AP Government Name__________________________________
Political Culture, Public Opinion and Political Participation
1. What are the elements that the book identifies with our political culture? What is the difference between a political culture and a political ideology?
2. What is the difference between equality of opportunity and equality of results?
3. Be familiar with the differences between American political culture and other countries’ political cultures? (When I say “be familiar” with something in a question – you don’t have to write anything, just
understand the concepts. Of course, if you’re a perfectionist or a worry wart, feel free write notes.) Skim
through the section on the “sources of Political Culture” and be familiar with what those sources are.
4. Summarize (you can use bullet points) what the book says about the “culture war” in America.
5. What is the difference between internal and external efficacy?
6. What was the Founders’ attitude towards public opinion? Give examples of how we see that attitude reflected in how they wrote the Constitution.
7. Identify three problems in assessing public opinion.
8. The book gives several factors that affect political attitudes. Identify those factors and summarize the conclusions about how those factors affect people’s political attitudes. Memorize this list.
9. The book discusses cleavages which may divide various demographic groups ideologically. The authors give several factors that divide people’s political beliefs. Identify those factors and summarize
the conclusions about the correlation between these factors and people’s political opinions. Memorize
th10. What were the meanings of the words “liberal” and “conservative” in the 19 century and how did ththese meanings change in the 20 century?
11. What are the two reasons the book gives why activists or the political elite tend to have more ideological consistency than those who aren’t active? What effect does this ideological consistency have
on the difference ideologically between politicians and voters?
12. What does the term “new class” mean? What political ideology to those in the “new class” ascribe
13. How do elites influence public opinion? What are the limits to their ability to shape public opinion?
14. Why does the book say that it is incorrect to say that Americans don’t vote as a result of apathy?
15. What did Congress pass to increase voter participation and what has been the result of that law?
16. How did states try to keep blacks from voting? Summarize those tactics and how they gradually were changed. Make sure you know what a literacy test, poll tax, grandfather clause, and the white primary were.
17. What political effects have there been since the Nineteenth and Twenty-sixth Amendments?
18. Summarize the arguments as to why voter turnout has declined. (a bullet –list is fine).
19. Make a list of the generalizations that the book makes about which groups tend to be more or less
likely to vote. Memorize this list..
20. Summarize the reasons the book gives for why Americans register and vote less frequently.