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Lecture Public Opinion - Elite has two options it can...

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Lecture Public Opinion 1. Public Opinion is the collected attitudes of citizens on a particular public issue. 2. Formation: Public Opinion is formed through two processes: 1. political socialization 2. two-step flow (media, opinion leaders) 3. P. O. has three important properties: 1. direction 2. intensity 3. stability 4. Channels of communication of public opinion from masses to elites: 1. polls 2. letters, calls, emails, candygrams, etc 3. demonstrations, riots, boycotts, strikes 4. interest groups 5. elections 6. media These vary in their accuracy and ability to convey intensity. 1. How do elites react to public opinion? 1. One way to think about it: The American Pie. Issues cross-cut the population so that intelligent politicians avoid stands on position issues (e.g. abortion) and stress valence issues (e.g. crime). (Don't you wish you'd been in class for this?!) 2. Another way to think about it: Logic of Excluded Middle.
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Unformatted text preview: Elite has two options: it can either share public opinion, or not share public opinion. If it shares public opinion its choice is simple: it does what it and the public want. If it doesn't share public opinion, then it has three choices. It can 1. try to change public opinion 2. ignore public opinion 3. (gulp) change own opinion 2. Miscellany: There is a great deal of opinion without information. No one really needs information to have an opinion (fill in your own joke on this one). Most people don't care about most public issues most of the time. Often the leaders of the country pay attention only to what is called the "attentive public" -- people who do pay attention on selected issues. These people often represent or are members of groups affected by specific policies....
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