You are on page 1of 4

I. What is political participation? Be able to define.

Activity that has either the intent or effect of influencing government either directly by affecting the making or implementation of public policy or indirectly by influencing the selection of people who make these policies. What activities are in a grey area: that is, some people may argue they are political participation, others that they are not (e.g. politically motivated purchases, regime support). What is the argument on each side? II. How do we study political participation? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each (strengths and weaknesses) Details of each are in the handout by TA III. Modes of political participation What are the modes into which acts have empirically been found to cluster? Electoral: Voting and Campaigning Nonelectoral: Communal Activity, Particularized Contact, Protest Know which specific acts (something people do) are in each, or examples. What modes were found in Verba, Nie and Kim? Addition of protest (no protest questions in VNK) Possible other modes consumer activism as in van Deth Be able to explain the difference between electoral and nonelectoral modes. Electoral: Trying to get someone elected, taking sides in an election. Non-electoral: Not taking sides in an election. Why are modes a useful concept (especially for research across time and space)? Related question: what is functional equivalence? They are essential for cross national study. Functional equivalence makes it a useful concept because activities may be more or less common for idiosyncratic reasons. These will cancel out, giving us a better measure of each type of activity. The fact that activities empirically cluster into modes is clearer than the reasons why they do so. Scholars have proposed various dimensions of political participation that underlie the modes and produce the clustering. What are some of the different dimensions that have been proposed? There is some underlying dimension of participation, BUT: Different activities require different resources Different activities can get people into different situations Different activities have different payoffs

PS156A Midterm Study Guide Fall 2011 p. 2 IV. Baseline Model, Verba Nie Kim What is the baseline model (empirical generalization) of political participation? How does it connect SES and group-based resources with activity? What is SES (or SEA or SERL we treat them interchangeably)? What variables (characteristics of people) are added up in this measure? How does functional equivalence enter measurement of this variable, especially for studies in different countries? Why is it important to be aware of (and take account of) SES, even if you are primarily interested in the effect of something else on participation? Consider the facts that SES and interest (involvement) are related at about the same strength across nations while the correlations between SES and activity (especially voting) vary a lot. Why do Verba Nie and Kim call these facts a puzzle? (see pp. 70-73) What is the Verba Nie Kim solution to that puzzle? (How does the group based resources component of the baseline model explain observed differences across modes (and across countries) in the effect of SES)? Relevant concepts (what are these, conceptually, and for the second one how is it measured): group-based resources institutional affiliation (party identification; organization membership) strong versus weak institutional systems What does "strong institutional system" mean? (Hint: what are the five "ideal types" of institutional systems -- eg. dominant, additive, and so on.) Which nations in the Verba Nie Kim study have strong institutional systems? Which have weak ones? For which modes of activity do institutions tend to be stronger, relative to the baseline model? To answer this, consider how the modes differ in the resources they require (individual, group). (You can ignore particularized contacting as VNK did for this discussion.) Ideal Types of Institutional Systems: Weak, Additive, Dominant, Restrictive, Mobilizing. Japan, Austria, and Netherlands have strong institutional systems. India, US, and Nigeria have weak systems. Communal: Institutions weakest; Campaign and voting: institutions matter. V. Civic Voluntarism Model How does time differ from money? (idea of how much you can multiply money, versus time) Time is more evenly distributed than money; there is a fixed upper limit. Money is much more stratified. Example: The hours given are highest for the least wealthy, and then about flat for everyone else. Money goes up for 75k-125k income people, then rockets for >125k What is the Civic Voluntarism Model? (Remember the 3 answers to the question -- why might someone not be active?) CVM model asks why people do NOT participate. 1. Resources, 2. Engagement, 3. Recruitment.

PS156A Midterm Study Guide Fall 2011 p. 3 What resources are useful for political action? time, money, skills What are examples of participatory acts that require time? that require money? What are civic skills (remember that this includes education and vocabulary, but the most interesting ones are the adult civic skills)? Where do people get civic skills? How (un)evenly are they distributed? Compare the roles of the workplace, voluntary organizations, labor unions and religious organizations in the United States in affecting the amount and equality of political participation via provision of civic skills. Adult Civic Skills include organizational and communication skills. The communications and organizational abilities that allow citizens to use time and money effectively in political life. People get civic skills from education, work, religious institution, and voluntary association. Civic skilled acquired through jobs More stratified: people in upper occupation strata acquire quite a few more than persons in other kinds of jobs. Non-political organizations: Only members of non-political organizations can get the skills there. Membership itself is stratified by income, race, or ethnicity. Religious organizations: Religion is the equalizer: there is little difference in the acquisition of civic skills between income, race, or gender. Latinos do acquire fewer due to the difference in the way Catholic and Protestant churches are organized. What is psychological engagement, and why does it matter? How is it measured? What effect does it have? Dont forget concern about specific issues as another piece of engagement. Engagement is the second leg of CVM does someone WANT to participate. Key concepts: Interest, Efficacy, Information, Party ID. Both resources and psychological engagement are important in an estimation of overall participation. Time-based acts: Civic Skills, Education, Income, and Engagement are all important. Voting: All of engagement variables are important. Civic skills dont matter. Church affiliation is important (the only organization). Income a little bit. Contributions: Income (mostly), also Interest and Party ID matter. Discussion: Engagement matters, not efficacy (mostly interest and information). Weak income and party identification. Issues: Sometimes, engagement depends on specific issues. Ex: Parents and recipients of means tested benefits are more active.

PS156A Midterm Study Guide Fall 2011 p. 4 What is recruitment, and why does it matter? How do Verba et al. measure recruitment? How equally is it distributed that is, what are the characteristics of people who get recruited? In light of that, under what circumstances does recruitment increase and under what circumstances does it decrease the equality of participation? Recruitment: Process by which candidates, parties, activists, and groups induce other people to participate. Verba assesses recruitment by: networks (personal contacts), and institutions. The people with the characteristics of the active are more likely to be recruited. Contacts work best when the relationship is personal. Personal Networks of Recruitment: Frequency, Source, Response Institutions: Location for recruitment requests. More likely to be active because they are asked, rather than asked because they are active. Compare the roles of labor unions and religious organizations in the United States in affecting the amount and equality of political participation, especially via recruitment and provision of civic skills. Dont forget how many people each affects. How does the Civic Voluntarism Model explain the black boxes in the process of the baseline model (that is, why higher SES correlates with higher participation, higher group resources correlate with higher participation)? How would you apply the Civic Voluntarism crossnationally? For example, what institutions might you examine for sources of civic skills? Where might recruitment occur? VI. The following question will apply to the final exam, too. As the quarter goes on, well have more to add. The first one in part involves summarizing other topics covered above. Which socioeconomic and demographic characteristics and psychological characteristics go along with a person being more likely to participate in politics (that is, if you knew one person had that characteristic but another one did not, you would predict that the one with the characteristic would participate more)? (Some items already on the list: age, income, education, church member, organization member, political party identifier, interest, efficacy)