9780133862676

American Public Opinion: Its Origins, Content and Impact

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  • ISBN13:

    9780133862676

  • ISBN10:

    0133862674

  • Edition: 9th
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 7/16/2014
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Summary

Critically analyzes the integral role public opinion plays in American democracy

 

Providing an in-depth analysis of public opinion, beginning with its origins in political socialization, the impact of the media, the extent and breadth of democratic values, and the role of public opinion in the electoral process, American Public Opinion goes beyond a simple presentation of data to include a critical analysis of the role of public opinion in American democracy.

Author Biography

Robert S. Erikson is Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.  He has written widely  on American politics and is the coauthor of the following books: Statehouse Democracy (1994); The Macro Polity (2002); and The Timeline of Presidential Elections (2012). He has written articles on US politics  for major political science journals including the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, and Public Opinion Quarterly among others.  He is the past editor of the American Journal of Political Science and of Political Analysis.

 

Kent L. Tedin is the Kenneth Lay Professor of Political Science at the University of Houston.  He served as department chair from 1984 to 2002. He has written extensively on political socialization, notably the influence of families and peers on the filial generation.  He has also written a number articles on schools and public opinion, including how charter schools affect the social capital of parents, as well as how race and academic quality attributed to character school affect parent choice.  Recently he has written on the dffect on public opinion of president’s “going public.”  He has published articles in every major political science journal including the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, the Public Opinion Quarterly and others.

Table of Contents

In This Section:

I) Brief Table of Contents

II) Detailed Table of Contents


I) Brief Table of Contents

 

Chapter 1. Public Opinion in Democratic Societies                             

Chapter 2    Polling: The Scientific Assessment of Public Opinion          

Chapter 3. Microlevel Opinion: The Psychology of Opinion-Holding   

Chapter 4. Macrolevel Opinion: The Flow of Political Sentiment          

Chapter 5. Political Socialization and Political Learning                       

Chapter 6. Public Opinion and Democratic Stability                            

Chapter 7. Group Differences in Political Opinions                              

Chapter 8.  The News Media and Political Opinions       

Chapter 9.    Elections as Instruments of Popular Control                       

Chapter 10.    The Public and Its Elected Representatives                        

Chapter 11.    Public Opinion and the Performance of Democracy

Appendix: The National Election Study and the General Social Survey Questions

 


II) Detailed Table of Contents

 

Chapter 1. Public Opinion in Democratic Societies                             

Public Opinion and Government                                        

Public Opinion Defined                                                     

The Evolution of the Public Opinion Poll                            

The Modern Public Opinion Poll and Its Political Consequences      

Sources of Information on Public Opinion                           

Plan of This Book                                                             

 

Chapter 2    Polling: The Scientific Assessment of Public Opinion          

The Value of Polls                                                                       

Sampling

Question Wording                                                      

Polls and Predicting Elections                                           

Conclusion                                                                        

 

Chapter 3. Microlevel Opinion: The Psychology of Opinion-Holding   

Political Attention and Opinion-Holding                             

Liberal-Conservative Ideology and the Organization of Opinions      

Party Identification and the Organization of Political Opinions

Political Polarization

  

Chapter 4. Macrolevel Opinion: The Flow of Political Sentiment          

The Micro Foundations of Macro Opinion                                                 

Trends in Policy Opinions

General Ideological Movement                                               

General Partisan Movement                                                        

Presidential Approval

Conclusion: What Moves Public Opinion?

 

Chapter 5. Political Socialization and Political Learning                       

The Preadult Years: Socialization to Citizenship                 

The Agents of Preadult Socialization                                  

College: Higher Education and Its Impact

Personal Predispositions and Political Attitudes                            

Socialization During Adulthood

The Persistence of Political Orientations  

Conclusion                                                                   

 

Chapter 6. Public Opinion and Democratic Stability                            

Support for Democratic Values                                         

Political Consensus                                                           

Political Support: Trust and Efficacy                                  

Personality and Democratic Citizenship                                          

Conclusion                                                                       

 

Chapter 7. Group Differences in Political Opinions                              

Socioeconomic Class and Political Opinions                      

Race and Political Opinions                                               

Age and Political Opinions                                                

Religion and Political Opinions                                          

Geography and Political Opinions                                       

Gender and Political Opinions                                           

Conclusion                                                                       

 

Chapter 8.  The News Media and Political Opinions       

The Evolution of the American Media

Bins and Negativity in the News                           

Models of Media Effects                                     

Media Content and Political Opinions

Media Change and the Quality of Electoral Decision Making

Political Advertising          

The Media and Political Polarization                                                            

 

Chapter 9.    Elections as Instruments of Popular Control                       

Political Campaigns and the Voter                                     

Policy Issues and Voters                                                   

Explaining Election Outcomes                                           

Conclusion                                                                        

 

Chapter 10.    The Public and Its Elected Representatives                        

Opinion Sharing Between Policymakers and the Public      

Political Parties and Representation                   

Leadership Responsiveness to Public Opinion                       

Do Elected Officials Need to Follow Public Opinion?        

Interest Groups and Democratic Representation

Conclusion                                                                      

 

Chapter 11.    Public Opinion and the Performance of Democracy

Assessing the Impact of Public Opinion on Policy                                   

Interpreting the Public’s Role in Democracy

The Expansion of Political Participation

 

Appendix: The National Election Study and the General Social Survey Questions

A-1 Questions from the National Election Studies

A-2 Questions from the General Social Survey

 

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