By Casey Klofstad
Does conversing approximately civic concerns inspire civic participation? In his leading edge booklet, Civic speak, Casey Klofstad indicates that our discussions approximately politics and present occasions with our acquaintances, colleagues, and relatives—"civic talk"—has the power to show inspiration into action—from balloting to volunteering in civic organizations.
Klofstad’s course breaking examine is the 1st to discover proof of a causal courting among the informal chatting and civic participation. He employs survey info and concentration teams inclusive of randomly assigned collage freshman roommates to teach this habit in motion. Klofstad additionally illustrates how civic speak varies less than diversified situations and the way the results can final years into the longer term. in response to those findings, Klofstad contends that social context performs a significant position in retaining the power of democracy. This end cuts opposed to the grain of earlier study, which basically specializes in individual-level determinants of civic participation, and negates social-level motives.
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Extra resources for Civic Talk: Peers, Politics, and the Future of Democracy
A seemingly logical way to address this feature of the data would be to add offending factors such as past patterns of civic participation to the analysis as control variables. Unfortunately, this approach is not a sufficient solution. Including variables in the analysis that are strongly related to both the independent and dependent variables being examined greatly reduces the precision of the analysis (Achen 1986). , Dunning 2008; Ho et al. 2007a, 2007b, 2007c). Under this procedure, the effect of engaging in civic talk is measured by comparing the civic participation habits of survey respondents who are similar to one another except that one engaged in civic talk and the other did not.
Admittedly, this is not a new research question. 6 In this same spirit, a number of different lines of contemporary social science research have addressed the effect that social-level factors have on various attitudes and behaviors. For example, works in sociology and social psychology show that individuals emulate the attitudinal and behavioral norms of their social network (Festinger et al. 1950; Latane and Wolf 1981; Michener and DeLamater 1999). Economists and sociologists have shown that one’s college roommate can influence a variety of behaviors, such as scholastic achievement (Sacerdote 2001) and binge drinking (Duncan et al.
Senator Obama’s victory in the 2008 Iowa caucuses was an extraordinary achievement. Despite the legacy of slavery and a history of contentious race relations in the United States, a state with a white population of more than 90 percent chose to give a plurality of its votes to an African American candidate. Moreover, Obama entered the 2008 race for the presidency as a relatively outsider candidate. A poll taken in Iowa in March 2007 by the University of Iowa showed Obama to be running a distant third behind Clinton and Edwards.
Civic Talk: Peers, Politics, and the Future of Democracy by Casey Klofstad