Flashcards in Political Opinion and Culture Deck (91):
Why did a democratic republic take place in the US? (according to Tocqueville)
many opportunities to acquire land and make a living
Alexis de Tocqueville
French observer of American politics in the 1830s
a distinctive and patterned way of thinking about how political and economic life ought to be carried out
What are the five major important elements in the American view of the political system
Americans LOVE rights
like LOVE them
believe that people should be able to do whatever they please as long as nobody gets hurt
Americans believe that everyone should have an equal vote and chance to participate and succeed
Americans want their officials to be accountable
Generally feel like people should help out their community and be active in it
Individuals are responsible for their own action and well being
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
American creed vs behavior conflict example
belief in equality of opportunity vs. discrimination
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
Americanism is evidence for
a common way of life
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
Do Americans support free-enterprise?
Do people support government regulation if a firm is too powerful?
True or false: Americans are more willing to tolerate political inequality than economic inequality.
Do Americans believe in economic equality of opportunity or economic equality of results?
Which of the five major values do American economic views align most closely with?
Do Americans like hiring quotas?
No, they seem like preferential treatment
Do Americans tend to assert their rights?
belief that one has an obligation to participate in civic and political affairs
Stronger in US than GB
A belief that one can affect politics
What are ways Americans participate in politics besides voting?
Attending political meetings
being active in the local community
contacting government officials
True or false: Americans are more trusting of government now than they used to be
True or false: Americans have relatively high faith in institutions(public and private) compared to people in other countries
Are American liberals as liberal as Swedish liberals?
not even close
Is America a religious country?
Why are Americans attracted to religion?
Spiritual values as well as community works
give clothes and help other people out
True or False: Religious beliefs transformed American political life
ex. First Great Awakening
Give an example of liberals using religion to promote political change
religious civil rights leaders
Give an example of conservatives using religion to promote political change
1980s moral majority
Do Americans mention religion more in politics?
in a degree that is completely unmatched by other democracies
What are the roots of American distrust?
1. British rule
2. Religious belief that human nature is depraved
First test of American politics and the ability of governmental cooperation
Federalists vs. Antifederalists / (Jefferson vs. Hamilton)
People accepted opposition party
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
Churches were controlled by ________
This made them akin to ___________
a mini politcal system
What is the main system of culture transmission?
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
A belief that morality and religion ought to be of decisive importance
These are determined by religion and nature and are constant
A belief that personal freedom and solving social problems are more important than religion
Are all people who hold orthodox views religious?
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
Do Americans support public officials?
Have they always felt this way?
no (like they used to consistently but then by 1980 it was over)
Why do Americans not trust officials as much as they used to?
Additionally, in the past, there were some really confidence inspiring things(like FDR and Eisenhower era) /people expected less
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
A belief that you can take part in politics (internal efficacy) or that the government will respond to the citizenry (external efficacy)
the ability to take part in and understand political affairs
the ability to make the system respond to the citizenry
Which type of efficacy, external or internal, has been on the decline?
Who has a higher sense of efficacy Americans or Europeans?
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
True or False Americans have become more tolerant
How come groups that others would like to deny things like free speech to still exist?
people don't act on those ideas
how people think or feel about certain things
Is public opinion easy to measure?
ex. Monetary Control Bill
When people are unfamiliar with a topic, can they generally figure out who will represent their interests??
a survey of public opinion
Method of selecting from a population in which each person has an equal probability of being selected
the difference between the results of random samples taken at the same time
polls based on interviews conducted on election day with randomly selected voters
What are some things essential to good polls?
wording questions fairly
Asking comprehensible questions that people can form opinions on
and like more
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
some people care more about issues than others
some issues have relatively consistent opinions, while others have volatile ones.
some issues see government and popular opinion going hand in hand, other times out of sync
Process by which background traits influence one's politics
People who have a disproportionate amount of some valued resource
True or false: most young people identify with their parents on parties
difference in political views between men and women
True or false: the voting behavior of women has changed since the 1960s
What are the largest reasons for the gender gap?
size of the government
spending programs aimed at the poor
True or false: college makes you more liberal
Have people of different social classes become more or less similar(in terms of opinion)?
True or false: More african american youths are identifying as republican
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
A more or less consistent set of beliefs about what policies government ought to pursue
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!}
True or false: Moderates are the smallest group in American politics
false, they are the largest and liberals are the smallest
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
originally, someone who valued social and economic liberty
FDR made it someone who wanted an active gov
orginially someone who was against the excesses of the French Revolution and wanted the state, church, and aristocracy to come back to power
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
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
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
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
People with a disproportionate share of political power
Why are elites more ideological?
better informed and, if they take an interest, very likely to keep views
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
a standard of right or proper conduct
Do elites have a large or small effect on the public?