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CHAPTER 5:  PUBLIC OPINION KEY TERMS (C)

* indicates items most likely to appear on the Spring, 2004, Chapter 5 online exam

 

*Agents of political socialization

Family, school, mass media, religion

 

(Census)

The Constitution requires the government to conduct an “enumeration” of the population every 10 years.  It is a valuable tool for understanding demographic changes.

*Civil disobedience

(see protest, below)

A form of political participation that reflects a conscious decision to break a law believed to be immoral and to suffer the consequences.

 

Non-violent an effective technique of the civil rights movements in the American South

(Demographic group)

A segment of the population.

(Gender gap)

A term, which refers to the regular pattern by which women are more likely to support Democratic candidates.

 

Women are more likely than men to support spending on social services and to oppose higher levels of military spending.

(Melting pot)

The mixing of cultures, ideas, and people that has changed the American nation. The United States, with its history of immigration, has often been called a melting pot.

(Minority majority)

The emergence of a non-Caucasian majority, as compared with a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) majority.

 

It is predicted that, by about 2060 Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans and Native Americans together will outnumber white Americans.

*Political culture

An group of values widely shared within a society.

*Political participation

All the activities used by citizens to influence the selection of political leaders or the policies they pursue.

 

The most common, but not the only, form of political participation in a democracy is voting. Other widely accepted forms include protest and civil disobedience.

*Political socialization

According to one expert, “the process through which an individual acquires his or her particular political orientations—his or her knowledge, feelings, and evaluations regarding his or her political world.

*Agents of political socialization

Family, school, mass media, religion

 

*Protest (see civil disobedience, above)

A form of political participation designed to achieve policy change through dramatic and unconventional tactics.

*Public opinion

All of the beliefs about politics and policy issues shared by a particular population.

*Public opinion polls

Taken to reveal the distribution of a population’s beliefs. The study of American public opinion is especially complex because of the nation’s racial, ethnic and cultural diversity.

(Reapportionment)

The process of reallocating seats in the House of Representatives every 10 years on the basis of the results of the census

*Sample

A relatively small number of people who are chosen in a survey to be representative of a larger group of people (called the “population”)

(Sampling error)

An indication of the possible accuracy or inaccuracy of a poll.

*SES

Socio-economic-status or social class

*WASP

White Anglo-Saxon Protestant