Understanding citizen politics: a methodological overview

Matt Qvortrup

in The Politics of Participation

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780719076589
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701560 | DOI:
Understanding citizen politics: a methodological overview

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This chapter develops an account of what is required for the study of political phenomena. Using a largely qualitative method, drawing on writers like C. Wright Mills, Richard Fenno, Clifford Geertz and Hannah Arendt, it argues that political participation cannot be understood from an objective perspective only, and that one needs to study the phenomenon from the inside. An understanding of citizen politics requires that we adopt the perspective of the citizens in question and take seriously their grievances and concerns. It aims to combine the various perspectives of what has been called the ‘sociological imagination’.

Keywords: political participation; citizen politics; sociological imagination; Hannah Arendt; political phenomena

Chapter.  3252 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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