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Chapter 4 Political Culture

Chapter 4 Political Culture

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Chapter 4 Political Culture

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  1. Chapter 4Political Culture Mr. Ishmael-AP Government

  2. By the end of this lesson, I will be able to… • Identify what political culture is. • Identify what political ideology is. • Understand the important elements associated with the political system.

  3. Intro • Survival of U.S. Constitution rare • Copied in other countries, have had lapses in success • Tocqueville-Country flourished b/c “soil were fertile in which roots could grow” • Constitution, plus opportunities for people to control own life, made Democracy possible • Also, “moral and intellectual characteristics” of people and political culture play role as well.

  4. Political Culture v. Political Ideology Political culture: Patterned set of ways of thinking about how political and economic activities ought to be carried out Ex: We believe those who win elections should take office Don’t condone political violence “Ballots, not bullets” Nobody should have claim to political authority simply due to wealth or family history

  5. Political Culture v. Political Ideology • Political Ideology: • Refers to more or less consistent views concerning policies government ought to pursue • Liberal v. Conservative • For the most part, people disagree on ideology • Could still share similar feelings on political culture… • Unless so critical of existing govt. policies and practices that they require a fundamental change in way govt. functions

  6. Political System • Five important elements in American view of political system: • Liberty • Equality • Democracy • Civic Duty • Individual Responsibility

  7. Liberty • Americans preoccupied with rights • Should be free to do as please • As long as we don’t hurt others

  8. Equality • Everyone should have an equal vote, equal chance to participate

  9. Democracy • Govt. should be accountable to the people

  10. Civic Duty • People ought to take govt. affairs seriously • Help out when they can

  11. Individual Responsibility • Individuals responsible for their own actions and well-being

  12. At the end of this lesson I will be able to… • Explain how Americans feel about equality • Compare how American political culture compares to the rest of the world

  13. True False Civic duty is an important element of the American political system

  14. Civic duty is an important element of the American political system • True • False

  15. Government officials being accountable to the people is known as • Individual responsibility • Liberty • Civic duty • Democracy • Equality

  16. Equality of Opportunity vs. Equality of Results • Liberty is important • Believe in a free-enterprise system • More willing to tolerate economic inequality than political inequality • Maintain “equality in opportunity” • Not “equality in results” • If everyone has same opportunities, okay if those with more skill get ahead • Help get educated, won’t give preferential treatment • Liberal groups more willing to give preferential treatment

  17. Equality of results is an important part of American politics • True • False

  18. Americans are willing to tolerate political equality over economic equality • True • False

  19. America and Other Nations • Political System • Sweden • More deferential than participatory • Most adults vote, don’t participate any other way • Defer to decisions made by leaders, rarely challenge • Japan • Attach greater value to good relationships, having decisions made by groups, preserve social harmony, respect hierarchy • Stress: • Sensitivity to others • Avoid conflict • Reach decisions through discussion rather than rules

  20. America and Other Nations (cont.) • Study of pol. culture in 5 nations (1960) • Americans and GB have greater sense of civic duty • One is obligated to participate in civic affairs • Stronger sense of civic competence • Belief one can affect govt. policies • Both more so than Germany, Italy, and Mexico • 1995-America lagging Austria, Netherlands, West Germany, and UK in turnout • Highly more active in other participation activities

  21. America and Other Nations (cont.) • Less trust in govt. here, still have higher confidence in political institutions • See that we need a change in policies, not the system • Typically bound by Americanism • Not common to have this bond around the world • Gives us a greater sense of nationalism compared to other nations around the world

  22. People in Sweden generally are highly participatory and assertive in their right to be heard in politics. • True • False

  23. Today, confidence remains high in public institutions • True • False

  24. Today I will be able to… • Explain the culture war in America • Understand the concept of political efficacy

  25. Culture War • The Culture War • War over values • Usually explosive issues such as: • Abortion • Gay rights • Drug use • School prayer • Pornography • Differs from other political disputes • No money at stake • Compromises almost impossible • Conflict more profound • Animated by deep differences in private and public morality

  26. Culture War (cont.) • Two opposed camps: • Orthodox • Morality as important as self-expression • Based on unchanging rules of God • The “Religious Right” • Progressive • Personal freedom as important as tradition • “Liberal,” “Immoral” • Also see battles within groups • Do see progressive views in orthodox groups, and vice versa • Increase in conflict due to: • Increase in “progressives” • Rise of media (easier on larger scale)

  27. Political Efficacy • What does it mean? • A citizens feeling that they believe they have a say in what govt. does • Seen a decline in recent decades • Two kinds: • Internal • Ability to understand system and take part • Not much change in levels of this type • External • Believe in the ability of the govt. to respond • Sharp drop since 60s

  28. Political Efficacy (cont.) • Compared to other nations • Higher than Europeans • Also more likely to discuss politics, sign petitions, work to solve community problems • Some feel Americans alienated from politics • People are typically more realistic • Less voters trust institutions, more likely to support third parties.

  29. Today I will be able to… • Identify sources of political culture

  30. Sources of Political Culture • FAMILY!!! • Most important factor • Usually first influence in how to view politics • Mostly due to increased equality amongst family members

  31. Sources of Political Culture • Mass Media • Television leading source of political and public affairs • Can skew ideas on what is important • If it leads, might seem more important

  32. Sources of Political Culture • Education • Learn early in school about politics • More one learns about the process, more influenced one will be about politics

  33. Age • Younger=more liberal • More progressive as well • Typically, one’s attitudes are shaped by events that happen in one’s life

  34. Chapter 5-Public Opinion Mr. Ishmael AP Government

  35. Things to Consider • As a country, we have a government “For the people, by the people.” • If so, how come: • Federal government often has a large deficit… • But people want a balanced budget • Courts ordered children to be bused to ensure racial equality in the schools… • But people opposed busing • Equal Rights Amendment was not ratified… • But polls showed most people supported it • House of Reps. voted to impeach Clinton… • Even though people opposed this • Most people believe limits should exist on # of terms Congress people should serve… • But Congress has not approved limits

  36. Today, I will be able to… • Understand the framers opinion toward public opinion • Understand why there is a gap between opinion and policy • Understand the problems with assessing public opinion

  37. The Founders • Several reasons why opinion at odds with policy: • Constitution written in order to achieve goals… • Not always do what people want • Also felt would not be a dominant “public opinion” • Would be many publics • Existence of many would prevent one from dominating • Help protect liberties

  38. The Founders • Several reasons why opinion at odds with policy: • Not easy to tell what public thinks • Most issues that are polled are not necessarily issues govt. must act on • More knowledge and activity one has, more weight opinion will carry in govt. circles • Most political elites know more and think differently about politics • Govt. attends more to elite views, not popular views

  39. Problems with assessing public opinion • How a pollster words questions can dramatically affect answers they get • Altering order of words in questions can drastically alter opinions • Most polls ask voters to think about benefits, not costs • Most opinions are not stable • Change from time to time • Public opinion suffers from: • Ignorance • Instability • Sensitivity to way questions are worded

  40. Today I will be able to… • Discuss the origins of political attitude/factors that affect people’s political attitude. • Understand the concept of cleavages in public opinion.

  41. Factors that affect public opinion • Most important: FAMILY!!! • Usually a result of political party identification • Study of high school seniors shows: • 91% knew accurately parent’s presidential preference • 71% knew accurately parent’s party identification • Only 9% opposed parent’s party preference • Even as we grow older and grow apart from parents, party identification can stay the same

  42. Factors that affect public opinion (Cont.) • Religion • Two theories as to why religion plays a role • Social Status • Religious groups come together due to past discrimination • I.E. Catholics and Jews • They would align closer to parties sympathetic to their plight (Democratic) • Religious Tradition • Moral teachings of religious institutions affects opinions on issues • Regardless, religious differences make for political differences

  43. Factors that affect public opinion (cont.) • Gender Gap • Difference in political views between men and women • Overall trend of opinion since 60s: • Men=more conservative • Women=more liberal • Have different attitudes about following issues: • Size of govt. • Gun control • Spending programs aimed towards poor • Gay rights

  44. Factors that affect public opinion (cont.) • Schooling and Information • 1920-1960s: record number of those attending college • Research shows this impacted political attitudes • ↑ schooling = ↑ voting and political activity • Studies also show attending college makes people more liberal • Why? • People already possess those feelings once entering college • College exposes one to more information about politics • Possible that colleges teach liberalism

  45. Cleavages in Public Opinion • Top cleavages • Social class • Unskilled workers=more democrat than white collar workers • Has changed slightly though • For one, more go to college, learn a little more about liberalism • Still, most division exists here due to economic issues • Social issues aren’t affected as much by class

  46. Cleavages in Public Opinion • Top cleavages • Race and ethnicity (Chart 5.4) • Afro-Americans: More Democratic • Whites: more Republican • Still, gap closing between whites and blacks (Chart 5.5) • Also see differences w/in racial groups • Ex. Asian-Americans • Japanese-Americans: more conservative • Korean-Americans: more liberal

  47. Cleavages in Public Opinion • Top Cleavages • Region • Southerners and northerners disagree on many policy issues • South: Less liberal on social issues • Busing, legalizing marijuana, etc. • Similar beliefs on economy • More accommodating to business enterprise, less to organized labor • Becoming more conservative • However, presidential candidates still need the South if they hope to win elections

  48. Political Ideology • More or less a consistent set of beliefs about what policies govt. ought to pursue • Conservative vs. Liberal • Two ways to measure: • See how often one uses broad terms (conservative, liberal, etc.) to describe their beliefs • Seeing to what extent policy preferences are consistent over time • Popularity: • Moderates: 1st • Conservatives: 2nd • Liberals: 3rd

  49. Consistent Attitudes • Ideology hard to identify • Due to inconsistency of attitudes • Don’t know correct meaning of “labels” • I.E. “liberal” “ conservative” etc. • Don’t have to be conservative, liberal, in order to have an ideology • Due to common feelings of equality, freedom, and Americanism

  50. Liberalism v. Conservatism • Terms not meaningless • Have changed over time • Liberal: used to favor personal and economic liberty • Conservative: discouraged by ideals of French Revolution • Changed w/ New Deal, when FDR referred to programs as “liberal” • Opponents eventually known as conservatives