Gov: Socialization and Public Opinion Review



Review

  • In a democracy public opinion serves as a guide to elected officials, a guard against costly mistakes, and a kind of glue that holds us together despite our differences.
  • While the mass media may help shape public opinion they are also shaped by it. Public opinion is the sum of a large number of individual opinions.
  • Our basic views about politics are formed early in life through political socialization. Agents of socialization include family, schools, religion, friends, and the news media.
  • Most Americans share a common set of beliefs and values about politics and government. This political culture helps unite Americans, even when they differ over ideology.

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Gov: Public Opinion


PblicOpinion2
Public opinion are those opinions held by ordinary citizens that they openly express. There are many ways of assessing public opinion, such as the outcomes of elections, but they have increasingly come to rely on public opinion polls. There are many possible sources of error in polls, and surveys sometimes present a misleading portrayal of the public’s views. However, a properly conducted poll can be an accurate indication of what the public is thinking. Public opinion has a significant influence on government but seldom does it determine exactly what government will do in a particular instance. Public opinion serves to constrain the policy choices of officials but it also is subject to their efforts to mold and channel what the public is thinking. There is evidence that indicates that officials are particularly attentive to public opinion on highly visible and controversial issues of public policy.

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HGov: Public Opinion


PblicOpinion2
Public opinion is commonly defined as the sum of many individual opinions about a public person or issue. Three views to consider on how public opinion come to be shaped are:

Public opinion is shaped by special interest groups. Some believe that public opinion is less about what individuals think and more about what the special interest groups they belong to advocate. Because many such groups represent large numbers of people, they are listened to when they speak out on issues.

Public opinion is shaped by journalists, politicians, and other opinion makers. Those who support this view observe that most of us don’t have time to become informed on every issue. Instead we look to influential opinion makers for information and advice. These opinion makers may be journalists, public officials, business leaders, or activists. Because they have access to the media, “their” opinions often become “our” opinions.

Public opinion is shaped by what politicians say it is. This last view recognizes that politicians often talk about “what the people think” without evidence to back up their claims. They may sincerely believe that they have their fingers on “the pulse of the public.” Or they may hope that by claiming that the public agrees with them loudly enough, they will convince the American people that it must be true.

However, public is seldom a single view held by all Americans. The U.S. is simply too large and diverse for that to be true. Public opinion serves our democratic system of government in three key ways. First, it guides leaders as they make decisions about public policy. Public opinion also serves as guard against hasty or poorly understood decisions. Lastly, public opinion serves as a kind of glue in a diverse society like ours. Widespread agreement on basic political beliefs holds our society together, even in times of intense partisan conflict.


Homework:
6.1 Nature of Public Opinion (read pp.183-191)

Misc-05-june

Gov: Public Opinion


PblicOpinion2
Public opinion are those opinions held by ordinary citizens that they openly express. There are many ways of assessing public opinion, such as the outcomes of elections, but they have increasingly come to rely on public opinion polls. There are many possible sources of error in polls, and surveys sometimes present a misleading portrayal of the public’s views. However, a properly conducted poll can be an accurate indication of what the public is thinking. Public opinion has a significant influence on government but seldom does it determine exactly what government will do in a particular instance. Public opinion serves to constrain the policy choices of officials but it also is subject to their efforts to mold and channel what the public is thinking. There is evidence that indicates that officials are particularly attentive to public opinion on highly visible and controversial issues of public policy.

changing_colors_2

HGov: Public Opinion


Public opinion can be defined as those opinions held by ordinary citizens that they openly express. There are three ways that public opinion is shaped. First, public opinion is shaped by special interest groups. Public opinion is less about what individuals think and more about what the special interest groups they belong to advocate. Second, public opinion is shaped by journalists, politicians, and other opinion makers. Most of us don’t have time to become informed on every issue. Therefore, we look to influential opinion makers, such as journalists, public officials, business leaders, or activists, for information and advice. “Their” opinions often become “our” opinions. Third, public opinion is shaped by what politicians say it is. Politicians often talk about what the people think without evidence to back up their claims. They may sincerely believe that they have their fingers on the pulse of the public. Or they may hope that by claiming that the public agrees with them loudly enough, they will convince the American people that it must be true.

Public officials have many ways of assessing public opinion, such as the outcomes of elections, but they have increasingly come to rely on public opinion polls. Public opinion serves our democratic system of government in three key ways. First, it guides leaders as they make decisions about public policy. Whether conveyed through opinion polls, town hall meetings, letters, or e-mails, public opinion helps politicians know what their constituents are thinking. Public opinion also serves as guard against hasty or poorly understood decisions. Lastly, public opinion serves as a kind of glue in a diverse society like ours. Widespread agreement on basic political beliefs holds our society together, even in times of intense partisan conflict.

There are many possible sources of error in polls, and surveys sometimes present a misleading portrayal of the public’s views. However, a properly conducted poll can be an accurate indication of what the public is thinking.

us'divider

Gov: Public Opinion

PblicOpinion2    Public opinion are those opinions held by ordinary citizens that they openly express. There are many ways of assessing public opinion, such as the outcomes of elections, but they have increasingly come to rely on public opinion polls. There are many possible sources of error in polls, and surveys sometimes present a misleading portrayal of the public’s views. However, a properly conducted poll can be an accurate indication of what the public is thinking. Public opinion has a significant influence on government but seldom does it determine exactly what government will do in a particular instance. Public opinion serves to constrain the policy choices of officials but it also is subject to their efforts to mold and channel what the public is thinking. There is evidence that indicates that officials are particularly attentive to public opinion on highly visible and controversial issues of public policy.

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Honors Gov: Public Opinion

PblicOpinion2     Public opinion is commonly defined as the sum of many individual opinions about a public person or issue. Three views to consider on how public opinion come to be shaped are:

Public opinion is shaped by special interest groups. Some believe that public opinion is less about what individuals think and more about what the special interest groups they belong to advocate. Because many such groups represent large numbers of people, they are listened to when they speak out on issues.

Public opinion is shaped by journalists, politicians, and other opinion makers. Those who support this view observe that most of us don’t have time to become informed on every issue. Instead we look to influential opinion makers for information and advice. These opinion makers may be journalists, public officials, business leaders, or activists. Because they have access to the media, “their” opinions often become “our” opinions.

Public opinion is shaped by what politicians say it is. This last view recognizes that politicians often talk about “what the people think” without evidence to back up their claims. They may sincerely believe that they have their fingers on “the pulse of the public.” Or they may hope that by claiming that the public agrees with them loudly enough, they will convince the American people that it must be true.

However, public is seldom a single view held by all Americans. The U.S. is simply too large and diverse for that to be true. Public opinion serves our democratic system of government in three key ways. First, it guides leaders as they make decisions about public policy. Public opinion also serves as guard against hasty or poorly understood decisions. Lastly, public opinion serves as a kind of glue in a diverse society like ours. Widespread agreement on basic political beliefs holds our society together, even in times of intense partisan conflict.

Honors Gov Homework:
1. Constitution Unit Test – Fri 11/1
2. SSA Health Care Paper – due Friday 11/1

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