Why does community matter for political participation? In this paper, I consider how community psychology, particularly “sense of community” can be used to address questions of political behavior. Individuals’ perceptions about their significance in a given community can have meaningful effects on the way in which communities influence politics. Using a unique survey instrument designed to capture individual’s perceptions of community connectedness and political behavior across five contexts (workplace, church, associations, neighborhood, and circle of friends (i.e., an informal network) I analyze data from 822 respondents and examine how sense of community influences two types of political behavior: voting in local elections and political discussion. The empirical analyses presented demonstrate that sense of community contributes to explaining voting and discussion, even after controlling for demographic, personality, and other political factors.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 27, 2009
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