Chapter 7
POLITICAL PARTICIPATION: OPPORTUNITIES, COSTS, AND BENEFITS  <ul><li>All political and civic activities involve trade-offs...
CHARACTERISTICS OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION  <ul><li>Different forms of political participation provide different amounts o...
CHARACTERISTICS OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION  <ul><li>Some forms of participation provide more frequent messages. </li></ul>...
INGREDIENTS FOR INVOLVEMENT <ul><li>Acts of political participation require the expenditure of resources such as time, mon...
INGREDIENTS FOR INVOLVEMENT <ul><li>Political participation varies by ethnicity and gender. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Whites p...
Political Engagement <ul><li>What is political engagement? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the four dimensions of political eng...
INGREDIENTS FOR INVOLVEMENT <ul><li>Political mobilization is the process of encouraging citizens to become politically in...
INGREDIENTS FOR INVOLVEMENT <ul><li>Several factors affect political mobilization: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobilization effo...
Political Inactives’ Reasons for Their Inactivity <ul><li>Not enough time </li></ul><ul><li>Self Interest </li></ul><ul><l...
VOTING STATISTICS  <ul><li>Voter turnout increases directly with employment status and wealth, level of education, and age...
VOTING  <ul><li>Several factors account for low voter turnout: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficulty of voter registration </li...
Is It Rational to Vote? <ul><li>2008 – recent study found that probability of influencing presidential election with your ...
OTHER TYPES OF POLITICAL ACTIVITY  <ul><li>Americans show greater levels of participation in more time-consuming political...
OTHER TYPES OF POLITICAL ACTIVITY <ul><li>What is checkbook democracy? </li></ul><ul><li>Some scholars worry that “checkbo...
THE IMPACT OF PARTICIPATION PATTERNS ON POLICY <ul><li>Voting data indicate that the attitudes and preferences of voters a...
Participation <ul><li>Are we in a crisis due to the decrease in all forms of political participation? </li></ul><ul><li>At...
Lippmann – The Phantom Public <ul><li>How does Lippmann portray the “average” citizen in this piece? </li></ul><ul><li>Whe...
Piven/Cloward: Why Americans Still Don’t Vote <ul><li>Are we doing everything possible to increase voting percentages with...
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American Government - Chapter 7 - Participation

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American Government - Chapter 7 - Participation

  1. 1. Chapter 7
  2. 2. POLITICAL PARTICIPATION: OPPORTUNITIES, COSTS, AND BENEFITS <ul><li>All political and civic activities involve trade-offs between the cost of involvement and the perceived benefits. </li></ul><ul><li>Rational actor theory states that choices are based on our individual assessment of costs and benefits. </li></ul><ul><li>Those who enjoy the benefits from an activity without paying the costs of participation are known as free riders. </li></ul><ul><li>Free riders are a problem in societies that do not force people to participate in the political system in order to receive its benefits. Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it wrong to force citizens to participate? </li></ul>
  3. 3. CHARACTERISTICS OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION <ul><li>Different forms of political participation provide different amounts of information. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voting conveys limited information. Why? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Working for a candidate, joining a political party, or contributing money to a campaign imparts more information than voting alone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Activities that impart more information may involve higher costs in terms of time or money </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. CHARACTERISTICS OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION <ul><li>Some forms of participation provide more frequent messages. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voting is low frequency; an individual can only vote once per election </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Donations are high frequency; an individual can donate time or money more than once per campaign </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The frequency and strength of a political message is strongly related to the amount of resources the sender possesses </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. INGREDIENTS FOR INVOLVEMENT <ul><li>Acts of political participation require the expenditure of resources such as time, money, or expertise. </li></ul><ul><li>The wealthy are more than twice as likely as those in low-income groups to participate in all forms of political activity. </li></ul><ul><li>Better-educated individuals are more likely to engage in electoral activities and community activities. </li></ul><ul><li>Religious institutions with open leadership positions often provide opportunities to learn civic skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Upper-income jobs provide more opportunities than low-skill jobs to develop resources that are useful for political life. </li></ul>
  6. 6. INGREDIENTS FOR INVOLVEMENT <ul><li>Political participation varies by ethnicity and gender. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Whites participate in greater numbers than African Americans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hispanics have lower participation rates than either whites or African Americans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>African Americans and whites with similar levels of education vote at about the same rates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women vote at higher rates than men </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Men contribute more money to political campaigns and contact political leaders more often than women </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Political Engagement <ul><li>What is political engagement? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the four dimensions of political engagement? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Political interest, efficacy, information, strength of party identification </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is political efficacy? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal – an individual’s self confidence in his or her ability to understand and participate in politics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>External – an individual’s belief that his or her activities will influence what the government will do or who will win an election </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. INGREDIENTS FOR INVOLVEMENT <ul><li>Political mobilization is the process of encouraging citizens to become politically involved. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct mobilization involves contacting citizens personally to take part in political activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In indirect mobilization, leaders use networks of friends and acquaintances to persuade others to participate </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. INGREDIENTS FOR INVOLVEMENT <ul><li>Several factors affect political mobilization: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobilization efforts are timed to enhance the success of the cause. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Politicians target those they believe will respond positively to their message </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The cost of the political action requested affects mobilization. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Asking too much, too quickly, and low success rates = low participation </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Political Inactives’ Reasons for Their Inactivity <ul><li>Not enough time </li></ul><ul><li>Self Interest </li></ul><ul><li>Politics are not important </li></ul><ul><li>Uninteresting and boring </li></ul><ul><li>Dirty Business </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t help personal and family problems </li></ul>
  11. 11. VOTING STATISTICS <ul><li>Voter turnout increases directly with employment status and wealth, level of education, and age. </li></ul><ul><li>Average rates of voter turnout in the United States compare unfavorably to rates in other democracies. </li></ul><ul><li>Voter turnout and interest is especially low among young people. </li></ul>
  12. 12. VOTING <ul><li>Several factors account for low voter turnout: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficulty of voter registration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Timing and scheduling of elections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two-party-system depression of voting interest among lower-income groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The great number and frequency of elections in the United States </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Noncompetitive political races </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Is It Rational to Vote? <ul><li>2008 – recent study found that probability of influencing presidential election with your vote is roughly 1 in 60 Million. </li></ul><ul><li>More likely to be hit by lightening – twice! </li></ul><ul><li>(Benefits – Costs) * (probability of the event occurring) = expected utility </li></ul><ul><li>What are the benefits? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the costs? </li></ul><ul><li>What accounts for all the people who do vote? </li></ul>
  14. 14. OTHER TYPES OF POLITICAL ACTIVITY <ul><li>Americans show greater levels of participation in more time-consuming political activities such as campaign work or contact with public officials (TIME) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why is this the case when voter turnout is so low? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The affluent are more likely to write letters, volunteer on campaigns, contact elected officials, and work on solving community problems (SKILL) </li></ul><ul><li>Modern politicians and activists increasingly rely on financial support as a form of participation (MONEY) </li></ul>
  15. 15. OTHER TYPES OF POLITICAL ACTIVITY <ul><li>What is checkbook democracy? </li></ul><ul><li>Some scholars worry that “checkbook democracy” depresses voter interest and shuts the less affluent out of the political process. </li></ul><ul><li>Average citizens are using consumer activism to make political or social statements with their buying power. </li></ul>
  16. 16. THE IMPACT OF PARTICIPATION PATTERNS ON POLICY <ul><li>Voting data indicate that the attitudes and preferences of voters and nonvoters are substantially similar. </li></ul><ul><li>Wealthier citizens are three times more likely as the disadvantaged to contact elected officials. </li></ul><ul><li>Political leaders are thus more likely to hear about the concerns of the wealthy such as taxes, government spending, and the budget instead of basic needs arguments. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Participation <ul><li>Are we in a crisis due to the decrease in all forms of political participation? </li></ul><ul><li>At what point is it time to panic? </li></ul><ul><li>What are some of the proposed reforms designed to help increase participation? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you believe that there is a difference between attitudes and preferences between voters and non-voters. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If not, is compulsory voting going to change anything? </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Lippmann – The Phantom Public <ul><li>How does Lippmann portray the “average” citizen in this piece? </li></ul><ul><li>Where do their opinions come from? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Times of crisis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individuals with specific expertise over an issue </li></ul></ul><ul><li>With limited information (and ability), what does Lippmann expect the public opinion? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Check the use of force in a crisis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Another advocate for elite driven theory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you agree? </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Piven/Cloward: Why Americans Still Don’t Vote <ul><li>Are we doing everything possible to increase voting percentages without mandating that everyone participate? </li></ul><ul><li>What was the goal of the NVRA? </li></ul><ul><li>By decreasing the cost of voting (making registration easier), hope to see an increase in turnout? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Did it work? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What do Piven and Cloward say will be the impact of voter registration laws? </li></ul>

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