Beyond Membership: A Sense of Community and Political Behavior

Beyond Membership: A Sense of Community and Political Behavior 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. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Beyond Membership: A Sense of Community and Political Behavior

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-009-9089-x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

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.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 27, 2009

References

  • A review of the sense of community index: Current uses, factor structure, reliability, and further development
    Chipuer, H; Pretty, G
  • Personality structure: Emergence of the five-factor model
    Digman, JM

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