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Unit #1: Political Ideology & Behaviors Part 1: Demographics and Political Identity.

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Presentation on theme: "Unit #1: Political Ideology & Behaviors Part 1: Demographics and Political Identity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unit #1: Political Ideology & Behaviors Part 1: Demographics and Political Identity

2 Demographics: The Census Demography is the science of population changes. We use it to study how the people of America change and thus how public opinion changes. The census is conducted every ten years by the U.S. government since 1790 and is our main demographic tool. The census has revealed time and time again that we are a nation of immigrants and the result is a melting pot of ideals and beliefs.

3 Demographics: Current Population Statistics

4 Population Trends The overall population I exploding in number, surpassing 300 million in 2008. Graying. Overall the American population is growing older as the “baby boomer” generation continues to reach retirement age. Shifting. Older generations are moving to the South and West. Immigration numbers have also dramatically increased, especially in southern states. Diversifying. Minorities continue to grow in size.

5 Political Consequences of Population Trends 1. Reapportionment occurs after every census a representation in congress is adjusted to reflect population changes and shifts. 2. Disproportionate political power for elderly due to the growing size of the older generation. 3. Shift of political power to minorities. 4. Strain of entitlement programs as programs such as Social Security and Medicare cannot keep up with the aging population.


7 Shared Political Culture (Regardless of Race or Religion) Freedom Individualism Equality of Opportunity (not economic) Democracy Civic Duty Tolerance Distrust of Government

8 Political Socialization All of the factors below impact the way an individual thinks and acts politically (the rank of importance might range from person to person). 1. Family 2. Religion 3. School 4. Friends/Peers 5. Mass Media

9 Political Ideologies: The Definition Political ideology is a coherent set of values and belief about public policy (political decisions) A person’ political ideology impacts the way an individual politically participates. Conventional participation such as voting, running for office, campaigning Unconventional participation such as protest, civil disobedience, non- violent and violent demonstrations.

10 Function of Ideology in American Politics 1. Convenient labels that help voters define themselves and candidates relative to others – even if they are limited in their accuracy. 2. Over-used devices that merely exaggerate the political divide in America.

11 Political Ideology Basic Categories Liberal: Favors strong central (national) government. Conservative: Favors less central and instead more local (state) government power. Libertarian: In favor of limited government involvement on any level. Authoritarian: Desire a strong all powerful government.



14 Political Ideology Measurement Tools 1. Economic spectrum – how much government intervention do you prefer in the name of bringing about economic fairness? 2. Social/moral spectrum – how much government intervention do you prefer in the name of enforcing/protecting traditional moral values?


16 Basic Historical Trends of Political Ideology 1. 20 th century “paternalism” brought about by a century of the New Deal coalition. (Idea that the government takes care of us.) 2. Resurgence of conservatism a.) Ronald Reagan 1980s b.) 1994, 104 th Congress, Republican “Revolution,” aka “Devolution” Characterized by increase in block grants Shift in power/responsibility back to the states Shift toward “dual federalism” Evidenced by Welfare Reform Act of 1996 c.) The Tea Party (Happening again today) 3. Increase in political polarization (America is as split today as it was before the Civil War.





21 Political Platforms Democrat Pro-Choice Pro Same-Sex Marriage Support government administered healthcare Increased gun control In favor of public schools Want to invest more in infrastructure. Pro- labor union Republican Pro-Life Anti Same-Sex Marriage Against government administered healthcare Pro gun rights In favor of school choice Against increased taxes Anti-labor union

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