Public Opinion: Measuring the American Mind / Edition 1

Public Opinion: Measuring the American Mind / Edition 1

by Barbara A. Bardes, Robert W. Oldendick
     
 

ISBN-10: 0534560431

ISBN-13: 9780534560430

Pub. Date: 09/28/1999

Publisher: Cengage Learning

In PUBLIC OPINION: MEASURING THE AMERICAN MIND, Barbara Bardes, co-authors of the best selling, AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS TODAY and Robert Oldendick explore the formation, variation, and impact of public opinion. In addition, the authors devote Part Two to the issues and methods of polling, including polling in political campaigns and the goals of

Overview

In PUBLIC OPINION: MEASURING THE AMERICAN MIND, Barbara Bardes, co-authors of the best selling, AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS TODAY and Robert Oldendick explore the formation, variation, and impact of public opinion. In addition, the authors devote Part Two to the issues and methods of polling, including polling in political campaigns and the goals of organizations that commission and conduct polls. With a discussion of the history of public opinion, as well as an analysis of the public's views on a range of current issues, this text offers a comprehensive study of the field.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780534560430
Publisher:
Cengage Learning
Publication date:
09/28/1999
Series:
Political Science Series
Edition description:
Older Edition
Pages:
350
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.06(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Prefacexiii
Part IPublic Opinion and American Democracy1
Chapter 1Public Opinion and American Democracy3
Defining Public Opinion5
Does Public Opinion Matter?8
Public Opinion vs. Public Judgment10
Opinions, Attitudes, and Beliefs11
The Plan of the Book12
Polls, Polling, and the Internet13
Chapter 2Measuring American Opinion: the Origins of Polling14
The Origins of Public Opinion Polling15
The First Candidate Poll: Family Ties16
The Development of Survey Research17
The Election of 1948: A Temporary Setback18
After 1948: Continued Growth19
A Surge in Telephone Interviewing: The Development of Random-Digit Dialing21
Growth in University Polls21
Polls, Polling, and the Internet23
Part IIHow are Opinions Measured and Used?25
Chapter 3How Public Opinion Data are Used27
Use in Political Campaigns28
Benchmark Polls28
Tracking Polls28
Pseudo-Polls29
Use by Officeholders30
Use by Government Agencies33
Federal Government34
Is the Census a Poll?35
State Government37
Local Government37
Use by Interest Groups38
Use by the Media40
What the Public Thinks?43
Use by Academic Researchers44
The American National Election Studies44
The General Social Survey45
Polls, Polling, and the Internet46
Chapter 4How are Opinions Measured?48
Modes of Survey Data Collection49
Populations of Interest49
Selecting a Sample50
Random-Digit Dialing52
Sampling Error53
Sample Size53
Questionnaire Design54
Sample Selection for Different Modes: Some Examples55
Data Analysis64
Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Modes65
How Much Does It Cost?66
The Technology of Measuring the American Mind67
Polls, Polling, and the Internet71
Part IIIWhat Do Americans Believe?73
Chapter 5The Sources of Opinions75
The Political Learning of Children and Adolescents77
The Influence of Formal Education80
The Curriculum81
Ritual and Ceremony82
The Teachers82
School Behaviors83
The School as a Sorter Mechanism84
The Influence of Ethnic Identity86
African Americans87
Hispanic, Asian, and Native Americans88
Religion and Public Opinion89
The Evangelicals89
The Catholics90
Jewish Opinions90
Gender and Opinions91
The Influence of Peers93
Generational Influences on Opinion94
The Media's Influence on Opinion95
Supplying Information96
Setting the Agenda97
Conveying Messages98
Polls, Polling, and the Internet99
Chapter 6Political Orientations101
Political Ideology103
Party Identification108
Vive La Difference?111
Confidence in Institutions112
Trust in Government115
Political Efficacy117
Power of the Federal Government120
Summary123
Polls, Polling, and the Internet120
Chapter 7Public Opinion on Social-Welfare Issues127
Social-Welfare Issues128
Social Security129
Education131
Health Care131
Assisting the Needy136
The Environment141
Group Differences in Attitudes145
Summary148
Polls, Polling, and the Internet149
Chapter 8Americans' Views on Racial Issues150
School Desegregation151
Residential Integration150
Fair Employment Practices158
Affirmative Action160
Government Aid to Minority Groups162
Spending on Racial Issues167
The Civil Rights Movement, Impact of Slavery, and Voting for a Black Candidate170
Summary174
Polls, Polling, and the Internet176
Chapter 9Public Opinion on Highly Controversial Issues177
The Politics of Crime and Criminal Justice178
Perceptions of Crime179
Perceptions of Punishment182
The Death Penalty185
The Politics of Life and Death187
Public Opinion toward Abortion187
Public Opinion toward the Right to Die192
American Views on Gun Control194
The Ownership of Guns194
Thinking about Weapons and Government Controls194
Summary196
Polls, Polling, and the Internet196
Chapter 10How Americans View Foreign and Defense Policies198
Public Opinion and Foreign Policy: Which Opinions?200
Foreign Policy Goals and Priorities203
Issues of War and Peace204
The Vietnam Conflict205
Vietnam: Opposition? Yes; Withdrawal? Maybe206
The Persian Gulf War208
The War on Terrorism209
Peacekeeping, Rescue, and Other Uses of Military Force210
Foreign Aid and Other International Issues213
Foreign Aid214
The United Nations215
The Soviet Union216
How Do Americans Think about Foreign Policy?217
The Prudent Use of Force218
Working from Types219
Using Cues or Schemas219
Summary221
Polls, Polling, and the Internet221
Part IVPublic Opinion: A Critical Perspective223
Chapter 11Challenges Facing Public Opinion Research: Issues of Reliability and Trust225
Pseudo-Polls227
Respondent Factors229
Technological Developments232
Summary234
Chapter 12Measuring the American Mind: the Sum of Its Parts236
The Political Context236
Party Identification237
The Ideological Spectrum238
Political Attachment238
The Issues Agenda239
Providing for the General Welfare239
Equality and Racism240
Issues of Life and Death241
The United States and the World242
The American Mind: Common Principles or Common Sense243
Appendix ASources of Public Opinion Data246
Appendix BQuestions From the American National Election Studies and General Social Surveys251
Glossary262
References267
Index283

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