Ch 6 Public Opinion and Political Action Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Ch 6 Public Opinion and Political Action Deck (18):

Public Opinion

The distribution of the population's beliefs about politics and policy issues



the science of population change



An "actual enumeration" of the populations, which the Constitution requires the government conduct every 10 years. The census is a valuable tool for understanding demographic changes.


Melting Pot

A term often used to characterize the United States, with its history of immigration and mixing of cultures, ideas, and peoples


minority majority

the situation, likely beginning in the mid-twenty-first century, in which the non-HIspanic whites will represent a minority of the U.S. population and minority groups together will represent a majority


political culture

an overall set of values widely shared within a society



the process of reallocating seats in the House of Representatives every 10 years on the basis of the results of the census


political socialization

the process through which individuals in a society acquire political attitudes, views, and knowledge, based on inputs from family, schools, the media, and others



a relatively small proportion of people who are chosen in a survey so as to be representative of the whole


random sampling

the key technique employed by survey researchers, which operates on the principle that everyone should have an equal opportunity of being selected for the sample


sampling error

level of confidence in the findings of a public opinion poll. the more people interviewed, the more confident one can be of the results


random-digit dialing

a technique used by pollsters to place telephone calls randomly to both listed and unlisted numbers when conducting a survey


exit poll

public opinion surveys used by major media pollsters to predict electoral winners with speed and precision


political ideology

a coherent set of beliefs about politics, public policy, and public purpose, which helps give meaning to political events


gender gap

the regular pattern in which women are more likely to support Democratic candidates, in part because they tend to be less conservative than men and more likely to support spending on social services and to oppose higher levels of military spending.


political participation

all the activities used by citizens to influence the selection of political leaders or the policies they pursue. The most common means of political participation in a democracy is voting; other means include protest and civil disobedience



a form of political participation designed to achieve policy change through dramatic and unconventional tactics


civil disobedience

a form of political participation based on a conscious decision to break a law believed to be unjust and to suffer the consequences