GOV 327L • Public Opinion and American Politics
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
In this course, we will cover four major topics: (1) political psychology, (2) public opinion and attitudes, (3) voting behavior, and (4) political participation. We will also explore racial attitudes, attitude and opinion trends, and the effects of the media. This course is designed to accomplish two broad purposes. First, I wish to acquaint you with the relevant literature in a variety of sub-fields. Second, I wish to demonstrate how experts in the field approach the study of political behavior. What is an interesting question? How do you formulate testable hypotheses? What is an appropriate research design? What statistical or analytical techniques ought to be employed to address specific research issues?
For starters, students should prepare for every class by reading and evaluating the assigned materials. The more formal requirements are as follows: 1. A paper in which you propose a research design for investigating a question of public opinion or voting behavior. This is worth 50% of your grade. 2. Two mid-term examinations. They will be comprised of short answer and essay questions. Each exam is worth 20% of your total grade. 3. Attendance and participation is worth 10% of your grade.