18 terms

Ch 6 Public Opinion and Political Action

public opinion
distribution of the populations beliefs and politics and policy issues
Science of population changes
valuable tool for understanding demographic changes. The Constitution requires that the government conduct an "actual enumeration" of the population every 10 years
melting pot
mixing of cultures, ideas, and peoples that had changed the American nation. The United States, with its history of immigration, has often been called a melting pot
minority majority
emergence of a non-Caucasian majority, as compared with a White, generally Anglo-Saxon majority. It is predicted that by about 2060 Hispanic Americans African Americans and Asian Americans together will out number white Americans
political culture
overall set of values widely shared within a society
process of reallocating seats in the house of representatives every 10 years on the basis of the results of the census
political socialization
According to Richard Dawson "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"
relatively small proportions of people who are chosen in a survey so as to be representative of the whole
random sampling
key technique employed by sophisticated survey researchers, which operates on the principle that everyone should have an equal probability of being selected for the sample
Sampling Error
Level of confidence in the findings of a public opinion poll. the more people interviewed, the more confident one can be of the results
Random-digit dialing
Technique used by pollster to place telephone calls and unlisted numbers when conducting a survey
Exit Poll
Public opinion surveys used by major media pollsters to predict electoral winners with speed and precision
Political ideology
coherent set of beliefs about politics, public policy, and public purpose. Helps give meaning to political events
Gender Gap
The regular pattern by which women are more likely to support Democratic Candidates. Women Tend to be significantly less conservative than men and are more likely to support spending on social services and to oppose higher levels of military spending
Political Participation
all activities used by citizens to influence the selection of political leaders or the policies they pursue
a form of political participation designed to achieve policy change through dramatic and unconventional tactics.
civil disobedience
form of political participation that reflects a conscious decision to break a law believed to be immoral and to suffer the consequences