Voice and Equality: Civic Voluntarism in American Politics
This book confirms Alexis de Tocqueville's idea, dating back a century and a half, that American democracy is rooted in civil society. Citizens' involvement in family, school, work, voluntary associations, and religion has a significant impact on their participation as voters, campaigners, donors, community activists, and protesters. The authors focus on the central issues of involvement: how people come to be active and the issues they raise when they do. They find fascinating differences along cultural lines, among African-Americans, Latinos, and Anglo-Whites, as well as between the religiously observant and the secular. They observe family activism moving from generation to generation, and they look into the special role of issues that elicit involvement, including abortion rights and social welfare. This far-reaching analysis, based on an original survey of 15,000 individuals, including 2,500 long personal interviews, shows that some individuals have a greater voice in politics than others, and that this inequality results not just from varying inclinations toward activity, but also from unequal access to vital resources such as education. Citizens' voices are especially unequal when participation depends on contributions of money rather than contributions of time. This deeply researched study brilliantly illuminates the many facets of civic consciousness and action and confirms their quintessential role in American democracy.
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The World of Participation
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2SLS abortion activists afﬂuent African-Americans American politics analysis Anglo-Whites Appendix asked average Blacks campaign Catholic Chapter citizens civic skills Civic Voluntarism Model concerns consider contacting deﬁned deﬁnition democracy democratic discussion educational attainment effect efﬁcacy equation exposure to political family income ﬁgures ﬁnancial ﬁnd ﬁndings ﬁrst ﬁve gender gratiﬁcations groups high school impact inﬂuence involvement issue engagements job level Latinos less means-tested beneﬁts measures messages non-political organizations overall activity Overall Participation parents participatory distortion participatory factors participatory process percent political activity political acts political contributions political engagement political interest political participation Political Science politically relevant characteristics population pro-choice pro-life protest public ofﬁcials questions race or ethnicity recruitment reﬂect relative standard deviation religious attendance reported respondent’s respondents role Rosenstone sample scale school prayer Sidney Verba Signiﬁcant at 01 social social desirability bias socioeconomic speciﬁc Table tion total distortion variables voluntary associations voting