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Glossary of Political Culture

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agents of socialization
Institutions through which people learn the core values of their society and political culture.
communism
A political, economiv, and social theory based on the collective ownership of land and capital and in which political power lies in the hands of workers
conservative
One who believes in and supports the typically traditionsl values of conservatism, and who resists change in the status quo
conservatism
A term for a set of beliefs that includes a limited role for the national government in helping individuals, support for traditional values and lifestyles, and a cautios response to change
facism
A political system of extreme right, which incorporates the principles of a dictatorial leader, one-party system, totalitarian regimentation of economic and social activity, and arbitrary exercise of absolute power by the regime
gender gap
A phrase frequently used to describe the different voting patters of men and women. It is widely used to explain the different percentages of votes received by candidates in the 1980 presidential election.
generational effect
The effect that events have on the political opinions, thoughts, and preferences of people from a single generation.
ideology
A person or group's political or economic beliefs, ideas, values, concerns and goal. People use ideology to justify the way their institutions and nation are set up and run, or to present a vision of how they should be set up and run.
inalienable rights
The Declaration of Independence listed these rights as "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" and that all people had them. These rights do not come from the government and the government can not infringe on them
individualism
The political, economic, and social concept that places primary emphasis on the worth, freedom, and well-being of hte individual rather than on the group, society, or nation
liberal
A person slightly to the left of the center of the political spectrum who beleives change is both progress and good
liberal democracy
The democratic model, which accepts the basic principles of democracy, such as representation, majority rule, and the rule of law as the means by which the system functions
liberalism
the belief that people are rational beings who can use their intelligence to create a better world, overcoming social and natural obstacles.
liberty
The right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one's own choosing
moderate
Opposed to extreme or radical views or measures
opinion leader
A person who can influence other people's opinions through position, experience, knowledge, sheer force of personality, or some combination of these.
peer group
A group whose members share common relevant social characteristics. They play an important part in the socialization process, helping shape attitudes and beliefs.
political culture
Political beliefs and attitudes concerning government and political process held by a group of people, such as a community or nation.
political ideology
The collectively held ideas and beliefs concerning the nature of the ideal political system, economic order, social goals, and moral values.
political socialization
The method through which people learn and develop their political attitudes and opinions.
political spectrum
The range of political ideas and beliefs
popular sovereignty
Claims political authority rests within the people and not the government. People have the right to create, change, or revolt against their government. In practice people usually choose a representative to do this.
radical left
Extremist political groups who advocate substantial or fundamental political, social and economic changes. Often with a Marxist or socialist orientation.
reactionary
A person who advocates substantial political, social or economic changes, favoring a return to an earlier, more conservative system.
socialism
A political and economic theory based on a mixed government ande private control of economic activity and the means of production.
tyranny of the majority
Abuse of the minority by the majority through excessive use of power.
universal suffrage
The right of all people to vote

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