Voter Turnout A Social Theory of Political Participation

ISBN-10: 1107617987
ISBN-13: 9781107617988
Edition: 2013
Authors: Meredith Rolfe
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Description: This book develops and empirically tests a social theory of political participation. It overturns prior understandings of why some people (such as college-degree holders, churchgoers, and citizens in national rather than local elections) vote more  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 8/22/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 248
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

This book develops and empirically tests a social theory of political participation. It overturns prior understandings of why some people (such as college-degree holders, churchgoers, and citizens in national rather than local elections) vote more often than others. The book shows that the standard demographic variables are not proxies for variation in the individual costs and benefits of participation, but for systematic variation in the patterns of social ties between potential voters. Potential voters who move in larger social circles, particularly those including politicians and other mobilizing actors, have more access to the flurry of electoral activity prodding citizens to vote and increasing political discussion. Treating voting as a socially-defined practice instead of as an individual choice over personal payoffs, a social theory of participation is derived from a mathematical model with behavioral foundations that is empirically calibrated and tested using multiple methods and data sources.

Meredith Rolfe held a Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellowship at Nuffield College prior to becoming a Senior Research Fellow at Satid Business School, University of Oxford. Her dissertation was awarded the Mancur Olsen Dissertation Grant by the APSA Political Economy section. Rolfe has been awarded grants by the National Science Foundation, the British Academy, Oxford's John Fell Fund, the EU-sponsored Equalsoc Framework and the Oxford University Centre of Corporation Reputation. Her work has appeared in Public Opinion Quarterly and L'Ann�e Sociologique, and she was an invited contributor to the Oxford Handbook of Analytical Sociology and the Oxford Handbook of Corporate Reputation.

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