govchap4 - Textbook Chapter 4 9/18/2007 7:08:00 PM Public...

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Textbook Chapter 4 18/09/2007 19:08:00 Public Opinion - The collection of individual opinions toward issues or objects of general interest. Political Socialization - The processes of learning about politics by being exposed to information from parents, peers, schools, the media, political leaders, and the community. Agents of political socialization - introduce each new generation to the rights and responsibilities of citizenship as well as shape opinions and positions toward officeholders and political issues. Family o Children’s party identification is strongly shaped by their family. o Important in shaping the opinions of children because of strong emotional ties and exclusive control during early years. o Parents share their opinions with their children and children imitate them. o Family shapes personality of a child, speak up at home speak up in public. o Inherit social and economic position effects how they look at themselves and others. School o Values and symbols of government explicitly taught in American schools. o People who have more education and are more interested and involved in politics. More likely to participate and be politically tolerant. o Does not prepare citizens for how democracy words in practice or how to recognize the disagreement is fundamental or how to build positive feelings. o Promote patriotic rituals, celebrate holidays. o Textbooks often foster commitment to gov. and the status quo. Less likely to emphasize the need for citizens to uphold democratic values. o Major impact of k-high school seems to be that it creates good citizens who accept political authority and inst. Of gov. and who limit political activities to conventional and routine such as voting. o College students learn tolerance and broadens perspectives. Peers o Reinforce the opinions of the family or school. o Peers have most influence when the peer group is attractive to the individual and when the individual spends time with the group.
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Mass Media o Primary effect on children is to increase their level of info about politics. o On adults to influence what they think about. Adult Socialization o Not all political socialization occurs in the pre adult years. o Marriage, divorce, unemployment, new job, new location can change. o Economic, political, and social events change way Americans think. Polling can shape public opinion as well as assess it. Straw Polls - First attempts to measure popular sentiments on a large scale, developed by newspapers. Interviewers ask people in shopping malls and on streets voting preference. Unscientific because could not represent population as a whole. Politicians use polls to find publics opinion on issues. Clinton used polls throughout his presidency so he wouldn’t loose public favor.
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This note was uploaded on 03/29/2008 for the course HIST 1100 taught by Professor Horner during the Fall '07 term at Missouri (Mizzou).

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govchap4 - Textbook Chapter 4 9/18/2007 7:08:00 PM Public...

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