Public Opinion and Political Socialization: Shaping the People’s Voice

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Public Opinion and Political Socialization: Shaping the Peoples Voice. Chapter 6. V. O. Key, Jr. To speak with precision of public opinion is a task not unlike coming to grips with the Holy Ghost. Political Socialization: The Origins of Americans Opinions. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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<p>PowerPoint Presentation</p> <p>Public Opinion and Political Socialization: Shaping the Peoples VoiceChapter 61 V. O. Key, Jr.To speak with precision of public opinion is a task not unlike coming to grips with the Holy Ghost.2Presentation by Eric Miller, Blinn College, Bryan, Texas. Copyright 2005 McGraw-Hill. All rights reserved. No part of this presentation may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher.</p> <p>Political Socialization:The Origins of Americans OpinionsPublic opinion: opinions of citizens that are openly statedThe Measurement of Public OpinionPublic Opinion- the opinions of private individuals become public when they are expressed publiclyFacial expressionVotingLetters to the editorLobbyist activitiesPublic protests or demonstrationsYard signs/ bumper stickers</p> <p>3As a concept or force in American politics, public opinion is elusive, powerful, inexact and contradictory</p> <p>Political Socialization:The Origins of Americans OpinionsHow Informed Is Public Opinion?In comparison to Europeans, Americans awareness of public affairs is lowerWho first said a government of the people, by the people, for the people?Abraham Lincoln- of Ivy League students surveyed missed this questionCivic Literacy Test- Avg. college senior scored an FPolitical culture: the characteristic and deep-seated beliefs of a particular people about government and politics5Political Socialization:The Origins of Americans OpinionsPolitical socialization process Political Socialization- the process by which individuals acquire their opinionsChildhood learning is paramountProcess is cumulative: political affiliations usually grow firmer with age6Political Socialization:The Origins of Americans OpinionsPrimary political socialization agentsFamilyFamily is the strongest of all agents of socializationSchoolsChurchScholars have not studied the effects of religion as well as schools or family, but it is a powerful influencemost evident in social policy issues i.e. abortion, school prayer, etc.</p> <p>7Influence of Religion</p> <p>Political Socialization:The Origins of Americans OpinionsSecondary political socialization agentsPeersMediaPolitical Institutions and Leaders9Frames of Reference: How Americans Think PoliticallyFrames of reference: reference points by which individuals evaluate issues and developmentsParty identificationParty identification: emotional loyalty to a political party; not formal membershipAmericans = 1/3 Dem +1/3 Ind. +1/3 GOPParty loyalties are not as stable as once was thoughtPartisanship based on economic circumstances and policy traditionsAffirmative Action- Dems.Less Gun Control- Repubs.Major shifts in loyalty rare and in younger adultsPartisanship can lead to selective perception</p> <p>10Partisanship and Issue Opinions</p> <p>11Party Differences</p> <p> Frames of Reference: How Americans Think PoliticallyIdeological Thinking: The Outlook for SomeIdeologyConsistent pattern of opinion on particular issues from a basic underlying beliefOnly a minority truly understand and apply ideological frames of referenceLiberalsFor gov. intervention in economics; opposed to intervention in social sphereConservativesOpposed to gov. intervention in economics; for intervention in social sphereLibertarians Opposed to gov. intervention in economic &amp; social spheresPopulistsFor gov. intervention in economic &amp; social spheres13Presentation by Eric Miller, Blinn College, Bryan, Texas. Copyright 2005 McGraw-Hill. All rights reserved. No part of this presentation may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher.</p> <p> Frames of Reference: How Americans Think PoliticallyGroup Thinking: The Outlook of Many- people rely on groups to which they belong as reference points for opinions ReligionEconomic ClassRegionRace and EthnicityGenderGenerations and AgeCrosscutting Cleavages</p> <p>14Presentation by Eric Miller, Blinn College, Bryan, Texas. Copyright 2005 McGraw-Hill. All rights reserved. No part of this presentation may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher.</p> <p>Gender and the Iraq Conflict</p> <p>15The measurement of public opinionTraditional method: election resultsPublic opinion polls: primary methodMeasure public opinion using randomly chosen population sample(s) and carefully constructed interviewsElected officials frequently respond to polls based on random samples of constituentsGallup- predicted every POTUS election winner since 1936 (except 1948)Dewy- TrumanMost large news organizations have their own in-house pollsSamplesestimation of populations viewsAccuracy of a pollexpressed by sampling errorA poll of 1000 people would have a sampling error of +/- 3%</p> <p>The Measurement of Public Opinion16Problems with pollsMost relied upon way to measure public opinion, however:Polls can be erroneous at times- 1948- Dewy- TrumanOther problemsUnrepresentative samplesIncreasing refusal to participate in telephone pollsPolled individuals unfamiliar with issuesPoorly trained interviewersDishonesty by respondentsPoorly worded questions and poor question orderNon-opinions</p> <p>The Measurement of Public Opinion17The Influence of Public Opinion on PolicyDisagreement over how much public opinion affects policy, and how much it should affect policyPeoples view should prevail.Some counter that elite opinion prevails.Limits on public influenceInconsistencies in citizens policy preferencesCitizens lack of understanding of issuesMastery of issues not necessary for opinion to be of value, but some issues require understanding18The Influence of Public Opinion on PolicyPublic opinion and the boundaries of actionSome policy actions outside boundaries of public acceptabilityGreater the level of public involvement, the more likely officials will respond to public sentimentEven on popular issues, leaders have some discretionLeaders can influence public opinion through concerted effort </p> <p>19</p>

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