23PubOpn_bw_

23PubOpn_bw_ - American Government Lecture 23 Public...

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American Government Lecture 23 - Public Opinion
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Public Opinion Public Opinion Citizens’ opinions about political issues, leaders, institutions and events What we think about government Democracy relies upon participation Participation relies upon opinion Opinion relies on 4 main factors Participation requires effort, opinion does not Not everyone participates Everyone has opinions Some people just are louder about it Some people can defend them better than others Under our democracy, all opinions are equal
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Opinion Formation Not consciously attained You don’t have to think or work for these You have them without realizing Can be developed to a greater degree Opinions are not “better” or “worse” “More developed”, “Better grounded”, etc. 4 Main factors in formation: Personal Values Political Ideology Political Knowledge Attitudes
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Personal Values Principles viewed as important to society Things that “make a good person/good society” Democracy relies on common values Things that everyone agrees with Otherwise there is too much conflict Without agreement on basic values, democracy fails Different societies have different values May just be different orderings American values: Liberty, Equality and Democracy* Individualism and Patriotism? Almost every “problem” is a conflict of these * - Many other ways to talk about this - ie. Capitalism and Democracy, etc.
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Origins of Values Political Socialization How people learn and develop values How you learn what the world is like and how you should interact with it Revolve around how you experience life 4 main agencies of socialization Family Social Groups Education Political Conditions
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Agencies of Socialization Family How children are raised Authoritarian vs. Inclusive What kind of environment they grow up in What their parents believe Social Groups Any group that provides identity to its members Gender Race Political Party Socioeconomic Status Urban/Rural distinctions Life and Death issues? • Bowling Leagues?
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Agencies of Socialization Education Grade School • Public or Private? Local control over which values taught/emphasized College Exposure to theories, outlooks and perspectives Greater willingness to challenge authority/status quo • Greater activism and participation Political Climate What is going in the world And how does the media cover it What government is responding to War on Terror vs. Cold War
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Political Ideology Cohesive set of values and beliefs that form a general theory about the role of government How your values are prioritized and combined Americans generally prioritize liberty Not always though Politics is often about which value is preeminent • Which is more important:
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This note was uploaded on 02/20/2012 for the course 790 104 taught by Professor Staff during the Winter '08 term at Rutgers.

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23PubOpn_bw_ - American Government Lecture 23 Public...

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