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Farrell Answers Broun , from James T. Strike In N. Financed Jobs, by Tony Chapman. In particular, voting is more individualized participation with minimal policy influence; thus civic associations are not directly associated with voter turnout. Informal political activities are more difficult to carry out and require more commitment. Thus, membership is not related to informal participation.
In addition, the socioeconomic status has more explanatory power in individualized political activities, such as voting. While income is not significant in all three models, education is highly significant in predicting voting and informal participation. The requests from friends or relatives provide an external stimulus to participation.
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To further explore the effects of the intensity of involvement, we graphed the expected number of political activities by intensity of involvement in civic associations, adjusting for other factors, see Figure 1. The X-axis indicates the number of activities one performs in the organization, and the Y-axis is the predicted number of political activities.
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The two different patterns in the columns indicate two different modes of political participation. We can see that as one is more involved in civic associations, the number of political activities increases across the two modes. But roughly, the increase is more substantial in formal participation mode, suggesting that the effect of the intensity of involvement is larger. Predicted number of political activities by intensity of involvement in civic associations, adjusting for other factors. Existing literature depicts the relationship between civic associations and democracy from two perspectives Torpe The first highlights the internal democratic role of associations.
Through participating in the internal life of associations, one learns democratic norms and values, develops democratic competences, and becomes more active in politics. The second focuses on the external democratic role of associations, which are considered as intermediary institutions between citizens and government. This paper joins the first perspective by examining how civic associations contribute to political participation.
Using the Citizenship, Involvement, and Democracy dataset, we showed that participation in politics rises with participation in voluntary associations, even when these associations are quite apolitical. Specifically, we disaggregated political participation into three modes: formal, informal participation, and voting. We then highlighted two aspects of involvement in civic associations: the scope versus the intensity.
The former argues that civic associations serve as networks of bridging social ties through which novel information travel. The more affiliations to which one belongs, the more exposed one is to social influence, and thus, the more political activities one will participate in.
In contrast, the latter proposes that civic associations are socialization agents through which the seeds for generalized social trust, identification, and cohesion sprout. The more involved one is in the active associations, the more political activities one will engage in. We found that the intensity argument is supported in two types of political activities, including formal and informal participation. However, the number of affiliations affects formal participation but does not have a significant impact on informal participation. This is interesting because it enriched our understanding on the longstanding debate between bonding and bridging social capital Burt Bonding ties are the strong ties that exist within closed networks.
They help disseminate information among densely connected members within a certain group, reducing the cost of obtaining information. Knoke , for example, examines the networks of political action, arguing that when people discuss political matters with their intimates very frequently, their interests and participation in national campaigns and voting will be enhanced.