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Public Opinion & Media. Ch 4-5-6. Political Culture. Political Culture: Widely shared (throughout the whole community) beliefs, values, and norms concerning the relationship of citizens to the government and to one another Answers: “What is?” Proposes: “What ought to be.”

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Public opinion media

Public Opinion &Media

Ch 4-5-6


Political culture

Political Culture

Political Culture:

  • Widely shared (throughout the whole community) beliefs, values, and norms concerning the relationship of citizens to the government and to one another

    • Answers: “What is?”

    • Proposes: “What ought to be.”

    • Provides: Emotional connections, symbols, etc.


Political culture1

Political Culture

Political Ideology:

  • Beliefs, values and norms concerning the relationship of citizens to the government and to one another

    • shared by members of a political movement or sub-group, but not by the whole society

  • Examples: Republican Party, Democratic Party, Arian Nations, Green Peace, etc.


Political culture2

Political Culture

Political Socialization

  • The process of developing political attitudes, values and beliefs

    Institutions of Socialization

  • The groups, practices, and systems that convey and inculcate the values of political culture to rising generations and new members

  • Examples: FAMILY, friends, school, churches, media, Boy Scouts, Job’s Daughters, soccer leagues, service clubs, etc.


Public opinion

Public Opinion

  • Public Opinion: attitudes of the population towards public institutions, public figures, and current events

  • Formation of Individual Opinions

    • Drawn from life experiences

      • Education, wealth, race, geography, gender, etc.

    • Built through socialization

      • Family, school, friends, media, political parties, churches, service clubs, etc.


Public opinion1

Public Opinion

Cleavages

  • We can generally predict how most individuals in broad categories will view issues

  • Influenced by:

    • Race

    • Age

    • Geography

    • Education

    • Religion

    • Occupation

    • Etc.


Public opinion2

Public Opinion

Cleavages

  • Cross-Cutting Cleavage

    • When a person’s background puts them in different camps depending on the issue

  • Mutually Reinforcing Cleavage

    • When a person’s background puts them in the same camp with the same friends and enemies over all or most issues


Public opinion3

Public Opinion

Cleavages

  • Cross-Cutting Cleavage

    • Tempers conflict

    • Engenders compromise

    • Enables stable democratic decision-making

    • Common in US and most advanced industrial societies – and in ALL stable democracies


Public opinion4

Public Opinion

Cleavages

  • Mutually Reinforcing Cleavage

    • Strengthens political differences

    • Reduces the incentive to compromise

    • Leaves people seeing all-or-none outcomes

    • May lead to political violence

    • Makes democracy difficult

    • Race in America, esp.

      • Black, urban, poor

      • Hispanic, rural farm-working poor?


Media

Media

American News Media:

  • Make-up

    • TV

    • Radio

    • Newsprint / mainstream web-based news

    • Blogs, fringe media, etc.

      -- (Which do you use most)

  • Is Print Preferable?


Media1

Media

Is Print Preferable?

Less Bias??

More accurate??

Who decides what to read and how much??

Time to analyze and question?

Who is in the driver’s seat?


Media2

Media

  • Historical press role

    • 1790s Party Papers

    • Technological/economic reasons

  • Development of professional media

    • Penny Press

    • Advertising

    • Unbiased media

    • Professional reporters / editors

    • Professional standards


Media3

Media

Media Bias v Professional, Unbiased Media

  • Media self-perception

    • Unbiased watchdog

    • Fair

    • Reporting just facts

    • Is this realistic?

    • What about their intentions?


Media4

Media

Media Incentive: the Profit Motive

  • What drives reporting choices?

  • What drives style?

  • Results:

    • Horse Race

    • Scandal

    • Sound bites

    • Exit polls


Media5

Media

Media Bias?

  • Liberal Press?

    • “Content analysis shows liberal bias”

    • “Liberal media and academic conspiracy”

    • Reporters are “all liberals”

  • Corporate Press?

    • “Content analysis shows conservative (pro-business) bias”

    • All major media owned by large corporations

    • Never offend advertisers

    • “Vast right-wing conspiracy”


Media6

Media

Media Bias?

  • From the Right: Liberal Press!!

  • From the Left: Corporate, Conservative Press!!

  • Reality?

    • Both exist, some liberal, some conservative, some centrist…

    • You chose where you get your info…


Media s impact on public opinion

Media’s Impact on Public Opinion

  • Does media determine how you think?

    • How others think?

  • Partly:

    • Media as Gatekeeper

    • Media as Watchdog

    • Media as Institution of Socialization


Media and public opinion

Media and Public Opinion

Does media determine how you think?

  • No

  • Selection Bias

    • We only read or watch sources that reinforce our own views

  • Perception Bias

    • Even when we read or watch messages that contradict our view, we tend to miss or ignore the contradictions


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