Chapter

Who are <i>Utilius, Amicus, Aliens</i>, and <i>Medians?</i>

Delia Baldassarri

in The Simple Art of Voting

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199828241
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979783 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199828241.003.0005
Who are Utilius, Amicus, Aliens, and Medians?

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Chapter 5 shows that the typology of voting heuristics differentiates between groups of voters with respect to their levels of political sophistication, political participation and certain sociodemographic characteristics. Utilius and amicus are more educated, informed, and interested in politics than any other type of voter, while aliens voters have instead minimal levels of political sophistication. Similarly, utilius, and, to a lesser extent, amicus voters, tend to discuss politics with others quite frequently, are engaged in associations, are politically active, and are consistent in their voting patterns, while, in contrast, aliens voters are the least likely to actively participate to political and associational life and to engage in political conversations. Finally, the sociodemographic profile of utilius and amicus voters presents many traits of social centrality: they tend to be male, hold stable jobs, and live in the industrial areas of the North and Center-North. In contrast, aliens voters tend to live in the southern regions and are overrepresented among women, unemployed individuals, and housewives. Taken together, these factors combine to determine the type of decision-making strategy a voter adopts. In particular, the level of political sophistication and variables relating to political participation mediate the influence exerted by social and environmental factors.

Keywords: political sophistication; political participation; sociodemographic characteristics

Chapter.  8836 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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