Political Parties & Interest Groups “Answering the question”


his assignment has two parts, both of which are required. All written responses should be typed single-spaced, and double-sided, if possible. Answer the questions. A. Polarization Galston & Kamarck (2011) argue that there are three structural features of the political system that reduce the influence of moderates in contemporary politics. For each of these features: summarize the basic argument; identify and explain at least one rule or process that tends to exacerbate polarization; and identify or propose a change (in law or practice) that would reduce this polarizing effect. Good responses will draw from resources beyond the cited article, including other assigned reading and class discussion. (1 – 2 pages) B. Political Biography Your assignment in this section is to analyze the political attitudes and partisanship of an adult of your choice. Your research subject may be practically anyone, so long as that person is mature enough and able to clearly communicate with you. While it is not particularly important whom you choose to be your subject, you should consider focusing on someone other than another college student – a parent, for example, a fellow employee, a family friend, etc. Your subject need not be politically attentive. Be sure to use the insights in the Hetherington & Larson text (especially Chapter 6) to help guide your discussion. (1 – 2 pages) Among other things, you should discuss the following: Describe your subject. You do not need to name your subject, but discuss your general relationship with this individual and descriptive demographics – age, gender, race, occupation, general socio-economic status, and any other relevant descriptors. Identify the subject’s political socializing experiences in his or her pre-adult years. Discuss the subject’s experiences and how they shaped the individual ideologically, in terms of partisanship, and politically in general. (You might also explain why the subject does not possess such ideological or political characteristics if this is the case.) See below for some sample political socialization questions that you might use to help obtain relevant information. How does your subject describe his or her party affiliation today? Using the scale/categories listed in Hetherington & Larson Table 6-1, how does your subject self-identify his/her party identification? Does your subject support the party that one would expect him or her to support? Consider gender, levels of religious participation, and any other demographic characteristics to support your response. What are the ideological attitudes of your subject? Can your subject identify him- or herself as a liberal or conservative? What specific liberal and/or conservative values or issue positions does your subject hold? How involved is your subject in politics? What kinds of political activities does your subject participate in, and how does this compare to the average of American citizens? How would you classify your subject in terms of the “hierarchy of political involvement” and with respect to more active and less active citizens? Lastly, be sure to consider how important your subject considers political participation to be, and how the individual explains this relative importance. Sample Political Socialization Questions. These questions are designed to get you started in interviewing. Not all of these will be applicable to your subject, and you should not feel limited to the questions listed here. What are your earliest politically related memories from childhood? At what age did you first realize you were part of a certain ethnic, racial, or other social group? What made you aware of this? What effect did this have on your political attitudes at the time, or since then? At what age do you remember being taught to be patriotic? How were you taught this? When did you first learn you were supposed to be obedient to authority? How were you taught this? What did you learn about politics and government while you were in high school? What political party does/did your mother consider herself to be closest to? What political party does/did your father consider himself to be closest to? Do you feel closer to the political party of your mother, your father, both or neither? Why do you think this is the case? How has/did college affect[ed] your political attitudes? Have/Did you become more liberal or more conservative than you were before entering college? Why do you think this is the case? Do/did your closest friends in college tend to have the same opinions as you when it comes/came to politics, or are/were those political opinions different? Why do you think this is the case? Do you remember any major politically related events that have occurred during your lifetime? If so, what were they, and what effect did they have on your political attitudes? Are you or have you been married? If so, what effect did your marriage have on your political attitudes? Do you have or have you had any children? If so, what effect did that have on your political attitudes? Do you own or have you owned a house? If so, what effect did that have on your political attitudes? Are there any other major non-political events that have happened to you during your lifetime that have had an effect on your political attitudes? If so, what were they, and what specific effect did they have on your political attitudes? *Note to the writer* I will send you my personal answers for the last part of the homework and then you write it on your own way. Thank you
Spacing    Double
Pages    2
Added    2011-10-11 23:27

Bonus / penalty    1
Status    Processing

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