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Flashcards in Political Opinion and Culture Deck (91):
1

Why did a democratic republic take place in the US? (according to Tocqueville)

many opportunities to acquire land and make a living
minimal taxes

2

Alexis de Tocqueville

French observer of American politics in the 1830s

3

political culture

a distinctive and patterned way of thinking about how political and economic life ought to be carried out

4

What are the five major important elements in the American view of the political system

Liberty
Equality
Democracy
Civic Duty
Individual Responsibility

5

Liberty

Americans LOVE rights
like LOVE them
believe that people should be able to do whatever they please as long as nobody gets hurt

6

Equality

Americans believe that everyone should have an equal vote and chance to participate and succeed

7

Democracy

Americans want their officials to be accountable

8

Civic Duty

Generally feel like people should help out their community and be active in it

9

Individual Responsibility

such Americanism
Individuals are responsible for their own action and well being

10

How do we know how Americans feel?

Polls, but they are relatively recent
Viewing what Americans are drawn to and what choices they make
comparisons to different countries

11

American creed vs behavior conflict example

belief in equality of opportunity vs. discrimination

12

Why is there conflict if everyone agrees?

Abstract beliefs remain the same, but specific policies views can be different
Sometimes values are just so not at all related
Strong beliefs and values drive conflicts

13

Americanism is evidence for

a common way of life

14

Did the South secede because they had a vastly different political culture full of different abstract ideals and wanted to form a fundamentally different country based on a completely different set of rules?

no, they used some of Constitutional language

15

Do Americans support free-enterprise?

Yes

16

Do people support government regulation if a firm is too powerful?

yes

17

True or false: Americans are more willing to tolerate political inequality than economic inequality.

False

18

Do Americans believe in economic equality of opportunity or economic equality of results?

Opportunity

19

Which of the five major values do American economic views align most closely with?

Individual Responsibility

20

Do Americans like hiring quotas?

No, they seem like preferential treatment

21

Do Americans tend to assert their rights?

YES

22

Civic Duty

belief that one has an obligation to participate in civic and political affairs
Stronger in US than GB

23

Civic competence

A belief that one can affect politics

24

What are ways Americans participate in politics besides voting?

Campaigning
Attending political meetings
being active in the local community
contacting government officials

25

True or false: Americans are more trusting of government now than they used to be

False

26

True or false: Americans have relatively high faith in institutions(public and private) compared to people in other countries

true

27

Are American liberals as liberal as Swedish liberals?

not even close

28

Is America a religious country?

yessss

29

Why are Americans attracted to religion?

Spiritual values as well as community works
give clothes and help other people out

30

True or False: Religious beliefs transformed American political life

true
ex. First Great Awakening
Temperance

31

Give an example of liberals using religion to promote political change

religious civil rights leaders

32

Give an example of conservatives using religion to promote political change

1980s moral majority

33

Do Americans mention religion more in politics?

YES
in a degree that is completely unmatched by other democracies

34

What are the roots of American distrust?

1. British rule
2. Religious belief that human nature is depraved

35

First test of American politics and the ability of governmental cooperation

Federalists vs. Antifederalists / (Jefferson vs. Hamilton)
People accepted opposition party

36

Which two religious groups historically caused cleavage in politics?

Puritans [work ethic] vs. Catholics [Sacraments and priestly authority]
also choice of political party and a bunch of other stuff

37

Churches were controlled by ________
This made them akin to ___________

their members
a mini politcal system

38

What is the main system of culture transmission?

Family

39

class consciousness

A belief that you are a member of an economic group whose interests are opposed to people in other groups
not very present in America
think that guy form Britain

40

Orthodox

A belief that morality and religion ought to be of decisive importance
These are determined by religion and nature and are constant

41

Progressive

A belief that personal freedom and solving social problems are more important than religion

42

Are all people who hold orthodox views religious?

Nope

43

Has the scope of the culture war gotten bigger?

Yes, because of the internet and mass media as well as the fact that not everyone is orthodox

44

Do Americans support public officials?
Have they always felt this way?

no
no (like they used to consistently but then by 1980 it was over)

45

Why do Americans not trust officials as much as they used to?

Vietnam
Watergate
Clinton Impeachment

Additionally, in the past, there were some really confidence inspiring things(like FDR and Eisenhower era) /people expected less

46

What made Americans more aware of problems currently on the national agenda/when?

1960s and 70s
turmoil and new concerns
people felt like gov couldn't do anything because problems were so big
Patriotism not expressed as often

47

Political efficacy

A belief that you can take part in politics (internal efficacy) or that the government will respond to the citizenry (external efficacy)

48

internal efficacy

the ability to take part in and understand political affairs

49

external efficacy

the ability to make the system respond to the citizenry

50

Which type of efficacy, external or internal, has been on the decline?

external efficacy

51

Who has a higher sense of efficacy Americans or Europeans?

Americans

52

Do Americans support free speech, majority rule, and the right to petition?

In theory and in the abstract they LOVE them
however, on a case by case basis, not so much

53

True or False Americans have become more tolerant

True

54

How come groups that others would like to deny things like free speech to still exist?

people don't act on those ideas

55

public opinion

how people think or feel about certain things

56

Is public opinion easy to measure?

No
ex. Monetary Control Bill

57

When people are unfamiliar with a topic, can they generally figure out who will represent their interests??

yes

58

poll

a survey of public opinion

59

random sample

Method of selecting from a population in which each person has an equal probability of being selected

60

Sampling error

the difference between the results of random samples taken at the same time

61

Exit polls

polls based on interviews conducted on election day with randomly selected voters

62

What are some things essential to good polls?

wording questions fairly
Asking comprehensible questions that people can form opinions on
and like more

63

stratified or multistage area sampling

a list of all geographical units are made and they are grouped by population size
random units are then selected in proportion

64

opinion saliency

some people care more about issues than others

65

opinion stability

some issues have relatively consistent opinions, while others have volatile ones.

66

opinion-policy congruence

some issues see government and popular opinion going hand in hand, other times out of sync

67

political socialization

Process by which background traits influence one's politics

68

Elite

People who have a disproportionate amount of some valued resource

69

True or false: most young people identify with their parents on parties

true

70

gender gap

difference in political views between men and women

71

True or false: the voting behavior of women has changed since the 1960s

false

72

What are the largest reasons for the gender gap?

size of the government
gun control
spending programs aimed at the poor
gay rights

73

True or false: college makes you more liberal

true

74

Have people of different social classes become more or less similar(in terms of opinion)?

More

75

True or false: More african american youths are identifying as republican

true -

76

True or false: the South is more conservative than other regions

True, but this is generally on more social issues, and they are close to other regions of the country

77

political ideology

A more or less consistent set of beliefs about what policies government ought to pursue

78

How is the extent of ideology measured?

1. Through people's use of broad political words to describe themselves or their actions
2. Seeing the policy preferences of certain people over time and if they are consistent [Math!}

79

True or false: Moderates are the smallest group in American politics

false, they are the largest and liberals are the smallest

80

Since most Americans do not identify as conservative or liberal, are they not ideological?

No, Americans are very ideological, they just don't use these words to describe themselves
Also, people are seemingly inconsistent, which means that they don't follow the classic examples of liberals or conservatives. They really are just not defined by a single label

81

liberal

originally, someone who valued social and economic liberty
FDR made it someone who wanted an active gov

82

Conservative

orginially someone who was against the excesses of the French Revolution and wanted the state, church, and aristocracy to come back to power

83

Pure liberals

liberal economically and socially
gov reduce economic inequality, regulate biz, tax rich, stop econ causes of crime, allow abortions, protect righst

Generally college educated, young, and not religious

84

Pure Conservatives

Conservative socially and economically
want gov to cut back on welfare state, let the market be the market, keep low taxes, use prisons

Generally older, higher income, white, Midwest

85

Libertarians

Economically conservative but socially liberal
small weak government that can not control economy or personal life

Generally young, college educated, white, western, higher income, and not religious

86

Populists

Liberal on economic policy but socially conservative
want econ inequality reduced but also regulate personal conduct and allow school prayer

Generally older, less educated, low-income, religious, female, South or Midwest

87

Political Elites

People with a disproportionate share of political power

88

Why are elites more ideological?

1. information
better informed and, if they take an interest, very likely to keep views

2. peers
the more time spent in politics, the more you associate with people who are similar to you, which leads to your views matching theirs more

89

norm

a standard of right or proper conduct

90

Do elites have a large or small effect on the public?

large

91

What are limits on the power of the elites?

do not define problems: people can see them on their onw
little evidence on what people think is a problem on crimes or drugs

works well for foreign policy