Social Studies - 2019-20

GOVT.9b - Different Perspectives on the Role of Government

The student will apply social science skills to understand the process by which public policy is made by 

b) examining different perspectives on the role of government;

Adopted: 2015



Individual ideologies are shaped by a number of demographic factors. 

Political opinions about the role of government shape public policy. 


Differences of opinion about the role of government are due primarily to ideology. 

An ideology is a set of basic beliefs about life, culture, government, and society. A person’s ideology provides a framework for looking at government and public policy. Ideology is shaped by demographic factors, including family, education, religion, socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity, gender, and region. 

Traditionally, mainstream American political perspective falls into three broad categories of opinion: 

 Conservative opinion generally believes that the role of government should be limited and that free enterprise and initiative should be promoted. 

 Moderate opinion generally represents middle ground between conservative and liberal positions. 

 Liberal opinion generally believes that the role of government should be active and that economic opportunity should be promoted. 

Individuals may not always be consistent in their opinions about public policy. For example, a person may hold conservative views about the economy and liberal views about society.


Updated: May 17, 2017