Civic Engagement: Voting, TV, and Efficacy Essay

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Civic Engagement: Voting, TV, and Efficacy


Well known is the fact that active participation in America has gone down. Voting, especially, has been affected. Literature and statistics on voting behavior have demonstrated these shocking results. But lack of voting is simply the beginning, several factors affect civic engagement among those are the negative perceptions of politics received through televised media. This study found that several factors of significance with respect to efficacy, amount of TV watching, politician trust, and differences in gender factors. Though Robert Putnam’s suggestion of too much television does hold true, other factors can be predictors as well. Introduction

America was founded
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They suggest that voter choice will remain stable at high levels with both low and high attention to mass media. At some attention to mass media the stability is low (1994). Their theory offers some idea how mass media might influence voters, and supports Putnam’s general idea. Piven and Cloward offer that several problems with the system including demobilization of lower class and minorities, “cumbersome voter registration requirements,” and the “withering away of party efforts to mobilize those who were confronted by these barriers”(2000). Micah L. Sifry suggests that to bring potential voters back into the electorate fold, “we” must convince these voters that their vote does matter and “Hope, it seems, can be contagious; we need to keep it alive” (2000). Reasons presented by these theorists offer many suggestions to researchers. Questions of difficulty of voter registration, efficacy, and mass media give new research questions to the field.

Previous research differs from theory because it presents the hard-core statistics of what is going on. Putnam proposes with his data, “All forms of Civic Disengagement are concentrated in younger cohorts” (2000). In comparisons of year of birth and voting, evidence is present to show as the year of birth increase the lower percentage of people vote in Presidential elections. In an off year, the numbers are even less. Putnam’s data offers comparisons that

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