Polsci Notes chapter 6

Polsci Notes chapter 6 - Polsci Notes Chapter Six Public...

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Polsci Notes 03/19/08 Chapter Six: Public Opinion, Political Socialization, and the Media Public opinion as the aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs shared by some portion of the adult population - when a large proportion of the American public appears to express the same view on an issue, we say that a consensus exists Divisive opinion issues on which the public holds widely differing attitudes - an interesting question arises as to when private opinion becomes public opinion - we say that private opinion becomes public opinion when the opinion is publicly expressed and concerns public issues Political socialization views that are expressed as political opinions are acquired through this process - today scholars believe that the media is beginning to displace the family as traditional agents - studies suggest that the influence of parents is due to two factors: communication and receptivity - since the early days of the republic schools were perceived to be important transmitters of political information and attitudes - generally education is closely linked to political participation - for children and for adults friendships and associations in peer groups affect political attitudes - people are influenced by those with whom we are closely associated or who we hold in high regard – these people are opinion leaders but on an informal level Media newspapers, television, radio and internet sources strongly influence public opinion - this is because the media inform the public about the issues and events of our times and thus have an agenda setting effect - when asked where they obtain the information on which they base their attitudes mention the mass media far more than they mention their families, friends, and teachers -
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