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72 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Political Culture
a set of widely shared belief, values, and norms concerning the ways that political and economic life ought to be carried out. It defines the relationship of citizens to government, to one another, and to the economy.
Each country has a unique political culture (some may share beliefs however)
Conflictual political culture
one in which different groups clash with opposing bliefs and values
consensual political culture
experiences less conflict
American political culture
consensual because we have a broad based of shared political values. Most of our conflicts occur because we disagree on how these values should be implemented, not on the basic beliefs themselves
Alexis de Tocqueville
an early observer of american political culture. He came to united states to investigate why the american democracy seemed to be so successful. He recorded his obervations in Democracy in America
"Democracy in America" and its factors
a book that remains today a classic study of american poltical values. (written by de Tocqueville). In it he identified factors he blieved to be critical in shaping america's sucessful democracy
1) abundant and fertile land
2) countless opportunities for people to acquire land and make a living
3) lack of feudal aristocracy
4) an independent spirit encouraged by frontier living
these factors shaped our basic values of liberty individualism, equal opportunity, democracy, rule of law, and civic duty
Core valutes that have shaped the political culture
rule of law
civic duty
imspired by american revolution. sited by john locked and later by thomas jefferson
refered to by thomas jefferson
basic value in declaration of independance
most american dont blieve that everyone is equal but they believe in equal opportunity and equal treatment
the importance of dignity of the individual (have both rights and reponsibilities)
Rugged Individualism
belif that individuals are responsible for their own well-being and that the strength of our system lies in the ability of individuals to be left alone to copete for sucess.
associated with the belief in common sense of people
americans believed that gov should be based on consent of the governed.
-majority rule
-rights of the minority as well
rule of law
gov is based on a body of law applied equally
opposition to rule by individual -aka dictator
civic duty
althought community is not as strong in modern day, most americans believe that they ought to be involved in local affairs
Americans tend to be...
nationalistic, optimistic, idealistic
robber barons
entreprneurs (people who have the majority of wealth... wealth lies in the hands of few ppl)
wealth based on money and other capital goods (before it was based on ownership) (reinforced the emphasis on individualism)
Free enterprise
economic competition without restraint of government (reinforced the emphasis on individualism)
Preamble of constitution
states that "promotion o the general welfare" is a major purpose of the government
Second Bill of Rights
Roosevelts 1944 inaugural address. it reflects his commitment to "economic security and independence"
He believed everyone had the right to job, food, clothing, home, medical care, and education.
Political Tolerence
deomcracy depends on citizens being tolerant of the opinions and actions of others.
poltical tolerance complexity
-most americans agree with freedom of speech, religion, and right to petition
-people are not as poltical tolerent as they proclaim themselves to be
-americans are willing many people with whom they disagree to do a great deal poltically
-ppl have become more tolerent
-most ppl displike another strongly enough to deny certain poltical rights
-ppl are not always inclind to act on poltical belifs
Political efficacy
a citizens capacity to understand and influence poltical events. 2 parts: internal and external efficacy
internal efficacy
the ability to understand and take part in poltical affairs
external efficacy
the belief of the individual that government will respond to his or her personal needs or beliefs
Changes in efficacy
little change in internal efficacy
great change in external.. ex. during vietnam and watergate
americans have a greater poltical efficacy than european nations
americans are less likely to vote however but more likely to sign petitions, etc
differences of oppion
americans blieve that united states is subject to unchanging standards (belief in god, laws of nature, united states is gerneral force of good
the opposite emphasizes the legitimate alternatives to these standards
Public opinion
the distribution of individual attitudes about a particular issue, candidate or poltical instituion. it encompasses the attitudes of millions of diverse people from many backgrounds.
Measurement of public opppion
involves interviewing, etc
people are not well informed about issues
George Gallup
developed public opinion polling
Representative sample
sample of those interviewed must be representive of the entire population.
random sampling
gives everyone in the population an equal probablity of being selected for interview.
Respondants knowledge
people must have soe knoledge of the issues they are asked about. (which ppl are often reluctant to admit a lack of knowldge about)
Care and objective wording
the structure and wording of the question is very imprant for an accurate response. emotional words are not use and the polster doesnt indicate the "right" answer. categories also determine the results
Cost efficiency vs acuracy
all polls have a budget but accuracy shouldnt suffer as a result. straw interviews: asks television views to call is not expensive but not accurate.
Variances between sampling
the same poll conducted with a different random sample will have slightly different result. this is known as sampling errors (usually has a 3% error margin)
Political socialization
these are what shape political attitudes. it is a lifelong process through which an individual acquires opinions through contact with family, friends, coworkers, and other group associations. Media also plays a role in this.
4 factors: family, gender, religion, education, social class, race and thenicity, and region
the most imporant source of poltical socialization
majority of young ppl identify with parents poltical party. however, this number is lower than the past (having to do with becomeing independants)
-more woman consider sexual harassment in the workplace a serious problem
-men tend to support military actions and spending in foreign affairs
-party identification (has shifted some) Since the 1960's woman have tended to vote democrat (gender gap). modern woman's rights movement and democracts tendency to support points of view woman support (ie equal opportuity, abortion rights, wlefare programs) however defense issues sway some to republicans
Married Vs Unmarried
gender gap is not so significant between married and unmarried voters. (small differences) singles more likely to support democrats and married to support republicans
-protestants are more conservatice on econmic matters (such as min wage and taxes) tahn catholics and jews
-jews tend to be more liberal economically and sociall than catholics/protestants
-catholics tend to be more liberal on econic issues than they are social issues
-fundamentalist christsians tend to support repub.. they have stronger attitudes about social issues than foreign affairs
-higher education, the more liely they are conservative
-college education influences individuals to have more liberal social and economic attitudes than before they started college
-the longer and more pretigious, the more liberal they become (teachers are liberal)
Social Class
before: high-conservative, low-liberal
today: not so clear due to college education and liberalism
Race and ethnicity
-black americans: tend to identify with the democractic party (liberal)
hispanic: tend to be more liberal
Asian AMericans: more conservative. althought, this varies in nationalities
"the issues"
liberals: health care should be more avaible and not tied to work (national health care system)
conservatives: best handled by private insurance companies and tied to work place
liberals: cure the economic and social reasons for crim
conservatives: stopcoddling criminals and punish them for their crimes
business regulation
liberals: gov should regulate businessess in the public interest
conservative: buisnesses should be allowed to operate under free market conditions
military spending
liberals: spend less
conservative: spend more
liberals: the ruch should be taxed more; the gov is presonsible for reducing economic inequality

conservative: taxes should be kept low
welfare state
liberals: gov is responsible for helping the poor find employment and relieving their misery

conservative: people are reponsible for their own well-being; welfare takes away the incentive to take care of themselves
civil rights
liberals: support for pro-active civil rights gov policies
conservative: limited gov rle in promoting social equality
liberal: prochoice
conservatives: pro-life
liberal: clear seperation of church and state
conservatives: support for faith-based political initiavies
started as post-cold war conservative movement. main goal is to counter global terrorism, (especially carried out by radical islamists).
-may be from either poltical party
-tend to affilate repub
-advocate breakup of golable terrorist networks
Poltical participation
the various activies that citizens employ in their effort to influence policy making and the selection of leaders.
-national, state and local levels
-Americans are more active in polticals but low voter turnout rates
who participates has to do with
education, religious involvement, race and ethniticity, age, gender, and two party competition
high education- high involvement. well educated ppl better understand complex social issues
religious involvment
great involvment, greater participation.
race and ethnicity
whites have higher voting rates. this is deceptive however. education and income have a lot to do with this
18-24 yr olds are lowest in participation. 45 and above participate the most
two-party competition
extent to which elections are competitive in a state. more competiive generall brings higher turnouts
originally: voting
states determined qualifications
all states excluded woman, most denied blacks, and proerty ownership was required
lifting of property restriction
1830's jackson.. most states lifted this to embrace "universal manhood sufferage" voting rights for all white males
15th amendment
blacks right to vote
jim crow laws
literacty tests, poll taxes, grandfather clause
prevented black s fromvoting until well past 20th century
1950's and 60's the supreme court declared jim crow laws unconstituional
24th amendment
banned the use of poll tax
19th amendment
womans right to vote 1920
26th amendment
changed minimum voting age from 21 to 18 1971
measuring voter turnout
registered voters that vote and % of eligible voters that vote
Voter registration
-laws vary according to state
-all except north dekota require registration
-moving states, forgot to register, or passed 18th birthday means that they are ineligable to vote for 6 months
National Voter Registraction Act/ "Motor/votor bill"
allows ppl to register to vote while allpling for or renewing a diver's licence.
also required state to provite assistance to facilitar voter registraction
cannot remove name from voter roles
democrats mostly support this bill
Other reasons for low voter turnouts
difficulty of absentee voting, number of officies to elect, weekday (non-holiday voting), weak poltical parties