POLS Chapter 6 - Ch 6: Public Opinion and Political Action...

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Ch 6: Public Opinion and Political Action Politics in Action o Public opinion: The distribution of the population’s beliefs about politics and policy issues. The American People o Demography: the science of human of population changes. o Census: valuable tool for understanding demographic changes. o The US Constitution requires that the government conduct an “actual enumeration” of the population every 10 years. o In 1999 the case of Department of Commerce vs. US House of Representatives, the Supreme Court ruled that sampling could not be used to determine the number of congressional districts that each state is entitled to. Sampling can be used to adjust the count for other purposes (i.e.: federal grants) o Changes in US population impact culture and political system in numerous ways: The Immigrant Society Federal Law allows up to 800,000 new immigrants to be legally admitted to the country every year. Three great waves of immigration: o First Wave: Prior to the late 19 th century, northwestern Europeans (English, Irish, German, Scandinavian). o Second Wave: During the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries, southern and eastern Europeans (Italians, Jews, Poles, Russians). Most people passed through Ellis Island. o Third Wave: Recently, Hispanics and Asian. Immigrants bring in their aspirations as well as their political beliefs. Immigrant groups have fostered a great appreciation for individualism in American public policy by their wish to be free of oppressive governmental control. 2000 census found that 11% of the nation’s population were immigrant (42% are US citizens) The American Melting Point Melting pot: The mixing of cultures, ideas and peoples that has changed the American nation. Minority majority: America will eventually cease to have a white, generally Anglo Saxon majority. African Americans: until recently, they were the largest majority (now 12%).
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o 2006: 24% of African Americans lived below the poverty line. o
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This note was uploaded on 10/04/2010 for the course POLS POLS 206-1 taught by Professor Fulton during the Fall '09 term at Texas A&M.

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POLS Chapter 6 - Ch 6: Public Opinion and Political Action...

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