Drawing democracy: popular conceptions of democracy in Germany

Drawing democracy: popular conceptions of democracy in Germany There are various ways to measure attitudes toward democracy. But what does democracy mean? Here, it is inquired into democracy as concept by getting insight into people’s understanding of it. In the paper, first, a four-dimensional concept is theoretically proposed. Furthermore, it is assumed that word-based questionnaires only provide limited access to the four dimensions of meaning. Consequently, a visualbased methodology is developed and applied. In the empirical part of the study, German citizens were invited to draw and verbally explain their images of democracy. This research yields evidence for following assumptions: (1) visual research reveals that democracy is indeed perceived as multifaceted concept in society together with reinforcement of results found by word-base methodologies; (2) the visual approach brings new insights to the realm of democratic theory; and (3) the four-dimensional approach is a possible framework to cluster the variety of definitions that might be offered by ordinary citizens to the concept of democracy. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality & Quantity Springer Journals

Drawing democracy: popular conceptions of democracy in Germany

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Social Sciences; Methodology of the Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general
ISSN
0033-5177
eISSN
1573-7845
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11135-016-0357-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

There are various ways to measure attitudes toward democracy. But what does democracy mean? Here, it is inquired into democracy as concept by getting insight into people’s understanding of it. In the paper, first, a four-dimensional concept is theoretically proposed. Furthermore, it is assumed that word-based questionnaires only provide limited access to the four dimensions of meaning. Consequently, a visualbased methodology is developed and applied. In the empirical part of the study, German citizens were invited to draw and verbally explain their images of democracy. This research yields evidence for following assumptions: (1) visual research reveals that democracy is indeed perceived as multifaceted concept in society together with reinforcement of results found by word-base methodologies; (2) the visual approach brings new insights to the realm of democratic theory; and (3) the four-dimensional approach is a possible framework to cluster the variety of definitions that might be offered by ordinary citizens to the concept of democracy.

Journal

Quality & QuantitySpringer Journals

Published: May 13, 2016

References

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