POLI 101 - oct 4 public opinion

POLI 101 - oct 4 public opinion - Breadth: how widespread...

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Monday, October 4, 2010 POLI 100 Public Opinion Why study public opinion? In terms of healthcare, US can’t afford to keep paying the huge amount of money for Medicare. To prevent political discontent and rebellion Especially with elections Even in 1984, government was so concerned with public opinion but people were tortured. Criticism is important, awareness of unhappiness is important. Two Different Definition of Public Opinion Those opinions held by private individuals which government find it prudent to heed (V.O. Key) The politically relevant opinions held by ordinary citizens that they express openly. (Patterson) What is false consciousness? The idea that people often do not accurately perceived the reality of their social and economic situations, and contrary to their own interests, they adopt as their own, the views of the politically dominant group. The Classic Citizen Engaged, informed Factors To Consider When Thinking About Public Opinion
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Unformatted text preview: Breadth: how widespread are attitudes on this issues Polarity: are those views largely one sided, or are people divided Intensity: how strongly do people feel Durability: is the issue likely to be long lasting or will it be over soon Distribution: who holds the opinion The Role of Consensus in Democracies Permissive Versus Supportive Consensus There is a lot of agreement in society Permissive government has a lot of room to act o Ex. 9/11 Bush administration How is Public Opinion Studied? Sample survey o Good questions: no leading questions, no biased questions o Probability sampling of American electorate, must stir the tank of marbles well to get diverse group, people are harder to reach bc telephone phoning is the most popular way to sample but most people use cellphones. In depth small sample interviews o Can learn a lot more but not a legitimate representative view of country Focus groups...
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POLI 101 - oct 4 public opinion - Breadth: how widespread...

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