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My Notes Ch.7

by: Rachel Rusnak

My Notes Ch.7 130

Rachel Rusnak
GPA 3.2

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Ch.7- Political Participation (p.145-168)
American National Government
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rachel Rusnak on Friday September 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 130 at Ball State University taught by Wheeler in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see American National Government in Political Science at Ball State University.

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Date Created: 09/30/16
Ch.7 (p.145-168) 1 Political Participation. 1) Political Position: Opportunities, Costs, and Benefits. a) Voting restrictions based on property ownership, race, and gender fill away only slowly, and the government didn’t fully enforce the voting rights of minorities until the mid- 1960’s. b) BUYcotting- intentionally supporting with our purchases the product of environmentally friendly companies. c) Personal factors play a large part in determining our inclination to participate. i) Income. ii) Age. iii) Political socialization. (1) Rational actor theory- choices are based on our individual assessment of costs and benefits. (2) Free riders- those who enjoy benefits from an activity without playing the cost of participation. 2) Characteristics of Political Participation. i) Differs from civic voluntarism: (1) People undertake political activities with the intent of directly or indirectly influencing government policy. (2) Have broad legal consequences for the entire community. a) Amount of Information Conveyed. i) Other types of political participation convey more explicit messages. (1) Involve higher costs in terms of time and money. b) Variation in Frequency and Strength. i) Effective political communication requires citizens to convey messages frequently and loudly enough so that leaders will pay attention. (1) The frequency and strength of the message participants conveyed are strongly related to the resources they possess. 2) Ingredients for Involvement. a) Three conditions are necessary for political participation. i) Citizens must have the resources to participate. ii) Participants must be interested in the political process ad believe that their actions will make a difference. iii) People must be asked to participate. b) Access to Resources. i) The type and amount of resources required vary according to the type of political activity. ii) The unequal distribution of resources means that some individuals are in a better position to take political action than others. (1) Weather directly affects the ability to contribute to political fundraising. (2) Education predicts political activity. (3) Religious institutions that open leadership positions to a larger number of members provide greater opportunities to learn necessary civic skills. (4) The workplace also provides analytic and communication skills that are useful for political life. c) Political Engagement. i) Psychological predisposition toward political involvement. Ch.7 (p.145-168) 2 (1) Effected by the overall level of income inequality within the nation. ii) Involved 4 dimensions: (1) Political interest- level of concern that a politically engaged person has about an election outcome and candidates position on the issue. (2) Political efficacy- sense of empowerment and satisfaction created by political involvement. (a) Internal- confidence individuals have in their ability to understand and participate in the political world. (b) External- individual’s belief that the government will respond to his or her actions. (3) Political information- the amount of knowledge a person has about political issues, figures, and the working of the political system. (4) Strength of party identification- the degree of loyalty that an individual feels toward a particular party. d) Mobilization. i) A variety of resources after citizens to opportunities to participate and encourage them to become politically involved. (1) Parties. (2) Elected officials. (3) Interest groups. (4) Candidates. (5) Voluntary associations. (6) Friends/ neighbors. ii) Direct mobilization- candidate and party organizations contacting citizens personally to invite them to take part in political activity. iii) Microtargeting- mining databases containing information about consumer interest and behaviors to design personal appeals to voters. iv) Indirect mobilization- leaders use networks of friends or organizations to persuade others to participate. 3) Voting. a) Who Votes? Who Doesn’t? i) Turnout directly with employment, weather, education, and age. b) Factors Influencing Voter Turnout. i) Registration. (1) Americans must register at age 18, when they move, or fail to participate in a certain number of consecutive elections. ii) Timing. (1) Timing and scheduling affects turnout. iii) Two-party system. (1) Explain how voting turnout. (a) The economic orientation of political parties can exert a powerful influence on getting out the vote. iv) Frequency of elections. (1) The U.S. holds more primary and refrain from going to the polls. (a) Voter fatigue- a tendency to tire of the process and refrain from going to the polls. v) Lack of competitive races. (1) The more competitive the race, the more interest it draws. 4) Voters in the Electoral Process: How American’s Decide. Ch.7 (p.145-168) 3 a) Voters are left on their own to navigate electoral decisions on the basis of party affiliations, candidate characteristics, and issue positions. b) Party Choice. i) We come to view political personalities and events through a perceptional screen colored by partisan cues. (1) Party affiliation is a powerful predictor of choice of candidate. ii) Democrats are more consistently tout liberal policy options. iii) Republicans are more reliably conservative. (1) “Swing” voters- switch parties from election to election depending on issues or candidates. (a) Issues. (i) Not irrelevant for partisans, especially for those who are best informed and interested. 1. Prospective voting. 2. Retrospective voting. (ii) Voters attribute the state of the economy to elected readers. (b) Candidate characteristics. (i) Looking for those indefinable qualities associated with leadership. (ii) Cast voters for the candidate of their own race, gender, or ethnic group. 1. Opposition research. 5) Other Forms of Political Participation. a) Activities that Require More Time. i) There is no limit to the number of times one perform such acts, of the amount of time one can devote to them. (1) These actions represent an emerging pathway to move meaningful citizen engagement. b) Activities that Require More Skill. i) These activities put us in close contact with our elected leaders, giving us the opportunity to express our views more clearly. c) Activities that Require Money. i) Contributing money has the greatest capacity for variation from individual to individual. (1) Hashtag activism. (2) Consumer activism. 6) The Impact of Participation Patterns on Policy. a) Participation that conveys more information to leaders displays a larger gap between the concerns of those participate most and those who are least politically active. i) Leaders hear more about taxes and budgets than they hear about government programs that are vital to a larger segment of the population. 7) Participation and Civic Engagement Today. a) Proposed reforms that reduce inconvenience associated with voting: i) Keep voting polls open longer on Election Day. ii) Election Day a national holiday or held on a weekend. iii) Adopt same-day registration. iv) Adopting compulsory voting as a means of reigniting the voting habit.


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