There is no other source that provides in one place the wide range and depth of insight found in Vital Statistics on American Politics (VSAP), published since 1988. VSAP provides historical and statistical information on all aspects of American politics: Political parties Voter turnout Public opinion Campaign finance Media perspective and influence, congressional membership and voting patterns The presidency and executive branch Military policy and spending Supreme Court and federal court make-up and caseloads Foreign, social, and economic policy In over 230 tables and figures, students and professional researchers will find chapters devoted to key subject areas such as elections and political parties, public opinion and voting, the media, the three branches of U.S. government, foreign, military, social and economic policy, and much more. This book provides a vivid and multifaceted portrait of the broad spectrum of United States politics and policies. Along with updated and new data content, this edition offers brand new data literacy lessons that take a “guide on the side” approach to teach data researchers how to wade through the sea of data and do the difficult work of grappling for the meaning of the data on their own. Lessons include understanding descriptive representation data, comparing data over time, noticing gaps in data, unpacking dichotomies of public opinion, and more.

Social policy

Social policy
  • Population
  • Immigration
  • Medicare and Social Security
  • Income Levels
  • Public Aid
  • Health Insurance
  • Integration in Schooling
  • Abortion
  • Crime and Punishment

Many students’ first introduction to political science is through Harold Lasswell’s description of politics as the study of “who gets what, when, and how.” The study of social policies offers perhaps the clearest example of that definition in practice. Social policy touches nearly every aspect of life, from the health insurance that covers hospital stays at birth to funding for social security in later life. Along the way, it gets at questions we often talk about when we talk about national identity and “the American way.” These are inherently controversial questions that people aim to resolve ‘in part’ through data.

However, it is not only the questions of who gets what, when, ...

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