How do ordinary Americans experience politics? This unit will examine what Americans know and believe about politics, how their attitudes are formed, and how and why they vote. Is the United States an angry, polarised society? Do people vote against their economic interests? Why does race remain such a potent issue in American politics? What is the role of religion in voting?
This unit will give you a thorough understanding of how to use and read opinion polls, surveys and voting data. Looking beyond the often careless use of this data in the “horse-race” journalism of daily political news, the unit will explore what political numbers actually mean.
Taught in Semester 1, 2018
1 x 3 hour seminar per week
40% Mid-term exam (2 hours)
10% Research project proposal (750-1,000 words)
10% Research project presentation (less than 10 mins)
30% Research project paper (2000 words)
10% tutorial participation
12 senior credit points and USSC2602 US Politics: Elections, Presidents, Laws or 12 credit points at 2000 level in American Studies
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