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Public Opinion and Political Socialization: Shaping the Peoples Voice Chapter 6.

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Presentation on theme: "Public Opinion and Political Socialization: Shaping the Peoples Voice Chapter 6."— Presentation transcript:

1 Public Opinion and Political Socialization: Shaping the Peoples Voice Chapter 6

2 The Nature of Public Opinion Public opinion: opinions of citizens that are openly stated Public opinion: opinions of citizens that are openly stated How informed is public opinion? How informed is public opinion? Selective political interests Selective political interests Quality of services vs. cost Quality of services vs. cost © 2009 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. 2

3 The Nature of Public Opinion How informed is public opinion? How informed is public opinion? Well-informed vs. misinformed Well-informed vs. misinformed Objective opinions vs. subjective opinions Objective opinions vs. subjective opinions © 2009 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. 3

4 The measurement of public opinion The measurement of public opinion Measures public opinion using sample(s) Measures public opinion using sample(s) Samples estimation of populations views Samples estimation of populations views Population: citizens of a nation or group Population: citizens of a nation or group © 2009 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. 4 The Nature of Public Opinion

5 Problems with Polls Problems with Polls Sampling error Sampling error Poorly worded questions Poorly worded questions Non-opinions Non-opinions © 2009 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. 5 The Nature of Public Opinion

6 Political Socialization: How Americans Learn Their Politics Political socialization process Political socialization process Childhood learning is paramount Childhood learning is paramount Process is cumulative Process is cumulative Young more likely than old to switch parties Young more likely than old to switch parties © 2009 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. 6

7 Political Socialization: How Americans Learn Their Politics Political socialization agents Political socialization agents Family Family Media Media Schools Schools Peers Peers Political institutions and leaders Political institutions and leaders Religious institutions Religious institutions © 2009 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. 7

8 Frames of Reference: How Americans Think Politically Cultural thinking: common ideas Cultural thinking: common ideas Ideological thinking: the outlook of some Ideological thinking: the outlook of some Liberal Liberal Conservative Conservative Populists Populists Libertarians Libertarians © 2009 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. 8

9 Frames of Reference: How Americans Think Politically Group thinking: outlook of many Group thinking: outlook of many Religion Religion Class Class Region Region Race and ethnicity Race and ethnicity Gender Gender Age Age Crosscutting cleavages Crosscutting cleavages © 2009 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. 9

10 Frames of Reference: How Americans Think Politically Partisan thinking: line that divides Partisan thinking: line that divides Party identification emotional loyalty to a political party Party identification emotional loyalty to a political party Identification is stable and seldom changes over time Identification is stable and seldom changes over time Leads to subjective opinions about new issues Leads to subjective opinions about new issues © 2009 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. 10

11 Influence of Public Opinion on Policy Public opinion guides elected officials actions Public opinion guides elected officials actions Public opinion Public opinion Can become an issue in an election Can become an issue in an election Can be changed Can be changed Can be activated Can be activated Can be crystallized Can be crystallized © 2009 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. 11


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