On Participation

Jane Junn

in The Oxford Handbook of American Elections and Political Behavior

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199235476
Published online May 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of American Politics

 On Participation

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This article provides an argument for the consideration of individuals in dynamic relationship to both categories and the context of power in the study of political behavior. It argues that contemporary scholars of US political behavior should consider more carefully two important assumptions when analyzing the relationship between political participation and democracy in the United States. The first is the assumption of individuals as a unit of analysis in stable and meaningful categories. A second assumption which suggests holding to greater scrutiny involves the uniformity of political agency. Education and other individual-level resources may work in different ways in influencing political participation among minority populations. Furthermore, if one assumes that individuals participate in politics partly as a reflection of their political needs or demands, and these vary across groups due to social and political structures, then the nature of political action is likely to vary across groups.

Keywords: individuals; dynamic categories; power; US political behavior; political participation; democracy

Article.  5599 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Behaviour

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