Schools or Pools of Democracy? A Longitudinal Test of the Relation Between Civic Participation and Political Socialization

Schools or Pools of Democracy? A Longitudinal Test of the Relation Between Civic Participation... In this contribution we demonstrate how the usage of panel data offers possibilities for testing new hypotheses in a research tradition with a long history in political science. Focusing on citizens’ transitions in and out of voluntary associations, we tested four possible explanations for the well-documented correlation between civic engagement and political socialization. Two are due to self-selection effects (pools of democracy), and two are due to socialization effects (schools of democracy). Our analyses offer little support for the idea of voluntary associations playing a major role in political socialization processes: our latent growth curve models showed no or very little increase of political discussion, interest, efficacy, and action among those who became actively involved in voluntary associations. In contrast, we found convincing evidence for our pools-of-democracy hypotheses, and the self-selection turns out to be a double-edged sword: politically engaged citizens are more likely to join voluntary associations and less likely to leave them. These findings challenge the conclusions of many studies based on cross-sectional data. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Schools or Pools of Democracy? A Longitudinal Test of the Relation Between Civic Participation and Political Socialization

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by The Author(s)
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-015-9307-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In this contribution we demonstrate how the usage of panel data offers possibilities for testing new hypotheses in a research tradition with a long history in political science. Focusing on citizens’ transitions in and out of voluntary associations, we tested four possible explanations for the well-documented correlation between civic engagement and political socialization. Two are due to self-selection effects (pools of democracy), and two are due to socialization effects (schools of democracy). Our analyses offer little support for the idea of voluntary associations playing a major role in political socialization processes: our latent growth curve models showed no or very little increase of political discussion, interest, efficacy, and action among those who became actively involved in voluntary associations. In contrast, we found convincing evidence for our pools-of-democracy hypotheses, and the self-selection turns out to be a double-edged sword: politically engaged citizens are more likely to join voluntary associations and less likely to leave them. These findings challenge the conclusions of many studies based on cross-sectional data.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 22, 2015

References

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