Political Socialization Unit 3 AP Government Many people + Many opinions = Many viewpoints Political Ideology What we believe and why… Political Ideology Definitions A comprehensive, integrated set of views about government and politics A coherent set of ideas of on how people should live together A plan of action for applying these ideas 1. Our Ideology Comes from Our… Political Culture Political Culture is the widely shared beliefs, values and norms concerning the relationship of citizens to government and to one another. Name some of the beliefs shared by most Americans…. Did you name these? Liberty Democracy Political Equality Individualism Justice and the Rule of Law Capitalism and Free Enterprise Nationalism, optimism, and idealism “The American Dream” 2. Our Ideology Comes from our… Political Socialization Political Socialization: The process by which we are taught and develop our individual and collective political beliefs A lifelong process by which people form their ideas about politics and acquire political values. The family, educational system, peer groups, and the mass media all play a role. While family and school are important early in life, what our peers think and what we read in the newspaper and see on television have more influence on our political attitudes as adults. Name some factors that influence our Political Socialization… Did you name these? Family*** Peers Race and ethnic differences Religious differences Gender Social and economic differences (SES) Sectional/regional differences Education Level Age Can be linked to Historical events (e.g., Pearl Harbor, Vietnam, Watergate, September 11 and War on Terror) Media influences Political ID Card Place yourself on the classic spectrum! Make an ID Card that represents YOU! You’ll need: 1-3 3x5 index card Creativity!! Family What do we mean??? How important?? Family Our first political ideas are shaped within the family. Parents seldom “talk politics” with their young children directly, but casual remarks made around the dinner table or while helping with homework can have an impact. Family tradition is particularly a factor in party identification, as indicated by the phrases “lifelong Republican” and “lifelong Democrat.” The family may be losing its power as an agent of socialization, however, as institutions take over more of child care and parents perform less of it. Compare the Child’s Party with the Parents’ Party Child's party Parent Parent Parent Democrat Independent Republican Democrat 66% 29% 13% Independent 27% 53% 36% Republican 7% 17% 51% Peers What do we mean??? How important?? Peers Although peer pressure certainly affects teenagers' lifestyles, it is less evident in developing their political values. Exceptions are issues that directly affect them, such as the Vietnam War during the 1960s. Later, if peers are defined in terms of occupation, then the group does exert an influence on how its members think politically. For example, professionals such as teachers or bankers often have similar political opinions, particularly on matters related to their careers. School What do we mean??? How important?? School Children are introduced to elections and voting when they choose class officers, and the more sophisticated elections in high school and college teach the rudiments of campaigning. Political facts are learned through courses in American history and government, and schools, at their best, encourage students to critically examine government institutions. Schools themselves are involved in politics; issues such as curriculum reform, funding, and government support for private schools often spark a debate that involves students, teachers, parents, and the larger community. Race and Ethnic Differences What do we mean??? How important?? Race and Ethnic Differences Self-interest plays a significant role in attitudes on racial policies. Racial and ethnic minorities tend to favor affirmative action programs, designed to equalize income, education, professional opportunity, and the receipt of government contracts. Because such policies make it easier for members of minority groups, such as African Americans and Hispanics, to get good jobs and become affluent, group members naturally support them at a high rate. Polls taken before and after the verdict in the O.J. Simpson criminal trial showed that an overwhelming majority of African Americans believed that the former football star was innocent, while whites felt he was guilty by a similar majority. These results reflect deep differences between the two groups in their perceptions of the judicial system and the role of the police in society. Race and Ethnic Differences Supporters defend affirmative action as a way to eliminate ongoing racial discrimination, make up for historical discrimination, and/or increase diversity in businesses and institutions. Americans of European, Asian, or Middle Eastern descent, by contrast, are much more likely to see such programs as reverse discrimination that punishes them for their ethnic backgrounds. A similar pattern is seen in political party affiliation. Beginning with the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, African Americans switched their allegiance from the Republicans, the “party of Lincoln,” to the Democrats Religion What do we mean??? How important?? Religion The concept of the separation of church and state does not prevent religion from acting as a force in American politics. Strongly held beliefs affect the stand individuals take on issues such as public school prayer and state aid to private or parochial schools. Religion can also determine attitudes on abortion and gay and lesbian rights, irrespective of other factors. It is important to recognize, however, that the major religious groups in the United States—Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish as well as the growing Islamic— have their own liberal and conservative wings that frequently oppose each other on political issues. Gender What do we mean??? How important?? Gender Gender gap, a term that refers to the varying political opinions men and women hold, is a recent addition to the American political lexicon. Unmarried women hold political views distinct from those of men and married women, views that lead them to support the Democratic party at a disproportionate rate. Studies indicate that more women than men approve of gun control, want stronger environmental laws, oppose the death penalty, and support spending on social programs. These “compassion” issues are usually identified with the Democratic party. SES What do we mean??? How important?? Social/Economic Differences (SES) and Education Level Americans generally favor a limited government and emphasize the ability of everyone to succeed through hard work. Low-income Americans tend to endorse a stronger economic role for the federal government than do wealthier Americans, particularly by supporting programs such as welfare and increases in the minimum wage. SES/Education Level Wealthier Americans are the ones who mostly pay for social programs, and they naturally want to hold down their tax burden. Nevertheless, even low-income Americans are less likely to consider redistribution of wealth a valid governmental task than are adults socialized in other industrialized countries (such as European nations). This belief in individual responsibility may overcome a worker's self-interest in endorsing large social programs. Region What do we mean??? How important?? Region The region of the country a person lives in can affect political attitudes. The Southern states tend to support a strong defense policy, a preference reinforced by the presence of many military installations in the region. The South's traditional conservatism was recognized in Richard Nixon's so-called Southern strategy, which began the process of strengthening the Republican party in the region. Moreover, issues that are vital in one particular region generate little interest in others—agricultural price supports in the Midwest or water rights and access to public lands in the West, for example. Questions about Social Security and Medicare have an added importance in the Sunbelt states with their high percentage of older adults. Age What do we mean??? How important?? Age •Think of the different views between a 25 year old father and a 70 year old grandfather! •Elderly tend to oppose increases in public school spending while supporting Social Security & Medicare increases. •Strong political lobby in the AARP •While some younger people concerned that Social Security won’t be around when they retire, favor changes, public school financing, etc. many are apathetic and disconnected Events What do we mean??? How important?? Events •Events like Watergate, the Vietnam War, Iran/Contra affair, Whitewater, and assorted corruption within Washington has led to a distrust of those in Washington among some age groups. Media What do we mean??? How important?? Media Influences •Much of our political information comes from the mass media: newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. •The amount of time the average American family watches TV makes it the dominant information source. •TV not only helps shape public opinion by providing news and analysis, but also its entertainment programming addresses important contemporary issues that are in the political arena, such as drug use, abortion, and crime. Much more to come in Unit 3!
Pages to are hidden for
"Political Socialization"Please download to view full document