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Informal social networks and rational voting

Abrams, Samuel and Iversen, Torben and Soskice, David (2011) Informal social networks and rational voting. British Journal of Political Science, 41 (02). pp. 229-257. ISSN 0007-1234

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0007123410000499

Abstract

Classical rational choice explanations of voting participation are widely thought to have failed. This article argues that the currently dominant Group Mobilization and Ethical Agency approaches have serious shortcomings in explaining individually rational turnout. It develops an informal social network (ISN) model in which people rationally vote if their informal networks of family and friends attach enough importance to voting, because voting leads to social approval and vice versa. Using results from the social psychology literature, research on social groups in sociology and their own survey data, the authors argue that the ISN model can explain individually rational non-altruistic turnout. If group variables that affect whether voting is used as a marker of individual standing in groups are included, the likelihood of turnout rises dramatically.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJourna...
Additional Information: © 2011 Cambridge University Press
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Sets: Departments > Government
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2012 08:25
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2012 08:25
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/46537

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