Political Behavior, Vol. 13, No.

3, 1991
PARTICIPATION AND POLITICAL PROTEST:
A Causal Model with Australian
Evi dence
Clive Bean
This paper examines a model of political participation and political protest that includes
the several well-established modes of orthodox participation as well as a number of
dimensions of political protest, and also takes account of the causal order between
conventional participation and protest. The analysis indicates that previous findings dem-
onstrating a substantial positive association between unidimensional measures of conven-
tional and unconventional political behavior are incomplete and indeed somewhat mis-
leading. The connection between orthodox participation and protest weakens as the style
of protest becomes more unorthodox, to such an extent that none of the separate modes of
conventional participation are directly related to "radical" protest. Using sheaf coeffi-
cients, the paper also tests the relative explanatory power of three sets of determinants of
participation and protest: social background characteristics, general orientations toward
polities, and attitudes toward issues. Issues are repeatedly weaker than the other two
groups of variables in predicting conventional participation but have relatively strong
effects on political protest, particularly compared with political orientations, while social
structure is consistently influential.
The mul t i di mens i onal i t y of pol i t i cal par t i ci pat i on is now wel l est abl i shed
empi r i cal l y i n a wi de var i et y of cul t ur al set t i ngs (see especi al l y Ver ba, Ni e,
and Ki m, 1971; 1978). Mass pol i t i cal par t i ci pat i on t akes a n u mb e r of di ffer-
ent f or ms each of whi c h is qui t e di st i nct f r om, al t hough of t en r el at ed to,
t he ot her s. But r es ear ch on pol i t i cal par t i ci pat i on f r e que nt l y pr oc e e ds f r om
a r a t he r na r r ow vi ew of wha t par t i ci pat i on ent ai l s, ar guabl y r es ul t i ng in an
i na de qua t e pi ct ur e of t he r ange of pol i t i cal act i vi t i es t hat t he mass publ i c
act ual l y unde r t a ke s (for el abor at i ons o f such an a r gume nt , see Sal i sbury,
1975; Sehonf el d, 1975; Rusk, 1976; Conge, 1988). The nar r ownes s of focus
vari es i n degr ee, wi t h s ome wr i t er s t e ndi ng t o e qua t e pol i t i cal par t i ci pat i on
s i mpl y wi t h vot i ng (for exampl e, Li pset , 1981), whi l e ot her s i dent i f y a
Clive Bean, Research Fellow, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National Uni-
versity, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia,
253
0190-9320/91/0900-0253506.50/0 © 1991 Plenum Publishing Corporation
2 5 4 BEAN
greater range of activities, most of which are nevertheless still largely asso-
ciated with the electoral process (for example, Lane, 19,59). Somewhat
more broadly, Verba, Nie, and Kim (1971; 1978), reporting on their highly
influential cross-cultural research project, define participation as having
four "modes": campaigning, voting, communal activity, and personalized
contacts (see also Verba and Nie, 1972).
Yet, even this definition is rather limiting. Mass political participation
may take other forms as well, such as political protest, and some re-
searchers have acknowledged this greater diversity by including a protest
dimension along with t he more conventional political activities in discus-
sions and analyses of participation (for example, Welch, 1975; Huntington
and Nelson, 1976; Milbrath and Goel, 1977; Barnes, Kaase, et al., 1979;
Mishler, 1979). Others have looked at political protest and violence as a
separate topic of study from more orthodox participation (for example,
Hibbs, 1973; Marsh, 1977; Muller, 1979).
But conventional participation and protest activity are seldom linked to
one another in the literature even though it could reasonably be expected
that there might be some degree of association between them. Further-
more, the possibility that protest activity may not be a single dimension
itself is rarely canvassed. After all, political protest ranges in style from
relatively subdued and passive acts like signing a petition, to acts of hostil-
ity and violence such as rioting. Research that does identify more than one
dimension in political participation of a more unorthodox kind and/or
makes connections between it and conventional participatory activity has
mainly t ended to be conducted at the level of aggregate cross-national anal-
ysis (Hibbs, 1973; Powell, 1981; 1982). 1 Studies using individual-level data
that show a relationship bet ween conventional and less conventional forms
of participation have not usually taken the investigation much further than
noting with interest that such a relationship exists (for example, Marsh,
i977; Muller, 1977; Barnes, Kaase, et al., 1979). And finally, the question
of causal order among the various acts of participation and protest is gener-
ally neglected in discussions of the subject, a serious omission given the
centrality of the concept of mass participation to democratic theory (see
Pateman, 1970).
For Australia, the country that forms the specific focus of this paper, the
ground is even thinner. A small, exploratory study in the 1960s had a single
"active" participation scale that included one or two protest-type items
(Wilson and Western, 1969) and one recent paper has investigated the
modes of orthodox participation in Australia (Bean, 1989), but thorough
empirical analyses of political participation more broadly defined or of po-
litical protest on its own are noticeably lacking.
PARTICIPATION AND POLITICAL PROTEST 255
Orientations
towards politics ~
~ " . : ~ ~-.." "~',...,partieipation
" " Low-level
Social
characteristics~. "~- ~ - " ~ - - ~ " ~ protest
~ ~ ~ - - - - ~ - - - - .....~-----'~ Radical
Attitudes towards ~ protest
issues
Note: Solid lines represent stronger effects and broken lines represent weaker effects.
FIG. 1. A Causal Model of Political Participation and Political Protest
A C A U S A L M O D E L OF P OL I T I CAL P A R T I C I P A T I O N A N D PROTEST
This paper attempts to fill in the above-mentioned gaps by identifying
different dimensions of political protest and investigating the causal link-
ages bet ween them and the more conventional forms of participation. The
analysis also considers the influence of a wide range of attitudinal and social
structural determinants of participation and protest, the effects of which
help elucidate and underpin essential differences in the nature of conven-
tional and unconventional activity. Figure 1 sets out a formal model of the
determinants of political participation and political protest. Some indication
of the anticipated strength of associations is provided by the use of solid
arrows, for stronger effects, and broken arrows, for weaker effects. The
diagram is a simplified version of how the model is actually operationalized
in the analysis to follow. There are, for example, four different types of
orthodox participation and numerous individual social structural and attitu-
dinal variables. Details of the empirical substance of the model are given in
due course. The present discussion focuses on its broad contours.
For terminological convenience the phrase ort hodox political participa-
tion is used to denot e the conventional modes of democratic participation
as defined by Verba, Nie, and Kim (1971) while less conventional styles of
political participation are distinguished by the term protest. The model
operates at five different causal levels in all. Among other things it posits a
distinction bet ween milder forms of protest (writing to a newspaper, col-
lecting signatures for a petition, and the like), t ermed tow-level protest,
and radical protest, such as participating in illegal demonstrations or dis-
rupting a march or meeting.
256 BEAN
The model assumes not only that orthodox participation is causally prior
to and has an impact on both types of protest but also that low-level protest
is prior to and has a eausal effect on radical protest. The causal order postu-
lated appears well justified when one considers that the various acts of so-
called democratie participation can be undertaken with greater ease and
have fewer potential costs than most forms of protest activity are likely to
carry. Once having engaged in a conventional partieipatory act, however, it
is quite likely that one may be more inclined to move onto less orthodox
political activities. Such a conception of the processes involved thus "gives
rise to the hypothesis that some kind of p o s i t i v e relationship will exist be-
tween the preparedness to engage in conventional and in uneonventional
political behavior" (Kaase and Marsh, 1979, p. 151). A number of previous
empirical studies have indeed found a positive conneetion bet ween ortho-
dox participation and political protest or aggressive political behavior
(Marsh, 1977, p. 58; Muller, 1977, p. 456; 1979, p. '23t; Marsh and Kaase,
1979a, p. 93). In a study using data from West Germany, Muller (1977, p.
456) concludes that "those who show no participation in conventional activ-
ity are virtually certain not to participate in aggressive activity; those who
participate in conventional activity are unlikely to participate in aggressive
activity; but practically all of those who participate in aggressive activity
also participate in conventional activity." This description implies a very
definite causal sequence, consistent with that depicted in Figure 1: Con-
ventional political activity of some kind is more or less a prerequisite for
partieipation in unconventional political activity.
Yet we should not pass over this conception of the connection bet ween
orthodox and unorthodox political behavior without due reflection, since in
the absence of this empirical evidence to the contrary, it would have been
possible to make a plausible theoretical ease that political protest was nega-
tively related to eonventional participation. After all, conventional political
behavior is generally regarded as a system-legitimizing kind of activity
whereas, in its most extreme manifestations political protest is essentially
antisystem in nature. Thus, Marsh and Kaase (I979a, pp. 93-94) greet the
discovery of positive correlations bet ween conventional participation and
protest activity with some surprise: "How could this be?" they ask. "In all
popular understanding of the subject, protest behavior implies a departure
from the orthodox pathways of political redress. Protesters are supposed to
be alienated from mainstream politics. That is why they protest, isn't it?"
On the contrary, the evidence that exists all indicates that rather than be-
ing in some sense opposites, protest and orthodox participation are more
properly conceived of as lying within the same broad behavioral sphere.
Perhaps the most eontentious part of the causal flow posited by the
model in Figure 1 is the arrow running from orthodox political participation
PARTICIPATION AND POLITICAL PROTEST 257
to low-level protest. Compri si ng acts such as writing to a newspaper, help-
ing collect signatures for a petition, or at t endi ng a public meet i ng, wi t h t he
aim of getting public oMcials to change decisions, low-level prot est can be
di st i ngui shed from orthodox participation, and assumed to be causally sub-
sequent to it, because it is essentially a response (usually of a negative kind)
to political events or gover nment actions and decisions rat her t han a citi-
zen-initiated, positive action t hat participatory activities such as voting or
campaigning ]br a political part y t end to be. Although rest rai ned in execu-
tion, low-level prot est is nevert hel ess intrinsically eonflictual in character,
being an expression of dissatisfaction wi t h so-called democrat i c decision
making as opposed to reflecting a desire to participate in t he democrat i c
process for partieipation' s sake. For t hese reasons, and in particular be-
cause tow-level prot est is a reaction to political syst em-cent ered stimuli and
not a ci t i zen-cent ered action, orthodox political participation can be seen as
prior to low-level protest. At t he same time, low-level prot est is a much
less i nt ense response t han radical prot est and t herefore recourse to t he
latter is likely to be less common and to come later in t he causal sequence
and also to be less closely rel at ed to orthodox activity.
Fur t her back in t he causal chain we have two separate groups of at t i t ude
variables t hat are assumed to l ead to t he different ]brms of political activity.
One of t hese groups contains what we mi ght call '°general orientations to-
ward polities" and is made up of such at t i t udes as i nt erest in polities, parti-
san leanings and t hei r i nt ensi t y, political efficacy, and political t r ust - - at t i -
t udes t hat largely indicate support for t he political system. The ot her set of
at t i t udes reflects social values and ideological stances on a range of political
and social issues, such as t rade unions, abortion, and conservation of t he
envi ronment . Finally, prior to t hese sets of at t i t udes are background social
characteristics t hat have the potential to influence political participation
and prot est bot h di rect l y and indirectly, t hrough t he two clusters of atti-
t ude variables.
Large bodies of evi dence have demonst rat ed the relevance of all t hree
groups as det ermi nant s of political activity. Wi t h this model, however, we
can focus on the nat ure and ext ent to which t he different sets of variables
shape t he various styles of orthodox participation and political protest, and
advance a number of t est abl e propositions. Nie, Powell, and Prewi t t (1969,
p. 825), for example, claim t hat soei'~ status "t ends to affect political partici-
pation t hrough its i mpact on political at t i t udes and cognitions which, in
t urn, facilitate political activity. " Following this ar gument we can hypot he-
size t hat social characteristics will have substantial total effects on t he dif-
ferent types of political activity but only small di rect e ~c t s .
Evi dence i?orn ot her research suggests t hat issues and values may be
likely to have a great er impact on political protest activity t han on eonven-
258 BEAN
tional participation (Farah, Barnes, and Heunks, 1979; Inglehart, 1979;
Klingemann, 1979; Dalton, 1988). Protest frequently appears to derive
from concerns based around specific issues whereas orthodox political activ-
ity tends to be much more general in character. In reviewing the findings
of their cross-national analysis, Farah, Barnes, and Heunks (1979, p. 444)
conclude in a similar vein: "Conventional participation was largely a func-
tion of system responsiveness, or support for the rules of the game, while
unconventional activity was attributable to unhappiness with t he existing
political agenda." Thus, we may predict that attitudes toward issues will
influence protest to a considerable degree but will not influence orthodox
participation.
The same line of reasoning in turn suggests a third hypothesis, that gen-
eral orientations toward politics will likely play a greater role in shaping
conventional forms of participation than in shaping political protest. This is
certainly not to argue, however, that we should expect general political
orientations to be completely impotent with respect to protest behavior.
On t he contrary one might anticipate that, in particular, lack of political
efficacy, or "alienation" from t he political system, and lack of political trust
would be significant determinants of protest (see Milbrath and Goel, 1977,
pp. 57-74).
The model and methods employed in the analysis permit us not only to
take account of the causal sequence among the explanatory variables and to
test the above hypotheses but also to examine the relative importance of
social structure, political orientations, and issues as factors determining
whet her or not citizens become participants in various kinds of orthodox
and protest activity. In so doing, the analysis also treats the modes of ortho-
dox political participation as intervening between the explanatory variables
and the different levels of political protest and in these respects in particu-
lar it represents an advance on previous causal analyses of political partici-
pation (for example, Nie, Powell, and Prewitt, 1969; Verba, Nie, and Kim,
1971; 1978; Verba and Nie, 1972; Inglehart, 1979).
DATA A N D METHODS
The data for the analysis come from the 1984-85 Australian National
Social Science Survey, which is a multipurpose social survey of 3012 re-
spondents drawn from throughout Australia, using an area-probability sam-
ple; it is representative of the population aged 18 and over. 2 The main
analytic methods employed are factor analysis and path analysis. Factor
analysis is used to identify the separate dimensions among the participation
and protest variables and also to identify dimensions underlying attitudinal
variables employed in the analysis. Individual items that cluster together
are then combined into seales representing these broader factors.
PARTICIPATION AND POLITICAL PROTEST 259
In the main part of the investigation path analysis is used to give statisti-
cal substance to the causal connections depicted in the theoretical model in
Figure 1 (as modified for empirical testing in the manner described pres-
ently). The path coefficients are estimated using a series of ordinary least
squares regression equations. A principal virtue of path analysis, of course,
is that it allows us to calculate the indirect and total effects, as well as the
direct effects, of variables near the beginning of the causal chain so that the
relative importance of the various determinants of participation and protest
can be fully assessed (Alwin and Hanser, 1975). Furt her elaboration of
methodological details will appear where appropriate as t he analysis pro-
ceeds.
Di mensi ons of Par t i ci pat i on a n d Protest
We begin by examining the empirical dimensions of political participa-
tion and protest that factor analysis reveals are present in t he 1984-85
Australian data (Table 1). With respect to orthodox political activity, Aus-
TABLE 1. Va r i ma x Ro t a t e d F a c t o r Loa di ngs Showi ng Di me n s i o n s of Pol i t i eal
Pa r t i c i p a t i o n a n d Pol i t i cal P r o t e s t
Orthodox Participation Protest
Campaign Communal Personalized Low-level Radical
Variable Activity Voting Activity Contacts Protest Protest
Persuade .59 .09
ot hers how
to vote
At t end .87 .03
political
meetings or
rallies
Work for party .87 - . 0 0
or candidate
Vote in 1983 .03 .91
federal
election
Vote in state .01 .88
election
Would vote i f .09 .83
not
compulsory
.14 .15 .13 .08
.13 .02 .04 ,05
.08 - . 0 1 .06 .01
.02 .02 - . 0 0 - . 0 5
.04 .01 - , 0 2 - . 0 4
.10 .03 . i 1 - . 0 6
260 BEAN
TABLE 1. (Continued
Orthodox Participation Protest
Variable
Campatgn Communal Personalized Low-level Radical
Activity Voting Activity Contacts Protest Protest
Work with
others to
s ol ve
community
problems
Contact a
federal govt
official about
a c o mmu -
n i t y prob-
lem
Contact a state
govt official
about a
community
problem
Contact a local
govt official
about a
community
problem
Contact a
federal govt
official about
a personal
problem
Contact a state
govt official
about a
personal
problem
Contact a local
govt official
about a
personal
problem
Try to get a
political
decision
change by:
Writing to a
newspaper
.25 .11 .57 ,13 .25 - . 03
.12 .01 .72 .20 .02 .07
.09 .03 .80 .14 .10 .03
.03 .05 .70 .04 .13 - . 00
.05 ,02 ,07 .72 .02 .02
.08 ,02 .14 .73 ,03 .01
.01 .01 .15 .60 .07 - . 00
.05 - . 01 .06 .04 .70 .08
PARTICIPATION AND POLITICAL PROTEST
TABLE 1. (Continued
2 6 1
Variable
Orthodox Participation Protest
Campaign Communal Personalized
Activity Vo t i n g Activity Contacts
Low-level Radical
Protest Protest
Attending a , I t .09 .20 ,07 .76 .17
public
meeting
Collecting .07 ,02 .14 ,02 .74 .21
signatures
for a
petition
Going on a .09 -, 02 .10 .07 .54 .63
legal protest
march
Going on a ,06 - . 05 .07 .05 .24 .8t
banned
protest
march
Trying to .00 - , 05 .04 .03 ,12 .84
block traffic
Disrupting a .05 - . 05 .07 - . 06 .04 .74
march or
meeting
Source: Australian National Social Science Survey, 1984-85 (n = 3012).
Note: The order in which the {actors are listed in the table is for convenience of presenta-
tion. They actually emerged in the following order: radical protest, voting, communal activity,
low-level protest, campaign activity, personalized contacts. Eigenvalues for the first six factors
were: 4.2, 2.7, 2.0, 1.5, 1.2, 1.0.
t ral i a pr ove s t o be no except i on t o t he gener al r ul e es t abl i s hed b y Ver ba,
Ni e, and Ki m (1971; 1978) f or n mn e r o u s ot he r count r i es t hat t he r e ar e f our
s epar at e mode s of c onve nt i ona l par t i ei pat i on. Si nee t hes e di me ns i ons
( namel y, c a mpa i gn act i vi t y, vot i ng, c o mmu n a l act i vi ~, , and per s onal i zed
cont act s) ha ve b e e n di s cus s ed in c ons i de r a bl e det ai l i n t he Aust r al i an con-
t ext e l s e whe r e (Bean, 1989), it is not neces s ar y t o dwel l on t h e m he r e
except t o not e t hat each is s hown t o be qui t e di st i nct .
Of mo r e pr es s i ng i nt er es t i n t he c u r r e n t exer ci se is t he fact t hat Tabl e t
r eveal s t wo o t h e r pol i t i cal act i vi t y f act or s as wel l , r e pr e s e nt i ng t he s epar at e
f or ms of pol i t i cal pr ot e s t pos i t ed in Fi gur e 1. Low- l evel pr ot e s t is ma de up
of t h r e e i t ems t hat me a s ur e t he l i kel i hood of r e s ponde nt s act i ng t o get t he
aut hor i t i es t o c ha nge t hei r mi n d s - - b y wr i t i ng t o a ne ws pa pe r , a t t e ndi ng a
publ i c me e t i ng, or he l pi ng t o col l ect si gnat ur es f or a p e t i t i o n - - i f t he r e-
s ponde nt s fel t s t r ongl y a bout deci si ons ma de by pol i t i ci ans and publ i c offi-
262 BEAN
cials. Radical protest is the likelihood, under the same circumstances, of
respondents going on a protest march even though it had been banned by
the authorities, trying to block traffic, or helping others trying to disrupt a
march or meeting to which they object.
These protest Factors are thus measures of potential to engage in differ-
ent forms of protest rather than a recording of actual participation in such
activities. Given that, for many citizens, political protest of any kind is an
extremely rare activity, it is an acceptable and well-validated procedure to
measure protest as a propensity in this way (Muller, 1972; Marsh, 1974;
1977; Barnes, Kaase, et al., 1979; Muller and Opp, 1986). Rather than the
two scales identified here, though, others studying political protest and
aggressive political participation using individual-level data have usually
employed single scales to represent such behavior (Muller, 1972; 1979;
Marsh, 1974; 1977; Marsh and Kaase, 1979a; Muller and Jukam, 1983).
However, these scales t end to be based on items similar to the radical
protest dimension in the current analysis. In a recent study using indicators
that represent a wider range of styles of protest, Finkel, Muller, and Opp
(1989, pp. 891-892) also identify two protest factors, similar to those in
Table 1, in West German data (although they do not actually show the
results from their factor analysis).
There is one other item in the series that loads on both of the protest
factors. It is whet her or not, if respondents felt strongly about decisions
made by public ot~cials and wanted them changed, t hey would be likely to
go on a protest march as long as it was legal. Conceptually this item ap-
pears to sit somewhere bet ween the two principal modes of protest. Argua-
bly it is a somewhat stronger course of political action than any of the
low-level protest activities, but rather less extreme than any of the items
making up the radical protest factor. And this evaluation is borne out em-
pirically. For example, the mean of the legal march item is about midway
bet ween the means of the low-level and radical protest scales, indicating
that people are more likely to go on a legal march than engage in radical
protest but less likely to go on a legal march than participate in low-level
protest (see Appendix Table 1). Also, more often than not the correlation of
legal march participation with other variables in the analysis comes some-
where bet ween the correlations of low-level protest and radical protest
with the same variables (see Appendix Table 4). Furthermore, the factor
loading for the legal march item on each protest factor is considerably
weaker than the loading of any other item in that factor. For these reasons,
propensity to go on a legal march is treated as a separate variable in the
empirical analysis--a third dimension of political protest that links low-
level and radical protest in the causal chain, being subsequent to the for-
mer and prior to the latter.
PARTICIPATION AND POLITICAL PROTEST 263
Ot he r V a r i a b l e s
In general, t he i ndependent variables in the final model are included for
a combination of theoretical grounds and on the basis of empirical perfor-
mance in initial exploratory analyses, where a much wider array of social
structural and attitudinal variables was used. Many that proved to be of
little importance were dropped in order to help streamline the final anal-
ysis somewhat. 3
Like t he dimensions of participation and protest, all of the variables mea-
suring attitudes toward issues--namely, attitudes toward economic organi-
zation (socialist versus capitalist), trade unions, the environment, uranium
mining, abortion, materialism, and postmaterialism--are constructed l~com
multiple-item scales identified by factor analysis, as are a number of the
items used to measure different orientations toward polities--these being
interest in politics, political trust, and feelings of power to influence politics
(representing a measure of political efficacy), It is unnecessary to present
the factor analyses underpinning these scales here since t hey have all been
document ed elsewhere (Bean, 1989; Kelley, 1988; Kelley, Cushing, and
Headey, 1987, pp. 248-259; Graetz and McAllister, 1988, p. 250).
The other measures of basic orientations toward politics employed in the
analysis--direction and strength of partisanship, direction and strength of
left-right location, and subjective social class--are represent ed by single-
item indicators, as are each of the social location variables: sex, age, educa-
tion, ineome, occupation, trade union membership, urban-rural residence,
and church attendance. All of the variables in the final analysis together
with their scoring, means, and standard deviations are listed in Appendix
Table 1 and a correlation matrix is provided in Appendix Table 4.
De t e r mi na nt s of Pol i t i cal Protest
Figure 2 gives empirical substance to the model of participation and po-
litical protest. The coefficients shown for each path are standardized partial
regression coefficients (betas), with unstandardized coefficients (bs) in pa-
rentheses. In eases where it might otherwise be uncertain, the direction
toward which the scoring of variables increases is indicated in parentheses
after the variable name. Because multiple individual indicators represent
each of the major groups of factors, the diagram is of necessity much more
complex than the theoretical model depicted in Figure I. Two particular
steps have been taken to maximize clarity and ensure that t he focus re-
mains On the most important relationships in the model: First, only those
coefficients significant at t he. 001 confidence level are included in Figure 2;
and second, indirect effects of social background characteristics through
orientations toward politics and attitudes toward issues are omitted from
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PARTICIPATION AND POLITICAL PROTEST 265
the diagram (or, in other words, only the direct effects of social background
characteristics on participation and protest are shown).
Because of the strict inclusion criteria, not all of the variables in the final
model thus actually appear in Figure 2. Most that do not (for example,
attitudes toward abortion, ideological location, occupation, trade union
membership, and income) nonetheless somewhere have substantial direct
or total effects on participation and/or prot est 2 Appendix Tables 2 and 3
flesh out the statistical relationships in the model not shown in Figure 2,
with the former containing the effects of soeiaI background on political ori-
entations and issues, and the latter showing the full set of direct and total
effects on participation and protest of all variables in the model.
Let us examine the relationships in Figure 2. First, since one of the main
aims of this analysis is to investigate the causal connections bet ween ortho-
dox political participation and political protest, it is notable that only two of
the four modes of conventional political activity--campaigning and commu-
nal act i vi t y--appear in the figure. Indeed, were it not for their roles as
dependent variables, the other t wo--vot i ng and personalized cont act s--
would have no place in the analysis. There are no links, in other words,
bet ween these types of political behavior and any form of protest activity,
whet her it be low-level or radical or in-between.5
On the other hand, campaigning and communal activity do play impor-
tant roles. Communal activity is in fact the largest and most immediate
determinant of low-level protest. Those who get involved in community-
oriented political action are substantially more likely than those who do not
to participate in low-level protest activities (beta = .25). Campaign activity
also has an influence (.08). In the form of these two modes, conventional
participation thus has a substantial positive impact on the propensity to
take part in low-level protest. Furt her back, we see that interest in polities
is also important for low-level protest (with a coefficient o f . 17), but no
other political orientation variable has a significant effect. Two issue vari-
abl es - at t i t udes toward the environment ( - . 09) and postmaterialism
(. l l ) - - a r e significant: Engaging in low-level protest varies negatively with
a t endency to give low priority to environmental protection and varies pos-
itively with holding postmaterialist values.
The only social background characteristic to have a direct effect on low-
level protest is age, which has a negative impact, as indeed it does on all
three dimensions of political protest. Interestingly, this relationship is in
the opposite direction to the strong influence of age on voting (see Appen-
dix Table 3) and on orthodox political participation overall (Bean, 1989).
Older people are more likely to vote but less likely to pr ot est - - whet her it
be of a more or less radical nat ur e- - t han the young. This finding is eonsis-
266 BEAN
tent with data from five different nations present ed by Marsh and Kaase
(1979b, pp. 131-133).
Moving along the causal chain we see that a large part of the variation in
participation in legal marches is accounted for by whet her or not people
engage in low-level protest (beta = .51). But, whereas communal activity
affects low-level protest activity to a considerable degree, it is not directly"
related to taking part in legal marches at all; neither is campaign activity, at
the .001 confidence level (although it does have a small effect, significant at
the .01 level: bet a = .05). However, both campaigning and communal
activity have significant total effects on legal march activity (see Appendix
Table 3), suggesting an important indirect link through low-level protest
that acts as a filter for their impact.
Furthermore, gone is the direct influence of political interest. Indeed,
no political orientation variable directly affects activity in legal demonstra-
tions. However, legal march participation is related to attitudes toward the
mining of uranium ( - . 08) and to materialist attitudes ( - . 10) , such that
those who are against uranium mining and those with a less materialist
outlook are more likely to participate. As noted before, age is important
( - . 14), as is sex (.09): Men are somewhat more likely t6 go on legal protest
marches than women, even when intervening factors are taken into ac-
count.
In its turn participation in legal marches helps explain a good proportion
of the variation in the final variable in the model, radical protest (beta =
.53). By contrast, low-level protest has only a very mild direct influence on
the likelihood of participating in radical political action (.08). Moreover,
none of the modes of conventional participation afl~ct radical protest di-
rectly.
Two political orientation variables do, however. Strong ideologues of ei-
ther the left or the right are more inclined to engage in radical protest (.08)
and this kind of protest is also associated with a lack of political trust
( - . 06) . Marsh (1977, p. 120) found a similar connection bet ween political
distrust and political protest. But, whereas Milbrath and Goel (1977, pp.
69-74) suggest that political trust leads to conventional participation and
distrust to radical action, the evidence on this question--particularly on
the conventional participation si de- - i s ambiguous in these data: Only vot-
ing has a positive association with trust, but most of the other effects are
close to zero (Appendix Table 3). It is also notable that feelings of alienation
or lack of political efficacy (as measured by the political power scale) have
no impact, either direct or indirect, on radical political activity (Appendix
Table 3).
Three issue variables are of some importance in shaping radical protest:
PARTICIPATION AND POLITICAL PROTEST 267
those with less Favorable attitudes toward trade unions ( - . 08) and those
who are more materialist ( - . 12) are less likely to protest whereas post-
materialists are more likely to take part in radical protest (. 07). And, finally,
of the social background variables only age directly affects radical political
action.
The evidence in Figure 2 (augmented by Appendix Table 3) helps to
demonstrate an essential distinction bet ween politieal protest and orthodox
participation. While there are some determinants in common, by and large
what leads citizens to participate in conventional political activities is differ-
ent fi'om what may" inspire them to protest. Certain variables, ibr instance,
that affect participation in some or all modes of conventional aetivi~" have
no impact on any of the dimensions of protest behavior. Place of residence,
which influences all modes of orthodox activity, is the most notable of these
and strength of partisanship is another obvious one. Even more strikingly,
perhaps, age has the opposite effect on each of the protest dimensions to its
general influence on orthodox participation. 6
The generally small effects of the modes of participation themselves on
protest activity are also particularly noteworthy. As discussed earlier, per-
sonalized contacts and voting do not even appear in Figure 2 and the only
really sizable effect at all from orthodox participation is that of cmnmunal
activity on low-level protest. Likewise interest in politics, the most impor-
tant variable in shaping conventional participation, influences only low-
level protest behavior directly.
More broadly, tile pattern of paths in Figure 2 hints at contrasting roles
for the issue variables and the political orientation variables, as predicted at
the outset. Paths from attitudes toward issues run exclusively to protest
activities whereas more paths from orientations toward politics run to or-
thodox modes of political behavior than to protest. Thus it appears that,
taken as a whole, the impact of issues may be largely confined to political
protest and political orientations may influence orthodox participation more
than they influence protest. On the other hand, social structure appears to
have a certain amount of direct influence on both conventional and uncon-
ventional styles of political behavior. These patterns are investigated more
systematically in the next section.
Notwithstanding the more striking contrast bet ween orthodox and pro-
test participation as a whole, at the same time each dimension of protest
has a distinctly different set of antecedents from the others and there are
relatively few overlaps. Of the three protest dimensions, low-level pro-
t est - - whi ch receives sizable paths from political interest and communal
activity--has most in common with orthodox participation, while radical
pr ot est - - wi t h no direct links and weak total effects--is least like it. Each
268 BEAN
level of protest leads to the next one in the causal chain and the connection
with orthodox participation becomes weaker and less direct at each stage.
G r o u p e d Effects: Direct a n d Total
In discussing Figure 2 we have largely concentrated on direct effects,
where arrows run straight from one variable to another. But of course vari-
ables further back in the causal sequence may also have an indirect impact
on the dependent variable through their effects on one or more interven-
ing variables. For example, education has no direct impact on campaign
activity, but it does influence political interest, which in turn influences
campaign activity and so education does have a significant total et~ct on
campaign activity. The number of indirect linkages in the model of partici-
pation and political protest is very large, but we can summarize the total as
well as direct effects of different factors by grouping the variables together
into their respective sets, such as social characteristics, orientations toward
politics, and attitudes toward issues. In addition, this procedure allows us
to evaluate the relative strength of the different groups of variables in shap-
ing the various dimensions of political activity and to test the hypotheses
advanced at the beginning of the paper.
To achieve this aim we need to use some method of computing a single
summary regression coet~cient for each separate set of variables as a group.
This is done by the calculation of sheaf coefficients (see Heise, 1972; Whitt,
1986). A sheaf coefficient is "a single measure of multiple effects" (Heise,
1972, p. 157) and is obtained from an index that combines all of the vari-
ables in the specified group, weighting each by its effect. 7 The results are
shown in Table 2. The principal virtue of presenting the data in such a
summary form is the relative clarity and simplicity that it achieves and the
resultant ease with which it allows comparison of the effects of each group
of variables as a whole. Readers interested in the detail of coefficients for
individual variables can find them in Appendix Table 3.
It is instructive to compare the data in Table 2 both along the rows and
down the columns of the table. Beginning with an examination of the rows,
we see first that the total effects of social characteristics are often considera-
bly larger than their direct effects, particularly on the more radical protest
dimensions, since there are several sets of variables that intervene between
social structure and protest. To put it another way, with respect to radical
protest in particular, much of the total effect of social background comes
indirectly through its impact on other factors. Yet, as a group, social Char-
acteristics repeatedly have quite substantial direct effects as well, a fact that
may be considered somewhat surprising given their position in the causal
order and one that generally tends to undermine the hypothesis we began
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270 BEAN
with based on Nie, Powell, and Prewitt' s (1969) view that social status in-
fluences participation principally via political orientations. When their ef-
fects are combined, in other words, sex, age, education, and the like not
only help shape attitudes that then influence political activity but they also
directly shape participation and protest themselves. ~ Tile largest direct and
total effects of location in the social structure are on voting and communal
activity; it also has l arget ot al effects on legal marching and radical protest.
Because t here are no intervening variables, the total effects of political
orientations and attitudes toward issues on the conventional modes of par-
ticipation are of course the same as their direct effects. The impact of orien-
tations toward politics is consistently quite large on both conventional par-
ticipation and protest, although it declines somewhat on the more remote
dimensions of protest. In contrast, reminiscent of the consistent patterns in
cross-national analyses by Inglehart (1979, pp. 372-376) and Farah,
Barnes, and Heunks (1979, pp. 435, 438), the effect of attitudes toward
issues strengthens quite markedly when the dependent variable is a protest
mode rather than an orthodox participation mode.
These findings confirm the two hypotheses relating to the impact of po-
litical orientations and issues, the more strikingly for the latter. 9 Broadly
speaking, attitudes of a kind that reflect support for the political system are
inclined to facilitate conventional participation but not so much political
protest, whereas concerns about particular political issues and political
values inspire citizens to protest but not to participate in orthodox political
activities. Furthermore, the impotence of attitudes toward economic organ-
i zat i on--compared to views on the environment, uranium mining, abor-
tion, and the l i ke--suggest s that, to the extent protest is about issues, it is
issues of a social or moral character in particular that are crucial and' not
bread-and-butter economic issues.~°
When we look clown the colurans of Table 2 and compare the relative
effects of social structure, political orientations, and attitudes toward issues,
we see that indeed as a group issues are repeatedly far weaker than politi-
cal orientations or social structure as determinants of the conventional
modes of participation. At the same time, political orientations are substan-
tially more important than social characteristics in shaping campaign activ-
ity, while social characteristics are somewhat more influential than political
orientations on voting and communal activity (even in terms of direct ef-
fects on the latter) and a little more influential for personalized contacts
(which the model as a whole does not predict well). Overall, however, for
conventional participation orientations toward politics and social back-
ground come out about even and the salient distinction is bet ween these
two sets of variables and issues.
The picture changes somewhat for the dimensions of political protest.
PARTICIPATION AND POLITICAL PROTEST 271
Here the predictive power of issues no longer suffers by comparison with
political orientations or social characteristics, in terms of either direct or
total effects. For low-level protest the direct effects of the three sets of
variables are similar, with issues being slightly ahead. Notice though that
the sheaf coefficient representing the four modes of orthodox participation
carries the largest weight (both direct and total) in shaping low-level pro-
test. Tile total effects of soeial charaeteristies and espeeially political orien-
tations are naturally eonsiderably larger than their direct effects due to
their indirect influence through orthodox participation, while the total ef-
fect of issues rises hardly at all because issues have so much less impact on
conventional participation.
Turning now to participation in legal marches as the dependent variable,
and leaving aside the dominant influenee of low-level protest, we find that
attitudes toward issues marginally have the greatest direct effect of the
other factors while the impact of political orientations is quite small and
that of conventional participation is remarkably weak. Given its substantial
indirect influence via low-level protest, the total effect of orthodox activity
is rather greater but still smaller than the total effeets of the three eausally
prior groups, of which social background and then issues have the highest
total efl~ets.
Lastly we focus on radieal protest. Despite the large array of intervening
variables in its path, soeiat structure has a stronger direct effect on radical
protest than politieal orientations, orthodox participation, or low-level pro-
test and a similar-sized influence to that of issues. Social strueture also has
a slightly greater total effect than attitudes toward issues, which in turn
have an appreciably larger total impact than political orientations (as well as
having a stronger direet effect). To a degree, then, radical protest is about
issues but social background is also important, while general political orien-
tations are less influential.
Of the three major groups of explanatory variables, social structure per-
haps eomes out as being the strongest overall predictor of the various di-
mensions of partieipation and protest. Its total effects in particular are con-
sistently large and its direct effects are also quite substantial--probably
more so than might have been anticipated.
Finally, the small direct influence of low-level protest on radical protest
becomes a large effect in total when the equation is reestimated without
the dominating influenee of legal march partieipation. But the grouped in-
fluence of orthodox participation is very weak on radical protest with even
its total effect being quite small. So, in sum, although the predicted posi-
tive influence of orthodox participation on protest does pertain, it is of a
substantial size only on low-level protest, it is largely indirect on participa-
tion in legal marches, and for radical protest it is distinctly muted.
272 BEAN
CONCL USI ONS
This paper began with the argument that, in addition to the four well-
established modes of conventional participation, a comprehensive model of
mass political activity needs to include measures of political protest. In
these less-well-charted waters a number of significant findings emerge, not
the least of which concern the connection between protest and more con-
ventional political action. Factor analysis identifies t hree empirical dimen-
sions of political protest, indicative of varying degrees of extremism, and
the evidence strongly suggests that the findings of previous studies that
show a substantial positive association between unidimensional measures of
conventional participation and political protest do not adequately represent
the complexities involved. For example, the connection between the sev-
eral modes of orthodox participation and political protest gets progressively
weaker as the style of protest behavior becomes more radical.
In fact, only two of tbe conventional participation modes, campaign ac-
tivity and communal activity, have an i ndependent effect on any of the
dimensions of protest at all. Orthodox participation,-in t he form of these
two modes, influences low-level protest fairly strongly, but t here is no di-
rect path (significant at p<.001) from any mode of conventional participa-
tion to radical protest. In its separate dimensions, orthodox activity only
affects radical protest indirectly through low-level protest and even t hen
only very weakly. On the other hand, low-level protest itself does have a
significant direct effect on radical protest as well as a large indirect effect
through legal march activity." To the extent that such relationships do ex-
ist, then, connections between t he modes of conventional participation and
dimensions of political protest are indeed generally positive, but the link-
ages involve subleties that unidimensional conceptualizations of participa-
tion and protest miss. Conventional participation is quite closely related to
low-level protest but only distantly related to radical protest. ~
It is important to reflect on why this shotdd be so. The answer lies partly
in the differing attitudinal bases of conventional and unconventional activ-
ity. General orientations toward politics and attitudes toward political is-
sues are both important for mass political activity, but t hey play quite dif-
ferent roles. In its various manifestations, orthodox political participation is
essentially a positive, system-legitimizing form of behavior, underpi nned
by general attitudes toward politics that reflect support, in the Eastonian
sense, for the political system. In turn, however, experience of orthodox
political activity is apparently an important factor in leading to further, less
conventional, types of political action and hence t here is a positive connec-
tion bet ween t he two. But, although conventional participation may facili-
tate participation in protest activity, protest itself has a distinctly negative
PARTICIPATION AND POLITICAL PROTEST 273
character, often being an expression of discontent over political issues.
Each level of protest leads to the next, but at each stage the nature of the
activity changes somewhat, becoming more unorthodox and more likely to
be illegal (and in that sense less legitimate). As the style of protest becomes
more radical, and its antisystem character increases, it is thus progressively
more weakly related to conventional participation.
To the extent that we can generalize from these Australian data--and,
given the cross-national regularity in patterns of participation and protest
shown in many studies it seems quite reasonable to do so--the findings
have certain implications for democratic theory, some of which may bring
more comfort than others. On the one hand, it seems that by and large
political protest can be viewed as simply another form of rnass political
expression, reflecting "the ext ent and diversity of the behavioral repertory
of the participant citizen" (March and Kaase, 1979a, p. 94), On the other
hand, though, to encourage political participation of a conventional and
system-supportive kind is in due course ultimately likely to generate, albeit
indirectly, antisystem behavior.
Acknowlegments: This paper grew out of discussions of the topic with
Jonathan Kelley and I wish to acknowledge ray intellectual debt to him; I
am also grateful to Ian McAllister and Anthony Mughan for comments on
an earlier version.
APPENDIX TABLE 1. Vari abl es Us ed in the Analysis: Scoring, Means, and
Standard Devi at i ons
Standard
Variable Scoring Mean Deviation
Social Characteristics
Sex 0 Female; 1 Male .49 .50
Age Years 42.55 16.93
Education Years full-time 10.99 3.23
Income Tens of thousands of 1.30 1.31
dollars
Occupation 0 Manual; 1 Nonmanual .56 .50
Trade union membership 0 Not a member; 1 .27 ,45
Member
Urban-rural 0 Rural; 1 City (>100000) .61 .49
Church attendance 0 Never--ten steps--1 .28 .28
Every day
Orientations toward Politics
Subjective class 0 Lower, Working; 1 .54 .50
Middle, Upper
A P P E N D I X T A B L E 1. (Continued)
St andard
Variable Scoring Mean Devi at i on
Ideol ogi cal location 0 Strongly l ef t - - f i ve .56 .22
s t e p s - - I Strongly ri ght
St rengt h of ideology 0 Noni deol ogue; 0.5 Weak .'29 .35
ideologue; 1 Strong
i deol ogue
Part i sanshi p 0 Labor; 0.5 Ot her, None; .47 .46
1 Li beral -Nat i onal
St rengt h of part i sanshi p 0 Nonpar t i s an- - f our .59 .32
s t e ps - - 1 Very strong
part i san
Political i nt erest 0 Least i nt er est to 1 .62 .28
Gr eat est i nt er est
Political t rust 0 Least t rust to 1 Gr eat est .42 .44
t rust
Political power 0 Least power to 1 .22 .25
Gr eat est power
Attitudes toward Issues
Economi c organization 0 Most pro-socialist to 1 .52 .18
Most pro-capi t al i st
Trade unions 0 Most favorable to 1 .67 .19
Least favorable
Envi r onment 0 Most favorable to 1 .34 .17
Least favorable
Urani um mi ni ng 0 Least favorable to 1 .53 .31
Most favorable
Abort i on 0 Least favorable to 1 .66 .33
Most favorable
Mat eri al i sm 0 Least mat eri al i st to 1 .74 .12
Most mat eri al i st
Post mat eri al i sm 0 Least post mat eri al i st to .66 .13
1 Most post mat eri al i st
Orthodox Political Participation
Campai gn activity 0 Not active to 1 Most .09 .18
active
Voting 0 Nonvot er to 1 .89 .24
Commi t t ed vot er
Communal activity 0 Not active to 1 Most .17 .23
active
Personal i zed contacts 0 No contact to 1 Most .07 .16
contact
Political Protest
Low-l evel pr ot est 0 Cert ai nl y woul d not to 1 .52 .21
Very likely
Legal march 0 Cert ai nl y woul d not to 1 .36 .30
Very likely
Radical pr ot est 0 Cert ai nl y woul d not to 1 .16 .18
Very likely
Source: Australian National Social Science Survey, 1984-85 (n = 3012).
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278
AP P E NDI X T AB L E 4. C o r r e l a t i o n s B e t we e n Va r i a b l e s ( P e a r s o n ' s r )
BEAN
Correlations
Variable (i) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (t0) I l l ) (12)
(1) Sex
(2) Age - . 0 i
(3) Educat i on .11 - . 3 7
(4) Income .43 - , 1 0 ,33
(5) Occupation - . 0 9 - , 0 3 .39 .17
(6) Trade m0on membershi p .25 - . 1 7 ,16 .28 - . 0 3
(7) Urban-rural .01 - . 0 3 ,17 ,06 .09 - . 0 0
(S) Church at t endance - . 12 .12 ,05 - .05 .10 - .08 , 0l
(9) Subjective class - . 0 1 ,03 ,30 .15 .30 - . 0 5 .14 .08
l l 0) Ideological location .02 .17 - , 0 8 .03 .07 .14 - , 0 8 .14 .08
(i1) St rengt h of ideology ,07 ,11 .04 .07 .10 - . 0 3 - . 0 3 .02 .I1 ,38
(12) Partisanship - .02 .07 , ~ .07 .16 - . 17 - .09 .16 .20 .46 . i 9
(13) Strength of partisanship - , 0 2 . i 8 - . 1 5 - . 0 4 - . 0 5 - . 0 0 - . 0 8 - . 0 1 - . 0 3 .08 .22 - , 0 3
(14) Political i nt erest ,16 .16 ,17 ,16 .16 .02 - , 0 0 ,05 .15 .05 .20 .06
(15) Political t rust .05 .07 . I1 .04 .05 .07 ,08 .02 .04 - . 0 6 - . 0 3 - . 1 8
(16) Political power .06 .06 .04 .06 .04 .02 ,10 ,02 ,09 .01 .06 - . 0 1
(17) Economic organization .04 - . 0 0 .10 .16 .12 .14 - . 0 2 .08 .18 .37 .10 ,46
(18) Trade unions .07 .09 - . 0 5 .01 .08 - . 2 8 - . 0 9 .0S .08 .39 . i 0 .49
(19) Envi r onment .08 . i, t - . 1 3 .04 - . 0 3 .05 - . 1 5 - , 0 8 .03 .25 .07 .22
(20) Uranium mi ni ni ng .18 ,22 - . 0 7 .1:3 - , 0 0 .02 - , 0 4 .02 .03 .29 . I1 .21
(21) Abortion ,04 - . 0 1 ,06 ,07 .04 .03 .03 - , 4 1 .03 .08 .02 - . 0 6
(22) Mat eri al i sm - , 0 2 .923 --, 32 - , 0 9 - . i 4 - , 0 6 - , 13 ,03 - . 0 9 .22 ~02 .06
(23) Postmaterialism - , 0 3 ,02 - , 0 9 - . 0 8 - , 1 1 ,04 - . 0 3 - . 0 1 - , 0 8 - . I 2 ,01 - . 1 6
(24) Ca mpa gn activity, .12 ,00 ,09 .12 .04 .10 - . 0 8 ,01 .04 - . 0 2 .17 - . 0 1
(25) Voting - . 0 1 .25 - . 0 0 .07 ,12 .06 - . 0 9 .08 05 .06 .10 .03
(26) Communal activity .07 .00 .23 .17 .17 .04 - . I 6 ,09 .11 .02 .12 .10
(27) Personalized contacts .03 - . 0 0 ,07 .04 .03 .02 - . 1 3 .04 .01 .01 .04 ,02
(28) Low-level protest - . 0 2 - . 0 9 .18 .04 .09 .06 ,0,t ,07 .03 - . 0 7 .07 - , 0 2
(29) Legal march .06 - . 2 4 .18 .04 .04 .13 .01 - , 0 3 - . 0 1 - . 2 2 .0:3 - . 1 5
(30) Radical prot est .09 - . 2 8 ,12 .02 - . 0 4 .12 - . 0 1 - , I I - . 0 5 - . 2 5 ,03 - . 1 8
Source: Aus t r Mi a n Na t i ona l Soci al Sc i e n e e Sur ve y, 1 9 8 4 - 8 5 ( n = 3012).
NOTES
1, On e r e c e n t e x c e p t i o n i s a s u r v e y - b a s e d s t u d y b y Fi n k e l , Mu l l e r , a n d Op p (1989) t h a t
i d e n t i f i e s t wo d i me n s i o n s of p r o t e s t .
2. Th e s u r v e y wa s d i r e c t e d b y J o n a t h a n Ke l l e y a nd Ro b e r t G, Cu s h i n g of t h e Aus t r a l i a n
Na t i ona l Un i v e r s i t y a n d Br u c e He a d e y of t h e Un i v e r s i t y of Me l b o u r n e . I t wa s f u n d e d b y
t h e Au s t r a l i a n Re s e a r c h Gr a n t s S c h e me a n d t h e Re s e a r c h School of Soci al Sc i e n c e s a t t h e
Au s t r a l i a n Na t i o n a l Un i v e r s i t y . Th e d a t a we r e ma d e a v a i l a b l e t h r o u g h t h e Soci al Sc i e n c e
Da t a Ar c h i v e s of t h e Au s t r a l i a n Na t i ona l Un i v e r s i t y . Ne i t h e r t h e p r i n c i p a l i n v e s t i g a t o r s n o r
t h e f u n d i n g a g e n c i e s b e a r a n y r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for t h e a na l ys e s or i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s p r e s e n t e d
h e r e i n , A s u mma r y of t h e d e s i g n , s a mp l i n g p r o c e d u r e s , a n d e x e c u t i o n of t h e s u r v e y t o-
PARTICIPATION AND POLITICAL PROTEST 279
Correlations
~I3) (14) (15) ([6) (17) (18) [19) (20) (211 (22) (23) (2-1) (25) (26) (27) (28) ~29)
,21
,03 .09
.03 .09 .08
-.0,t .04 -. 06 ,00
-. 06 -. 03 -. 24 ~-,05 ,41
.03 -. 02 -. 06 --o,02 ,24 .23
.07 .i0 .01 ---.01 ,25 .20
.05 .04 .01 .Ol -. 04 -, 06
,15 .04 -. 07 .0t -,01 ,15
.06 .02 -, 08 .04 -. 25 -.1.t
.23 .30 .00 .08 -. 02 -. 07
• 27 .24 .08 ,08 .00 .00
,03 .27 -. 02 ,10 .05 .06
,03 .14 -, 04 ,03 .02 .04
.06 .27 -. 00 .08 -. 06 -. 07
.03 .15 .00 ,03 -. 15 -.21
-. 03 .03 -. 03 ,02 -.17 -, 25
:36
-. 06 01
.03 .16 ~°.O0
-. 30 - . I 6 .03 ,50
.0I .02 . 0 5 -.01 .04
.07 .i0 ,06 .09 - , ( ~ .12
-. 02 .Ol ,05 -. 06 .0I ,34 .16
-.01 .01 ,01 .02 .02 ,17 .07 .35
- . t 7 -, 08 .04 .04 .18 .P?A ,10 ,36 15
-. 23 -,21 .09 -.11 ,16 .21 - . 0t .22 .i2
-. 19 -. 20 .09 -. 17 .14 I3 -. 09 .08 .05
.58
.38 ,64
gether with a general introduction to it is contained in Kelley and Bean (1988). For more
detailed technical information plus the full question wording, response categories, and
frequency distributions of all variables in the survey, see Kelley, Cushing, and Headey
( 1 9 8 7 ) .
3. I,eaving such variables out of the analysis does not substantially alter the relative effects of
each of the three separate sets of explanatory variables--social characteristics, orientations
toward politics, and attitudes toward i ssues--whi ch is an important consideration for the
section of the paper focusing on this question.
4. There are three notable exceptions to this rul e--subj ect i ve class, direction of partisanship,
and attitudes toward economic organization--that, given their importance for other forms
of political behavior (see, ~br example, Bean and Kelley~ 1988), may have been expected to
have an impact but did not. These variables were left in the final model so that their
280 BEAN
impotence on all of the participation and protest modes could be demonstrated (see Appen-
dix Table 3), it being the more important to do so since all three have bivariate associations
of some magnitude with one or more of the various forms of political activity (see Appendix
Table 4).
5. Appendix Table 3 has the details; it also shows the determinants of voting and personalized
contacts (see also Bean, 1989).
6. To a lesser extent, and only in terms of the contrast between radical protest and voting, the
same can be said of political trust. See Bean (1989) for a detailed discussion of the determi-
nants of orthodox political participation in Australia,
7. It is calculated by multiplying the unstandardized regression coefficient for each variable in
the group by the variable's value for each individual case, summing the results for each
ease, and then reestimating the equation with the new variable. The resulting standardized
regression coefficient is the sheaf coefficient. The sheaf variable can be thought of as the
"average" score for the set of variables, taking account of each variable's impact on the
dependent variable. The sheaf coefficient is always shown in standardized form because the
sheaf variable has no natural scale and thus the unstandardized coefficient cannot be mean-
ingfully interpreted. Sheaf coefficients have been usefully employed to represent blocks of
variables in a wide variety of applications in the social sciences (see, for example, Kelley
and McAllister, 1985; Hanson and Ginsburg, 1988; O' Brien and Gwartney-Gibbs, 1989).
8, Interestingly, the individual social characteristic that appears to have the most consistent
effect across the different modes of orthodox participation and protest is education (see
Appendix Table 3). Being well educated, in other words, is something of a hallmark of
participants in all types of political activity, be it conventional or unconventional.
9. The overall contrast between the effects of attitudes toward issues and political orientations
is exemplified by the fact that while interest in politics has a total effect of some magnitude
on every dependent variable, no one issue variable makes a significant impact on the whole
range of participation and protest styles. Indeed, no issue affects any orthodox participation
mode at p<.001; postmateri~ism, however, affects all three protest dimensions both di-
rectly and indirectly to some ext ent - - see Appendix Table 3,
10. This provides an interesting contrast with electoral choice, tbr which mainstream eco-
nomic issues are important and social and moral issues are generally much less so (Kelley,
1988),
11. Among other things, of course, these findings further help justify distinguishing low-level
protest from the modes of orthodox participation in the causal sequence. Moreover, in a
higher-order factor analysis of all the participation and protest dimensions, low-level pro-
test clearly loads with the other protest variables rather than with the orthodox participa-
tion modes.
12. And there is even a hint of a negative relationship between communal activity and radical
protest (see Appendix Table 3).
REFERENCES
Al wi n, Duane F. , and Rober t M. Hauser . (1975). The decompos i t i on of effects in
pat h analysis. American Sociological Review 40: 37- 47.
Barnes, Samuel H. , Max Kaase, et al. (1979). Political Action: Mass Participation in
Five Western Democracies. Bever l y Hi l l s and London: Sage Publ i cat i ons.
Bean, Cl i ve (1989). Or t hodox pol i t i cal par t i ci pat i on in Australia. Australian and
New Zealand Journal of Sociology 25: 451- 479,
PARTICIPATION AND POLITICAL PROTEST 281
Bean, Clive, and Jonathan Kelley. (1988). Partisan stability and short-term change
in the 1987 federal election: Evidence from the NSSS panel survey. Politics 23,
November: 80-94.
Conge, Patrick J. (1988). The concept of political participation: Toward a definition.
Comparative Politics 20: 241-249.
Dalton, Russel J. (1988). Citizen Politics in Western Democracies: Public Opinion
and Political Parties in the United States, Great Britain, West Germany, and
France. Chatham, NJ: Chatham House Publishers.
Farah, Barbara G., Samuel H. Barnes, and Felix Heunks (1979). Political dissat-
is{~tction. In Samuel H. Barnes, Max Kaase, et al., Political Action: Mass partici-
pation in Five Western Democracies, pp. 409-448. Beverly Hills and London:
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