In an age of divisiveness, perhaps more than America has seen in decades, identity politics has taken its share of the blame. Those who have cheered on progressive ideology often write off detractors as racists, homophobes, and misogynists. And those who rail against political correctness often feel their own voices are not being heard or, worse, are being censored. Do identity politics come at a cost to national empathy and unity? Or do they reflect and address legitimate discrimination? Through multiple perspectives, readers will learn why this topic has become a hot button issue.
What influences political behavior more -- one's gender or one's gendered personality traits? Certain gendered traits have long been associated with particular political leanings in American politics. For example, the Democratic Party is thought to have a compassionate, feminine nature while the Republican Party is deemed to have a tougher, more masculine nature. Masculinity, Femininity, and American Political Behavior, a first-of-its-kind analysis of the effects of individuals' gendered personality traits -- masculinity and femininity -- on their political attitudes and behavior, argues that gendered personalities, and not biological sex, are what drive the political behavior of individual citizens. Drawing on a groundbreaking national survey measuring gendered personality traits and political preferences, the book shows that individuals' levels of masculine and feminine personality traits help to determine their party identification, vote choice, ideology, and political engagement. And in conjunction with biological sex, these traits also influence attitudes about sex roles. For example, the more strongly an individual identifies with "feminine" characteristics, the more strongly they identify with the Democratic Party. Likewise, the more "masculine" an individual, the more they are drawn to the GOP. The book also demonstrates that, despite conventional wisdom, biological sex does not dictate gendered personalities. As such, the personality trait approach of the book moves gender and politics research well beyond the traditional male/female dichotomy. Moreover, Masculinity, Femininity, and American Political Behavior points to new and as yet underexplored strategies for candidate campaigns, get out the vote efforts, and officeholders' governing behavior.
Media Bias in Presidential Election Coverage 1948-2008 by Dave D'Alessio, is a revealing analysis that shows the news media have four essential natures: as journalistic entities, businesses, political actors, and property, all of which can act to create news coverage biases, in some cases in opposing directions. By meta-analyzing the results of 99 previous examinations of media coverage of Presidential elections from 1948 to 2008, D'Alessio reveals that coverage has no aggregate partisan bias either way, even though there are small biases in specific realms that are generally insubstantial.
The Oxford Handbooks of Political Science is a ten-volume set of reference books offering authoritative and engaging critical overviews of the state of political science. Each volume focuses on a particular part of the discipline, with volumes on Public Policy, Political Theory, PoliticalEconomy, Contextual Political Analysis, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Law and Politics, Political Behavior, Political Institutions, and Political Methodology. The project as a whole is under the General Editorship of Robert E. Goodin, with each volume being edited by a distinguishedinternational group of specialists in their respective fields. The books set out not just to report on the discipline, but to shape it. The series will be an indispensable point of reference for anyone working in political science and adjacent disciplines.What does democracy expect of its citizens, and how do the citizenry match these expectations? This Oxford Handbook examines the role of the citizen in contemporary politics, based on essays from the world's leading scholars of political behavior research. The recent expansion of democracy has bothgiven new rights and created new responsibilities for the citizenry. These political changes are paralleled by tremendous advances in our empirical knowledge of citizens and their behaviors through the institutionalization of systematic, comparative study of contemporary publics--ranging from theadvanced industrial democracies to the emerging democracies of Central and Eastern Europe, to new survey research on the developing world. These essays describe how citizens think about politics, how their values shape their behavior, the patterns of participation, the sources of vote choice, andhow public opinion impacts on governing and public policy.This is the most comprehensive review of the cross-national literature of citizen behavior and the relationship between citizens and their governments. It will become the first point of reference for scholars and students interested in these key issues.
Personality and the Foundations of Political Behavior is the first study in more than 30 years to investigate the broad significance of personality traits for mass political behavior. Drawing on the Big Five personality trait framework, Jeffery J. Mondak argues that attention to personality provides a valuable means to integrate biological and environmental influences in rich, nuanced theories and empirical tests of the antecedents of political behavior. Development of such holistic accounts is critical, Mondak contends, if inquiry is to move beyond simple 'blank slate' environmental depictions of political engagement. Analyses examining multiple facets of political information, political attitudes and participation reveal that the Big Five trait dimensions - openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and emotional stability - produce both direct and indirect effects on a wide range of political phenomena.
Politics is a trial in which those in government - and those who aspire to be - make proposals, debate alternatives, and pass laws. Then the jury of public opinion decides. It likes the proposals or actions or it does not. It trusts the actors or it doesn't. It moves, always at the margin, and then those who benefit from the movement are declared winners. This book is about that public opinion response. Its most basic premise is that although pubic opinion rarely matters in a democracy, public opinion change is the exception. Public opinion rarely matters, because the public rarely cares enough to act on its concerns or preferences. Change happens only when the threshold of normal public inattention is crossed. When public opinion changes, governments rise or fall, elections are won or lost, old realities give way to new demands.
In The Turnout Gap, Bernard L. Fraga offers the most comprehensive analysis to date of the causes and consequences of racial and ethnic disparities in voter turnout. Examining voting for Whites, African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans from the 1800s to the present, Fraga documents persistent gaps in turnout and shows that elections are increasingly unrepresentative of the wishes of all Americans. These gaps persist not because of socioeconomics or voter suppression, but because minority voters have limited influence in shaping election outcomes. As Fraga demonstrates, voters turn out at higher rates when their votes matter; despite demographic change, in most elections and most places, minorities are less electorally relevant than Whites. The Turnout Gap shows that when politicians engage the minority electorate, the power of the vote can win. However, demography is not destiny. It is up to politicians, parties, and citizens themselves to mobilize the potential of all Americans.