Dr. Ann Gordon
Participation in political and social matters is a core part of democracy. The manner in which people participate varies vastly and can have different outcomes. In this essay I will examine the relationship between respondents' age, income, gender, race, and education level and the way they participate politically. Using reliable data from the American National Election Studies, I will examine the previously listed independent variables to various questions on political participation from the 2020 version of the survey. Among the findings, I find a mild relationship between age and attendance in protests/rallies. These findings point to the importance of analyzing non-conventional forms of participation that are less in the forefront of the conversation around political participation. Other activities outlined in the ANES 2020 survey include; attending meetings to talk about social concerns, persuading people to vote in one way or another, and posting a message online about a political concern. These forms, and others not listed, are all impactful and are what maintain a democracy. It is therefore important to understand who is able to participate and how. Looking at various demographics and patterns of political participation can allow us to further understand the accessibility of democracy and whose voices become the loudest. This will allow us to think more critically about the function of our democracy and its efficiency in representation.
Elfahdi, Miriam, "Political Participation: Beyond the Vote" (2022). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 557.