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PoliNotes - Poli Public Opinion 1 Why study public opinion...

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Poli 9/29/08 Public Opinion 1) Why study public opinion? 2) A two-way flow 3) A definition 4) What is false consciousness? 5) The classic citizen 6) The factors to consider when thinking about public opinion 7) The role of consensus in democracies permissive versus supportive consensus 8) How is public opinion studied? 1- public opinion and war (usefulness, control of population) Public opinion = those opinions held by private individuals which governments find it prudent to heed (V.O. Key) Patterson Public Opinion: the politically relevant opinions held by ordinary citizens that they express openly *Clinton administration had to decide whether or not to bailout Mexican economy – decided to do it and was NOT popular at all > knew that most likely would not influence election (which was not very soon) negatively but would eventually influence good public opinion and HELP in future election
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4) False Consciousness : the idea that people often do not accurately perceive the reality of their social and economic situations and contrary to their own interests adopt the views of the dominating group as their own. Women – used to be at home and dominant social view was that women should be homemakers and men are the income earners. Was false consciousness for some Hard work and distribution of wealth? Poor people voting for republicans, rich people voting for democrats, etc. Classic Citizen: well informed, aware of current events, reads the newspaper, very politically engaged. -There is potential when clear stakes are at hand for people to be engaged (this year’s presidential election). 6) 1-Breadth : how widespread are attitudes on the issue (abortion, bank bailout) 2-Polarity : is it largely one-sided, or are people divided 3-Intensity: how strongly do people feel (gun control) 4-Durability: is the issue likely to be long lasting or will it be over soon (abortion, environmental policy, health care) issues are entwined in the party system 5-Distribution: who holds the opinion 8) 1. Sample Survey a) good questions
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probability sampling = divisions vs totally random = stratifying vs completely random = stratifying ensures some variety that u may not have otherwise sample 2. in depth small sample interviews = 3. focus groups = get a bunch of people together and then react to something (advertisers, political campaigns) 10/1/08 Social security – debate, decision, observation, judgement. Permissive Consensus vs Suportive Consensus (everyone actually supports whats going on) INTEREST GROUPS 1. What are interest groups and why do they arise? an interest group is an organized group which attempts to influence government policy decisions without officially entering election contests. (public interest groups and private interest groups) 2. Madison and the danger of faction. By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a maoiruty or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest,
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This note was uploaded on 12/08/2008 for the course POLI 100 taught by Professor Rabinowitz during the Spring '07 term at UNC.

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PoliNotes - Poli Public Opinion 1 Why study public opinion...

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