepts-What is the government? Who are the different actors? b. Often begin to attach to a particular party 3. Adolescence a. Peer groups become more important; may split from parents’views b. Formal participation becomes possible c. More developed ideas of politics, but still somewhat idealistic 4. Adulthood a. Participation increases-by 34 you start voting if you are going to do so b. Beliefs solidify c. BUT, life experiences tend to moderate people’s views somewhat 5. Old Age a. Participation often declines, but beliefs stay entrenched F. SocializationAcross Time 1. Life cycle effects a. Changes in beliefs/behavior that occur with a particular stage in life b. e.g., Having children often affects people’s beliefs on certain political matter 2. Period effects a. Changes in beliefs/behavior that occur for people of all ages in reaction to a major event b. e.g., Great Depression, September 11 th c. 3. Cohort effects a. Impact of a historical event on one specific group of people b. e.g., Men who were of draft age during the Vietnam War G. Political Culture 1. Definition a. The collective political attitudes, values, feelings, information, and skills of the people in a society b. Common perceptions of the rights and obligations of citizenship and the rules for participating in the political process c. Enduring, stable, and cross generational 2. Components of Political Culture a. Strength of national identity b. Trust in people c. Political efficacy d. Confidence in government institutions e. Citizens duties and obligations f. Openness of political conflict H. Comparing Political Cultures 1. Different democracies can have quite different political cultures 2. The Civic Culture a. Famous book by GabrielAlmond and Sidney Verba (1963) b. Compared political cultures in five democratic countries c. U.S, Great Britain, Germany, Mexico, and Italy I. The Civic Culture 1. A country’s political culture determined by three main factors: a. Awareness of government b. Expectations of government c. Political Participation 2. In combination, these produce three main democratic political cultures a. Parochial—low awareness, expectations, participation (e.g. Mexico) b. Subject—higher awareness and expectations, but low participation (e.g., Italy, Germany) c. Participatory—high awareness, expectations, participation (e.g., U.S., Great Britain III. Lecture-(2/6/2013) What People Know and Believe about Politics A. Review of Political Socialization 1. What is it? 2. Agents of socialization 3. Typical patterns of socialization 4. Links between political socialization and political culture? B. Political Knowledge 1. What do we mean by political knowledge? a. Factual recall b. Ability to make “competent” choices 2. Why do we care? a. Views of “textbook citizen” b. Majoritarian vs. pluralist views of democracy c. Links between knowledge and opinion 3. What do People Know? a. In recent general knowledge surveys: i. Almost everyone knows the name of the President ii. About 50% of people know the name of their Congressperson iii. About 40% know the name of the Chief Justice iv. About 40% can name all three branches of government v. About 50% know how many people are in the Senate vi. About 75% can name one right guaranteed to us by the FirstAmendment (but only 6% can name all four) b. Some common misperceptions 4. How Should We Evaluate This? a. Why might it be a problem? b. Why might it not? i. Particpate poltically even when lacking knowledge C. Early Studies of Opinion 1. First studies in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s 2. Little evidence that people held stable opinions at all a. High levels of inconsistency between questions b. High levels of change across time c. Low levels of factual information d. Not able to explain why they liked a candidate or why they were liberal/conservatice 3. Researchers concluded that almost no one had high “levels of conceptualization” a. Holding principles that were consistent with one another and stable across time 4. Critiques of Early Studies a. Results not surprising because people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about politics b. Opinions have become more consistent in recent years than in the original studies c. Researchers were looking for the wrong things i. Revised Views on Opinion 5. Two different types of opinions a. Some, like ideology or partisanship, are stable across time b. Others, like particular policy views, may change 6. Most opinions are latent a. People don’t walk around with fully formed opinions in their head. Instead… 7. Surveying Political Principles D. New Theory of Opinion 1. Rather than having pre-formed opinions on all issues, people have lots of considerations floating around a. When they are asked a survey question, they use the considerations that come to mind most immediately 2. Can explain why we might see inconsistency in survey responses a. Head is hat where you will draw opinions out. E. Political Ideology 1. Formal definition a. Aconsistent set of values and beliefs about the proper purpose and scope of government b. If we know someone’s ideology, we should be able to predict how they stand on one particular policy 2. Informal definition a. Relies on people’s self-reports b. They are liberal or conservative because they say they are F. Ideological Identification in the U.S. 1. Liberals inAmerica a. Are generally Democrats b. Advocate i. Little government interference in people's moral, reliogis, and intellectual lives ii. Some government intervention in economy to insure liberties iii. Belief in the need to work within the international community for peaceful resolution of conflicts 2. Conservatives in America a. Are generally Republicans b. Advocate i. Reduced governmental control of economy—regulations hamper growth and lead to inefficieny
More Less

Related notes for PS 101

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.