What is it?
▪ The widely shared beliefs, values, and norms
citizens hold towards their government
▪ Varies from country to country and region to
▪ Political Science
▪ Changes over time
▪ Used to predict political behavior (voters
▪ Example: Politician is elected from a conservative
district, how is he or she expected to vote?
Main Influences on U.S. Political Culture
Warning—these are NOT absolutes, only trends
▪ Family: we acquire a majority of partisanship from our parents
▪ Religion: religious differences make for political differences,
especially concerning social issues
▪ Gender: men = more Republican, women= more Democratic
▪ Schooling: college educations usually result in more liberal
▪ SocialClass: political opinion closely associated with occupation,
skilled = more conservative, unskilled= liberal
▪ Race : AfricanAmericans and Hispanics tend to be more liberal,
whites andAsianAmericans more conservative
▪ Region: different states tend to be either more Democratic or
Republican depending on their location; the South tends to be
WhatAre American Shared PoliticalValues?
▪ You make a list first
▪ Here’s what the book says:
▪ Natural Rights
▪ Majority rule
▪ Popular Sovereignty
▪ Justice and the Rule of Law
▪ Patriotism and Nationalism
▪ And a few more…
▪ What do these mean? Let’s debate!
Now, you get to do some research!
▪ Three steps:
▪ One: Define Liberal, Conservative, Socialist, and Libertarian. Focus on what these mean in
America today. Also provide a broad ideological view of each (a paragraph)
▪ Two: List how these ideologies have changed because of these historical periods:
▪ The Gilded Age
▪ The Great Depression
▪ The Reagan Era (1980s)
▪ The current highly partisan political era
▪ Three: SelectTEN current issues, and discuss how they fit into each political ideology (Ex.
Taxing policy—what do Conservatives, Liberals, etc. believe about this?)
▪ Put this together in a nicely word-processed essay