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Premium member Presentation Transcript Public Opinion and Political Action: Public Opinion and Political Action Chapter 6Intro: Intro Diverse population Heterogeneous society Most diverse in world Makes study of public opinion DIFFICULT NO SINGLE OPINION Different groups = different ideas Contradictory attitudes Know very little Least informed = least likely to participate Inequalities in who takes part in political action Slide3: Public Opinion The distribution of the population’s beliefs about politics and policy issues. Demography The science of population changes. Census A valuable tool for understanding population changes - required every 10 years. Constitutional requirement Once group estab. #s, then can ask for fed aid in proportion to its sizeThe American People: The American People The Immigrant Society …”Melting Pot” Multicultural & multilingual society Many have ASSIMILATED many basic Am values …principle of equality 3 waves of immigration Pre 19th C = English, Irish, Germans, Scandinavians Late 19th –early 20th C = Southern & eastern Europeans Recent decades = Hispanics & Asians African Americans: African Americans African Americans face a legacy of racism. Left economically & politically disadvantaged 24% live below poverty line 10% of whites live below Recently begun to exercise political power # of elected officials +500% since 1970 Colin Powell = 1st Sec. of St. Condoleezza Rice = 1st Nat Sec Advisor Hispanics: Hispanics Hispanics = largest minority group “Sleeping Giant” Came to escape poverty Concentrated in cities faced with the problem of illegal immigration Simpson-Mazzoli Act Requires all employers to document the citizenship of their employees…regardless of nation of origin Asians: Asians Professional workers looking for greater opportunity Since 1965 = most highly skilled immigrant in Am history Often called “Super Achievers” of the minority majority 49% over 25 hold a college degree almost 2x national average Median family income surpassed Hispanics Some political success Gov. of Wash & Sec of Transportation 2001 Mineta Best off of minority groupsNative Americans: Native Americans Worst off of minority groups About 4 million now list as NA heritage Least healthy Poorest Least educated Only few have found wealth Fewer have found power Few tribes have found oil or minerals ½ of Sioux in Dakotas live below poverty levelPolitical Culture: Political Culture An overall set of values widely shared within a society Racial animosity Enduring American phenomenon Invaluable political tool “Magnet for conflict” Ellis Cose Emergence of minority majority = One of MAJOR demographic changes Altered face of American politics Pop = moving Pop = aging The American People: The American PeopleDo We Need to Get Tougher w/ Illegal Immigrants?: Do We Need to Get Tougher w/ Illegal Immigrants? Read “You Are the Policy Maker” p 182 Do you think a tough approach policy is the way to go? Do favor incorporating illegal immigrants who prove themselves worthy into American society? What are the advantages & disadvantages of each approach?The American People: The American People The Regional Shift Traditionally North of Mason Dixon Line East of Mississippi River Last 60 years = move to Sunbelt 1990 – 2000 = 24% growth rate 1990 – 2000 = 5% increase in NE Demographic changes = political changes Reapportionment: The process of reallocating seats in the House of Representatives every 10 years on the basis of the results of the census. Required by Constitution 435 members in House CA 1900 = 7 reps CA 2002 = 55 reps NY = lost 1/3 reps in last 50 yearsAm People…on the move: Am People…on the moveThe Graying of America: The Graying of America Fastest growing age group is over 65 Living longer Substantial drop in birthrate Potential drain on Social Security Pay-as-you-go system 1940 = 42 workers per retiree 2040 = 2 workers per retiree Expect to collect … they put into system “SACROSCANT” by political parties … “Lock Box” Only National Defense surpasses Soc Sec “Gray Power” How Americans Learn About Politics: Political Socialization: How Americans Learn About Politics: Political Socialization Political Socialization: (See Definitions) “…the process through which and individual acquires [their] particular political orientation” Agents of Political Socialization Only a small portion lean formally…informal much more important POLITICS IS A LIFELONG ACTIVITY The Family…CENTRAL= MONOPOLY Time & emotional commitment Political leanings of children often mirror their parent’s leaningsHow Americans Learn About Politics: Political Socialization: How Americans Learn About Politics: Political SocializationHow Americans Learn About Politics: Pol Soc: How Americans Learn About Politics: Pol Soc Political Socialization The Mass Media “new Parent”… TV displaces parents as chief source of info Generation gap in TV news viewing … 58 yr olds School / Education Used by government to socialize the young into the political culture Education produces better jobs and a more positive view of government Political learning happens over a lifetime Political orientation grows firmer w/ age Participation increases w/ ageMeasuring Pub Opin & Pol Info: Measuring Pub Opin & Pol Info George Gallup = Father of scientific polling Spread throughout the world Involves ESTIMATION How Polls Are Conducted Only need 1000 – 1500 people to be accurate Random Sampling: See Def Sampling Error: See Def Why are cell phones & caller ID making it more difficult for pollsters?Measuring Pub Opin & Pol Info: Measuring Pub Opin & Pol Info The Role of Polls in American Democracy Polls help politicians figure out public preferences. Don’t always pander to public Does it make politicians think more about following the polls? Exit Polls – See Def The wording of questions makes a difference. Maybe bias & unfairWhat polls reveal about Americans’ Political Info: What polls reveal about Americans’ Political Info Americans don’t know much about politics. System works amazing well …considering Americans may know their basic beliefs, but not how that affects policies of the government. Decline of Trust in Government Since 1964, trust in government has declined. Vietnam Watergate Trust in government has gone up somewhat since September 11.Measuring Pub Opin & Pol Info: Measuring Pub Opin & Pol Info Citizens Show Little Knowledge of Geography Measuring Pub Opin & Pol Info: Measuring Pub Opin & Pol Info The Decline of Trust in Government, 1958-2004 (Figure 6.4) What Am Value: Political Ideologies: What Am Value: Political Ideologies Political Ideology: See Def A coherent set of beliefs about politics, public policy, & public purpose. Who Are the Liberals and Conservatives? Views change over time Currently about 37% conservative, 23% liberal, 40% moderate Gender Gap … difference in thinking about issues of violence…new predictors …”Soccer Moms” Religion: Religion Changed greatly in recent years Minority groups who have struggled for equality tend to be more liberal than Protestants JEWS = MOST LIBERAL demographic group Difference b/t Catholics & Protestants = smaller Emergence of Christian Right Both Catholic & Protestants Views now determined by “religiosity” …degree to how important is religion in ones life Political Ideology: Political IdeologyPolitical Ideologies: Political Ideologies Do People Think in Ideological Terms? Ideologues: think in ideological terms - 12% of the population Group Benefits: rely on party labels - 42% of the population Nature of the Times: current times are good or bad - 24% of the population No issue content: based on personalities - 22% of the populationHow Am Participate in Politics: How Am Participate in Politics Political Participation: See Definition All the activities used by citizens to influence the selection of political leaders or the policies they pursue. Conventional Participation Can be subtle or overt Voting in elections Working in campaigns / running for office Contacting elected officials Writing lettersHow Am Participate in Pol: How Am Participate in Pol Protest as Participation Protest: See definition. Media attention usually makes it worth while Reality…very few participate Civil disobedience: see definition. Boston Tea Party Thoreau MLK Participation in Politics: Participation in Politics Class, Inequality, and ParticipationUnderstanding Public Opinion & Political Action: Understanding Public Opinion & Political Action Public Attitudes Toward the Scope of Gov Many people have no opinion. Others think it is too big…Republicans No consistent views Democracy, Public Opinion, and Political Action We select our leaders, not policies. We protest for specific policies, not against the government. We have confidence in the INSTITUTION of Gov …not necessarily the people in GovHow American Learn About Politics: Political Socialization: How American Learn About Politics: Political Socialization You do not have the permission to view this presentation. In order to view it, please contact the author of the presentation.