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POLSC101 Introduction to Political Science

Published : 20-Oct,2021  |  Views : 10


American Political Culture

1.  How do Americans view our government? Does it matter whether we trust our government, or not? Explain your reasoning.
2.  Do you pay attention to politics? Be honest! According to the text, why is it important to for you to pay attention and even get involved in politics?
3.  Can we truly call ourselves a “democracy” if most Americans today know very little about how their government operates? Will greater ‘digital literacy’ help to make us more informed and active as citizens?
4.  Why is it so important for all societies to have a functioning government? Among the various alternatives described in the textbook on pages 13-14, which do you believe is the best and why? Defend your response.
5.  What evidence is there that America is an increasingly diverse nation? What implications does this diversity have for politics? Discuss each of the following separately: (a) race & ethnicity, (b) religion, (c) age, (d) geography, and (e) socio-economic status.
6.  In our political culture, most Americans strongly endorse the concepts of (a) liberty, (b) equality and (c) democracy. In practice though, we have serious arguments over how we put these values into practice. Write a definition in your own words of each of these 3 concepts, and then highlight conflicts surrounding each aspect of our political culture today. 
7.  American Political Culture and Your Future  


1.  The Americans' view of the government is mostly disapproving and shrouded with a lack of trust. Open trust in government is extremely low as indicated by the few research works, which locate an ideal tempest of variables - including a profound subsidence, high joblessness, and polarization in the Congress - are driving to the doubt and lack of trust. In this aspect, the issue is really concerning as it matters a lot. The concern is not only that it might prove to be barrier to the operations of the governmental entities as they would be judged on every possible benchmark but there is also another factor which may suggest that the government will lose credibility and accountability in the global political scenario too (Ginsberg et al., 2016). Individually, it has concern implying that one's view of the government would determine his/her political opinions and perspectives. 

    2. I really pay huge attention to politics. I usually access many political information about events or incidents from the newspapers and the online sources. It is also interesting to me to assess how the political bodies operate and how the political theories work in different contexts.

    As per the textbook, it is really important for a citizen to pay attention to politics and even get involved in it if possible. The governmental administration controls a number of parts of its citizens' lives. Government officials can adjust the access to conceptive/preventative assets, assessments and taxation, medicinal services, social advantages, educational systems, and the fundamental rights and flexibilities (Ginsberg et al., 2016). Moreover, the political decisions often influence our professional and personal lives. Finally, as several political bodies and entities attempt to physically threaten the safety of the citizens, it is a duty for us to get pay attention to politics, learn about it, and get involved when necessary in order to maintain the safety and prosperity of the citizens as well as the nation itself.

    3. The concept of democracy does not only rely on the nature of government, features of the elections, and structure of the rules but it is also dependent on how the citizens perceive and comprehend the actions and operations of the government (Ginsberg et al., 2016). In this context, if most of the citizens are not truly aware of how the government operates, then their votes in elections would hardly be significant from a broader political perspectives as their votes and opinions would be influenced by popular or personal choices instead of an in-depth understanding. Thus, America is structurally a democracy, but the citizens need to develop a better understanding of governmental operations so that the nation becomes democratic in the real sense.

      The widespread of digital literacy will indeed help us to become more informed and active as the citizens. Digital mediums of literacy is helping numerous people to access valuable and significant information regarding diverse socio-political aspects even in those regions where the data was previously accessible to a small extent. Thus, the new platform will help the citizens to better comprehend our duties and responsibilities as the citizens as well as the implications of the governmental operations so that the citizens become more informed, active, and engaged.

      4. It is really important and rather imperative for all societies to have a functioning government as such government would help in establishing justice via judiciary, promote the general welfare of the citizens, resolve conflicts through a legal process, provide public services to enhance the quality of living, provide defense and security to the public, and engage the citizens in political affairs as much as possible. Thus, the nations would ensure the highest possible prosperity.

      Among from the available alternatives, meritrocacy seems to be the best option. I prefer this option because in this system the government will comprise of a group of individuals who has expertise, knowledge (in several respective fields), and already demonstrated contributive actions to the society (Ginsberg et al., 2016). Thus the members of the government will be chosen as per their merits. In this manner, most proficient decision-making through the use of utmost expertise and knowledge will ensure the welfare of the entire nation. 

      5. It is known to all that immigration contributes to the diversity of a nation (from different angles). In this regard, we can say that America is increasingly becoming a diverse nation as the number of immigrating people is increasing day by day. Between 2000 and 2010, almost 14 million immigrants have come to America and contributed to greater diversity (Ginsberg et al., 2016). The immigrants come from different race and ethnic backgrounds. In this manner, immigrants belonging to a new race or ethnicity would eventually enhance the diversity in this field.

      Immigrants are also adhered to different religious views. Accordingly, the entrance of new religion would contribute to the religious diversity. However, it can, similarly to the racial and ethnic diversity, help in developing the cultural and social values. 

      Age of the immigrants also contribute to the diversity. If a group of immigrating people comprises of individuals mostly from a specific age group, then it would lead to the increase in numbers of the age group in the overall population. 

      Furthermore, the geographic differences also influence the aspect of diversity. The differences in geographic backgrounds determine the style of living and the structure of lifestyle. In this manner, it would lead to subtle or huge differences in those aspects within a specific state or population. 

      The immigrations also influence the socio-economic status. The diversity among the immigrants themselves would lead to differences in socio-economic aspects. Furthermore, the access to public services, job opportunities, and other rights would also enhance the diversity in socio-economic conditions. 

      All of the aspects are critical to the political decision making. The increasing diversity implies that the governmental authorities need to appropriately address the requirements and needs of each of the diverse population while preparing a strategy, developing a policy, or making a decision. Thus, the political operations would be broadened considering the extent of diversity in the overall population.

      6. Liberty alludes to the freedom and fundamental right of an individual to freely act while conforming to the necessary social obligations. In this context, the individuals may do what they want until and unless it does not cause harm to the society. 

      Equality refers to the concept in which all of the individuals within a specific group or social sphere will have equal opportunities to use different resources, equal rights to operate in different fields, and an equal status in the society.

      Finally, democracy refers to a governmental structure in which the decisions need to be made keeping in mind the overall welfare of the citizens. Furthermore, it also implies that the political decisions should be made after evaluating the notions, opinions, and requirements of the citizens.

      Although these aspects might determine the overall structure and operations of a government, the conflicts regarding the aspects are highly complex. The concern regarding liberty is its negative and positive dimensions. Liberal governments might promote liberalism by allowing the citizens to appropriately access the opportunities and considering their requirements by helping them to operate and act freely. However, they also need to consider that the government is not free to impose arbitrary decisions on the citizens. Regarding equality, whereas the social equality can be ensured only if there is no legal boundation, the legal equality assures equal opportunities and status as per law and regulations as far as possible. Moreover, the political bodies need to also consider the differences amongst the equality of opportunity and equality of outcomes as these aspects determines an equal opportunity to establish a social status or an equal distribution of the wealth and materials in the first and second aspects respectively. Regarding the conflicts within the sphere of democracy, it implies that the government can be considered democratic in the true sense if the governmental decisions as well as the decisions taken by its citizens (to elect the members) are influenced by a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the concept (Ginsberg et al., 2016). However, as there is a huge number of people who have a very low knowledge of democracy and its implications, the existence of a truly democratic state seems to be shrouded in conflicts.

      7. The American political culture is diverse and divided among several aspects. However, one can find that there is most potentially two major groups. One of them advocates the integration of society, incorporation of the immigrants within the socio-political spheres, and enhancement of the freedom for everyone to ensure the utmost prosperity. On the other hand, the second group refuses to diversify the social sphere as much as possible, advocates for the tenets of a capitalist perspective, and promotes the welfare of the majority through economic development. In this regard, I would like to clarify that I prefer the first option. As per me, it is imperative for a government to consider every citizen from a equal and common perspective. All of the members of a society is important for its development. Therefore, it is imperative to engage all of them within the political contexts. I think that the capitalist notion would only benefit the wealthy people and the group of powerful individuals instead of promoting a general wellbeing. Furthermore, socio-cultural development is as much important and significant as the economic development. Therefore, I stand for the first notion and my political orientation will be based on this aspect. 


      Ginsberg, B., Lowi, T., Weir, M. and Tolbert, C. (2016). We the people. 11th ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

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