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Political Opinion: Shape and Stability #5

February 8, 2011

This prezi covers how Public Opinion emerges and how if may affect governmental policy.  We take a brief look at how socialization helps people develop values, beliefs, and learn normative behavior.  From this basis emerges a commonality within a people while enabling diversity in particular values and beliefs.  These values become opinion and when organized have potential to become politicized through interest groups.  All along the way of this developing process we see many group characteristics emerge.

Public opinion and political culture: Can “the people” be fooled? With the many events that have rocked the world these last couple of weeks one must contemplate the power of third party foreign governments, as well as one’s own domestic government to “play the fishing line” for all it is worth. How much of what the people believe they want from a responsive government is in actuality based upon the ability of governing powers to “issue frame” and “spin” ideals through the political system?  Aided by mass media does the political system spin a mythical definition of order, freedom, and equality?  Is public opinion an “evolution” of the overall socialization process that comes with life’s course?  If so, then perhaps public opinion is balanced and reflects the true desires of emancipation and civil society, where all voices have some means of being heard.  Conversely, where political and capitalistic self-interests of the status quo are provided too great a measure of power the beliefs, values and intersts of the public may be skewed.  We thus enter into a quandry; whether the peoples voices are being heard, or whether the people action simply reflects the position taken by the super ideological powers that be.

Source References:

Janda, Kenneth, Jeffrey Berry, and Jerry Goldman. 2009. The Challenge of Democracy.  Boston, MA: WadsworthCengage Learning.
Shea, Daniel, Joanne Green, and Christopher Smith.  2007.  Living Democracy.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Schmidt, Steffan, Mack Shelley, and Barabara Bardes.  2008.  American Government and Politics Today.  Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
Miroff, Bruce, Raymond Seidelman, and Todd Swanstrom.  2007.  The Democratic Debate.  Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Gitelson, Alan, Robert L. Dudley, and Melvin Dubnick. 2008. American Government.  Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Dreslang, Dennis, James Gosling.  2008.  Politics and Policy in American States and Communities.  New York, NY: Pearson Longman.

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