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Ch 4: AP US Government and Politics: American Political Culture

About This Chapter

Watch these video lessons to learn about American political culture, from what it is to how it's measured. The quizzes that follow each lesson are designed to help you gauge your understanding of the materials.

AP US Government and Politics: American Political Culture - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Americans' political leanings are about as diverse as Americans themselves, but there's a broad, general consensus that can be described as American political culture. In this chapter, find out how Americans develop their political views. See what kind of challenges are faced by those who seek to know more about what Americans think through public opinion polling. The instructors of these video lessons will teach you about core elements of the political system, such as liberty, equality and democracy. They'll help you improve your knowledge of the full spectrum of ideologies held by Americans, and what adherents to those ideologies embrace. In these lessons, you'll learn things like:

  • What factors shape American political culture
  • How political socialization occurs
  • What kind of influence public opinion poll results have
  • What the political spectrum looks like

Video Objective
What Is American Political Culture? Describe what political culture is; list characteristics of American political culture and what factors influence it.
Frames of Reference: How America Views the Political System Discuss five core beliefs held by many Americans about the U.S. political system.
What Is Political Socialization? Describe the process of political socialization, and discuss the ways in which Americans develop their political values through exposure to media, family members and education.
What Is Public Opinion? Define public opinion; discuss what influences it, and how it influences the political system.
The Measurement of Public Opinion Explain how opinion polling is carried out; highlight the challenges in carrying out this type of polling.
What Is a Political Ideology? Define ideology and explain how it is related to politics.
The Political Spectrum Explain the concept of a political spectrum, and discuss where and why specific ideologies fall where they do along the spectrum.

9 Lessons in Chapter 4: AP US Government and Politics: American Political Culture
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is American Political Culture?

1. What is American Political Culture?

The American political culture is a system of shared political traditions, customs, beliefs, and values. Explore the principles that help define the unique political culture in the United States, including liberty, equality, democracy, individualism, nationalism, and diversity.

Frames of Reference: How America Views the Political System

2. Frames of Reference: How America Views the Political System

A frame of reference is a set of ideas, values, and other standards used as a basis for comparing and evaluating something. Learn how America views the political system using frames of reference. Review liberty, equality, democracy, civic duty, individual responsibility, and other concepts to understand the frames of reference that shape Americans' expectations for their political system.

What is Political Socialization?

3. What is Political Socialization?

A person's political ideas are formed throughout their lifetime by the concept of political socialization. Learn the definition of political socialization and explore how a person's political viewpoints can be influenced beginning in childhood by family, peers, teachers, and the media.

What is Public Opinion?

4. What is Public Opinion?

Public opinion is an expression of the collective thoughts that the majority of a general population communicate about a particular issue. Learn about public opinion polls and discover the influences on public opinion.

The Measurement of Public Opinion

5. The Measurement of Public Opinion

Public opinion is very important to a politician because they represent the views of the American people. Discover how public opinion is measured through polling and potential polling errors in this lesson.

What Is a Political Ideology?

6. What Is a Political Ideology?

A political ideology is a set of beliefs that forms the basis of how an individual, a group, or a social class views the world and the proper role of government. Explore the definition and importance of political ideology and examples of two different types, liberalism and socialism.

Types of Ideologies Along The Political Spectrum

7. Types of Ideologies Along The Political Spectrum

A political ideology is a set of beliefs and opinions that constitutes a person's political position. This lesson examines different political ideologies across the political spectrum, from radicalism on the far left to fascism on the far right.

Political Participation in the United States: Influences & Voter Turnout

8. Political Participation in the United States: Influences & Voter Turnout

Many factors influence political participation in the United States, which was on the decline during the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Explore the influences on political participation and nonparticipation, and examine the factors that help determine voter turnout.

Alternative Forms of Political Participation: Role & Types

9. Alternative Forms of Political Participation: Role & Types

Alternative forms of political participation include unconventional or illegal things like protesting or vandalism. Explore roles and types of political participation and discover the differences between legal and illegal participation.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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More Exams
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