About This Chapter
American Political Culture, Opinion, and Behavior - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives
Anyone who stays abreast of print or digital media knows all about American pop culture, including current trends in music, literature, movies, styles and diets. Are we equally familiar with American political culture, including public opinion and behaviors? In this chapter, instructors explain public opinion and how it's measured, in addition to revealing the costs and benefits of voting. By the time you've worked your way through this chapter, you should be familiar with the following:
- American political culture and public opinion
- How opinion polling developed
- Ways through which Americans form their political values
- How America's voting turnouts compare to other democracies
- Other modes of government participation besides voting
|What is American Political Culture?||Explain the features of America's political culture and how it was shaped.|
|What is Public Opinion?||Discuss the factors that form public opinion and how it affects the political process.|
|The Measurement of Public Opinion||Explore opinion polling, including the challenges and effects.|
|Frames of Reference: How America Views the Political System||Explain five beliefs pertaining to the political system that many Americans hold, including equality, democracy, liberty, individual responsibility and civic duty.|
|What is Political Socialization?||Discuss how Americans may form their political values and identities.|
|Voting: Costs and Benefits||List the costs and benefits related to voting.|
|Political Participation in the United States: Influences & Voter Turnout||Explore factors that affect political participation in the U.S.|
|Alternative Forms of Political Participation: Role & Types||Explain methods of participation besides voting, including attending political meetings, contacting government officials and taking part in campaigns.|
1. What is American Political Culture?
The American political culture is a system of shared political traditions, customs, beliefs and values. This lesson discusses the characteristics of America's political culture and the factors that help shape it.
2. What is Public Opinion?
Public opinion is an expression of the general population's thoughts on a particular political issue. This lesson discusses the concept of public opinion and explores influences on public opinion.
3. The Measurement of Public Opinion
Public opinion is an expression of the general population's thoughts on a particular political issue. This lesson discusses the measurement of public opinion, including the development and use of opinion polling.
4. Frames of Reference: How America Views the Political System
Americans use a unique frame of reference to perceive and evaluate our political system. This lesson explores five common beliefs Americans hold about the American political system.
5. What is Political Socialization?
Political socialization is the process by which people form their ideas about politics. This lesson explains political socialization and discusses the means through which Americans form their political values.
6. Voting: Costs and Benefits
In a country as large as the United States, it's highly unlikely that one person's vote will decide the outcome of a presidential election. Does this mean the costs of voting outweigh the benefits? This lesson explores this question.
7. Political Participation in the United States: Influences & Voter Turnout
Despite an increase in the number of eligible voters, political participation in the United States seems to be on the decline. This lesson discusses influences on political participation and voter turnout.
8. Alternative Forms of Political Participation: Role & Types
Americans participate in government by voting, but they also participate in many other ways. This lesson discusses the role alternative forms of political participation play in our political involvement.
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Other chapters within the Political Science 102: American Government course
- Introduction to the Study of American Government
- Constitutional Democracy
- Federalism in the United States
- Interest Groups and American Democracy
- The Media and American Democracy
- The Federal Bureaucracy in the United States
- Civil Liberties
- Civil Rights
- Political Parties in the United States Government
- The Presidency: Election, Powers, and Practice
- The Congress: Election, Powers, and Representation
- The Federal Judicial System
- Economic and Fiscal Policy
- Public, Social, and Environmental Policy
- Foreign and Defense Policy
- Studying for Political Science 102