This chapter argues that informal interaction should not be overlooked, because it is a way in which people collectively develop fundamental tools of political understanding. Political scientists have given the act of understanding politics, also referred to as the act of interpreting or making sense of politics, far less attention than the act of evaluating or making political choices. In analyzing processes of interpretation, the dependent variable is no longer preferences but perspectives. Preferences are attitudes about particular issues. Perspectives are the lenses through which people view issues. Some aspects of a person's perspective or outlook on life are not necessarily tied to their social context. Yet, how people look at the world is grounded in where they place themselves in relation to others. Social identities are not just one component of worldviews. Instead, we see the world through ideas of where we place ourselves in relation to others.
Keywords: informal interaction; political understanding; political choices; perspective; preferences; social identities
Chapter. 7146 words.
Subjects: US Politics
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