Political Participation in the United States analyzes patterns of political participation by citizens and offers five different explanations for those patterns based on recent research findings.
Symbolic and instrumental forms of participation are analyzed—from the simple act of discussing politics to the more complex one of running for office. The book examines who participates, what forms of participation they choose, and what they hope to accomplish. M. Margaret Conway also considers the reasons for, and the consequences of, non-participation. She concludes with a discussion of the impact of participation on individuals and on the policies and processes of government in the United States.
This new third edition is updated throughout both in its discussion of research about participation, and its examination of participation patterns (through the 1998 elections). Expanded discussions cover: the role of political mobilization in recruiting people to participate; the impact of relative education levels on the types of participation people engage in; and the importance of social connectedness in stimulating participation and acting as a channel for political recruitment.