Lecture Notes

Lecture Notes - October 1 2007 I Public Opinion A Why study...

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October 1, 2007 I. Public Opinion A. Why study public opinion? 1. Govts want to keep the population happy B. Two-way flow 1. Govt tries to mold public opinion 2. Public Policy I. VO key those opinions held by private individuals which govt find it prudent to heed II. Patterson: The politically relevant opinions held by ordinary citizens that they express openly 3. False consciousness- is 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. C. Classic Citizen 1. Is aware of environment and engaged in public matter 2. Open minded 3. Limited free time to get engaged 4. Announced citizens 5. People don’t act as classic citizens D. Steps 1. People are content 2. People become involved 3. Policy change 4. Then there is controversy E. Factors of Public Opinion 1. Breadth-how widespread are the attitudes on the issue 2. Polarity-is it largely one sided or are people divided 3. Intensity- how strongly do people feel 4. Durability-is the issue likely to be long lasting or will it be over soon 5. Distribution-who holds the opinion F. The role of consensus in democracies 1. Permissive versus supportive consensus I. Permissive-permission to let the gov’t act as however they want with the back of the population II. Supportive- you really care and are aware and everyone is behind something G. How is public opinion studied 1. Sample survey I. Good questions II. Probability sampling
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October 1, 2007 2. In depth small sample interviews 3. Focus groups II. Interest Groups A. Interest group is an organized group which attempts to influence govt policy decisions w/o officially entering election contests B. Madison and the danger of faction 1. Faction-number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion or of interest adverse to the rights of other citizens or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community 2. Examples of groups(In Gucci-Gulch) I. Chamber of Commerce II. National Association of Manufacturers III. National Association of Home Builders IV. American Banking Association 3. Liberty is to faction what air is to fire 4. The most common and durable source of factions has been the carious and unequal distribution of property C. How do interest groups work 1. Lobbying(lobbyists influencing law making) 2. Electioneering 3. Directly Influencing Public Opinion 4. Litigation(courts) 5. (Bribery) D. What makes a group effective? 1. Resources I. Money II. Contacts(Supporters) III. Any Assets that you can use 2. Organization 3. Prestige I. If the group is respected more people listen 4. Perceived Effectiveness I. If the group appears effective there is not as much need for it to enforce 5. (Size) E. Challenges that groups face 1. Free rider problem I. People are sympathetic they want the benefits but do not want to pay the price F. Has the danger of faction been controlled?
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Lecture Notes - October 1 2007 I Public Opinion A Why study...

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