How can we determine if a public opinion poll is valid?
The size of the poll in relation to the population helps provide validity, and a +/- factor of about 4 percent
How does race and ethnicity affect voting patterns?
There are clear differences between whites & blacks in the area of integration, affirmative action. Most differences on economic issues are the result of economic situations. Well-educated whites less likely to support programs for poor minority neighborhoods than those who actually live there. As in many areas, the $ affects people’s views.
Politically relevant opinions that are held by ordinary citizens that they express openly. Can be a protest, voting, letters to candidates or editorial pages of newspapers.
Schools and Education as an agent of Political socialization
In elementary schools, students learn the positive aspects of American history, later, other aspects of a positive American history is taught. A standard positive ideal of American history is taught through most of public education. Not until college are other views usually put forth
Government tries to do too many things, support the free-market solutions to problems rather than government, more likely to support prayer in school.
How do gender differences impact voting patterns?
Most differences between m/f are small on most issues. Women are a little more supportive of Abortion rights & affirmative action than men Women more supportive of spending on welfare, economic issues, and education, reflecting their economic vulnerability On military action, in almost every case, women were less supportive than men. All contributing to the “gender gap”
What is “cross cutting cleavages” and their effect on public opinion?
When people belong to more than one group. For example, wealthy blacks would have different opinions from poorer blacks. This belonging to more than one group tends moderate public opinion.
How does the Mass Media affect one’s political socialization?
The images and ideas portrayed on TV have an effect. Repeated exposure to crime leads people to believe crime is worse than it really is. Also, how the media portrays political figures affects people’s view of them. ex. Bush is an illiterate buffoon
Government should do more to solve the country’s problems and should not support traditional values at the expense of less conventional ones. More likely to support increased government health-care and same-sex marriages.
How does religion affect political socialization?
Faith/religion provides solidarity. The stronger one’s faith, the more likely it is to affect one’s political belief. For example, the “Religious Right”, predominantly fundamental protestants and Catholics is the most influential religious force in US
That government tries to do many things that should be left of firms or individuals and oppose government as an instrument of traditional values. Government shouldn’t get involved in economy and shouldn’t ban drugs or give out needles.
How does one’s gender likely to affect political socialization?
To some extent, women are likely to support reproductive rights, but more likely to oppose military intervention, for example Afghanistan or Iraq.
How does the family affect one’s political outlook & socialization?
The family has a near monopoly status; many beliefs and values learned at home will stay throughout life, not just political outlook, but a person’s socialization. Loyalty is sown young
It is a consistent pattern of opinion on particular issues that stems from a core belief or set of beliefs. Yet in spite of this, people often depart from their ideological beliefs. Example; Pro-life Democrats, fiscally liberal Republicans, etc.
The Family as an agent of Political Socialization
The most powerful agent of socialization (political as well), near monopoly status, while later in life (teen years) a child may not listen much to their parents, but the political effects (or lack thereof) is likely to have a lasting impact. Political loyalty comes 1st from childhood.
Elderly tend to oppose increases in public school spending while supporting Social Security & Medicare increases. Strong political lobby in the AARP Younger people concerned that Social Security won’t be around when they retire, favor changes, public school financing, etc. Think of the different views between a 25 year old father and a 70 year old grandfather.
People’s later viewpoints are strongly affected by the almighty dollar As we see more and more of our tax dollars being used, people become somewhat cautious of government spending programs. That’s why a news segment on “$250 Hammers for the Pentagon” is such a popular segment. Family loyalty is deep seeded as well, but remember the economic effects coupled with the rest of the influences on our political culture
How does economic class affect voting patterns?
Less of an effect than in other part of the world, but in general, lower-income Americans are more supportive of social welfare programs, business regulations, progressive taxation than higher-income Americans.