A. Read the following selections from the Margin Notes by clicking on each link.
B. Watch these presentations. When you click on one of the links below, a new screen will pop up. Use the scrollbar on the side of the new screen to navigate.
You need Adobe Reader to view PDF files.
C. (Optional) Read the following chapters from the
Greenberg: Chapter 02
D. The following
Optional Link is designed to help you do better in your course but
it is not required.
What is Your Political Ideology? (10 points)
Your political ideology is
"a consistent set of values and beliefs about
the proper purpose and scope of government," what you believe
government ought and ought not be responsible for.
The things you'll be
doing in this first activity are not difficult or time-consuming but I want
you to take your time and think about what you're doing. When you've
finished everything, you ought to be able to describe your own political
ideology. If you complete everything at a dead run, I doubt that will
Quick Note: There are obviously a lot of instructions below but don't let that worry you. Since I'm asking you to do some very specific things, I've given you some very specific directions so you won't be confused at any point. That requires a lot of instructions but the length of the instructions is not necessarily an indication of the length of the activity!
Step 1 -- Pew Research
Center Political Typology Survey
America has its own
diverse political culture and multiple ideologies. For a survey of your
political ideology, take the Pew Research Center’s
Political Typology survey. The website asks for
your opinion on a range of controversies. When you finish, you'll be
assigned to one of the following groups.
Faith and Family Left
Next Generation Left
When you get your
results, make certain to scroll down the entire page. You'll see a myriad of
facts and descriptions about your group and how it compares to the general
public. Familiarize yourself with PRC's descriptions of your group and then
Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology link.
The information on that page fits your group into a larger context.
NOTE: To use the
link I gave above or to explore some of the other links on your results page
(and I encourage you to do so), right-click on a link and choose open in
new tab or open in new window. If you just click on a link and
leave your results page, you may not be able to get it back without retaking
the survey. I suggest you print your results page.
Step 2 --
Liberal? Libertarian? Conservative? Communitarian?
To add some variation to what you learned from the PRC survey, you're going to take the
Idealog survey. This survey has questions that are more specific and more policy-oriented than the PRC
survey. To start, go to the
site. When you arrive, you may see a large gray box taking up most of the
space on the page. Scroll to the very bottom. You'll see the message "You're
taking the Self-Test outside of a class context. Your answers will not be
counted as part of your class assignment or in national statistics. If
you've received this link from your teacher, please verify its correctness.
Click 'OK' to take the quiz anyway." Ignore the
message and click OK to get rid of the box.
Work your way through the intro, the tutorial and the self-test using the
previous and next buttons. The entire process is fairly brief but
make sure you understand things as you proceed. If you are asked to do
something during the tutorial part, you won't be able to advance until you
do so. During the self-test part, you can't advance to the next question until you answer the current question. Since these questions are more policy-oriented, it's possible you'll be asked your opinion on an issue about which you know nothing. If so, just consider the question carefully
and answer as best you can. On each question, you'll chose A or B.
Once you've answered all 20 questions, you'll get your results. With this
survey, you'll get a box divided into fourths rather than a written description. You can't copy-and-paste the box but, you
should print the page, take a screen shot, use a snipper or sketch the box on a piece of paper so you'll have the results.
Step 3 -- Evaluating the Results
Once you've finished what you need to do on both the
PRC and Idealog sites,
write a summary of your results that includes the 9 points
below. Your summary should be thorough, specific, include relevant
concepts from the course material and be free of spelling and grammar errors.
[NOTE: As I've done below, I almost always list the things you need
to include in your assignment so you won't miss anything. However, you
should never write an assignment as a list unless the instructions
specifically tell you to do so. Lists encourage short, quick responses,
and they don't usually require much thought or much attention to spelling
and grammar. They also won't earn you many points! Instead, write your
assignment in complete sentences and paragraphs, using the list only to be
certain you cover everything. Do your best to make your writing thorough,
thoughtful and organized. Don't try to be concise ,,, Try to be complete.]
What is the basic description of your PRC group?
What are the defining values of your group?
How did the results characterize the lifestyle notes
and media use for your group?
What are your Idealog self-test results?
Which survey did you prefer, PRC or
Do you think the two results are consistent with /
similar to each other? If not, why do you think your views led to two
After thinking about it, are one or both of the two results pretty accurate in describing your
political views? If so, in what way? If not, why do you think the
results were so inaccurate?
Using what you've learned in this activity, how do
describe your personal political ideology?
specific and detailed connections to course content.
Always include course concepts in your work. If you're reading your margin notes and watching the presentations, you'll have plenty of material from which to choose on every activity.