hist ex 2.docx - Chapter 6 Public Opinion and Political...

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Chapter 6 Public Opinion and Political Socializationp. 144: “political socializationohow do we develop our political outlook?It is a learned responseInfluenced by childhood learningContinues throughout lifeCumulative – grows firmer with ageoEarly learning affects later learningA person’s beliefs affect how new information is interpretedEarly learning acts as a psychological screen through which new information is filteredPrimary socializing agentsoFamilyforemostamong “agencies of socialization” A near monopoly on a child’s early developmentoSchool– also affects a child’s basic political beliefsElementary students learn to praise national political institutions and national heroesMiddle/high school students learn about moments of national pride (victory in war)US schools are more instrumental in building national support and cultural cohesion than schools in other democraciesoNo other democracy requires a “pledge of allegiance” (national loyalty)oReligion– let us pray. Amen. And Amen.Secondary socializing agents oPeersFriends, neighbors, coworkers oMass Media(corporate media)Agenda-settersInfluence what we think and talk about oAuthority figuresOur political leadersE.g., p. 147: “after President Bush led America into a costly war in Iraq on the erroneous claim that it had WMD, his political support weakenedFrames of referenceA reference point from which we evaluate the political world (how we think politically)oPartisanship – aka “party identification” or “political orientation”Loyalty to a political partyPartisanship affects what we see oSelective perceptionPeople selectively choose from incoming informationSelect that which supports what we already believeoPolitical ideologyA general belief about the role and purpose of governmentEconomic liberalsoGovernment should play a role in the economyTo protect the public interest, make the economy more efficient1
E.g., to prevent monopoly (bigness), fraud, financial crisisGovernment should ensure a level playing fieldBig business (large corporations) should not have free reinoEspecially Wall Street banksEconomic conservativesoGovernment should play little or no role in the economyoGovernment should give free rein to big businessoThe economic marketplace should largely be managed by the private sectori.e., “free markets” or “market solutions” or “let the market decide”Rule by “powerful private interests” (especially Wall Street) No regulation of BIGNESS (monopoly)Cultural liberalsoGovernment should leave lifestyle choices to the individualCultural conservativesoGovernment should promote traditional valuesGovernment plays a role in our private lives ?

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