PSC101 Essay Question

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Describe how public opinion is measured. What is sampling and what is it meant to accomplish? 

Describe some of the problems and biases of polling, such as push polling and question wording. How do the social desirability effect and the bandwagon effect each distort the measurement of opinion?

Describe some of the different strategies that interest group representatives may employ to gain influence on public policy. Describe the different approaches taken by various interest group officials in pursuit of their policy agenda.

Describe the different types of electoral systems. What are the differences between the plurality, majority, and proportional representation systems? Where are these different systems used? What is the electoral college, and how does it function?

Describe the process by which a bill becomes a law. What are the major steps in the process? 

Describe third parties in American politics. Why has there never been a party system of three or more parties in the United States? How do third parties arise? Describe some notable third-party candidates for president.

How are political views formed? Describe some of the key processes and factors through which individuals become politically socialized. How do institutions such as families and groups, as well as personal experiences, come to shape individual opinions?

Political parties are perhaps the most important organizations affecting governance. How do parties differ from interest groups? What are some of the important roles that parties play within the political process? How do parties shape and aid in policy making? Provide examples.

Some contend that while Americans may be divided by ideology or opinion, they are united by fundamental political values. Describe these core values. How do they serve to unite American public opinion?

What are some of the formal barriers to suffrage that have existed in American politics over the years to prevent the poor, women, and racial minorities from exercising the franchise? What specifically were the remedies that expanded the right to vote for American citizens?

What are some of the ways in which Americans have been mobilized into political participation? What are some of the groups that have been mobilizing? What are some of the conditions under which citizens are more likely to participate in political life?

What are the goals of affirmative action? Why has it been so controversial? Where has affirmative action been practiced? Describe some of the prominent Supreme Court decisions associated with affirmative action.

What is the right to privacy? How and under what circumstances have the Supreme Court justices articulated this right? Describe some of the forms that the right to privacy has taken.

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