Basic concepts: political behavior, political participation, forms and factors of political participation, absenteeism, protest behavior.

Problems of political behavior, political activity have long been of interest to researchers from different countries. Scientists are trying to answer questions: why a person participates in politics, from which its political behavior, what factors influence the choice of certain forms of political participation, why individuals express their support or disagreement with any political forces, courses, institutions, etc. Different directions of science give various answers to the questions posed. In this regard, political sociology has its own position.

Concept and forms of political behavior

In modern political science, there are three main areas of research of political behavior: sociological, psychological and economic. Each of them gives its own explanation of political behavior, based on its own paradigmatic principles and arguments. Each of the three traditions raises serious questions before the theory of democracy, stimulating its development. At the same time, all three areas approached each other on the issue of the citizen's place in democratic politics. All three directions distinguish interest in the individual voter, his abilities and opportunities to act in conditions of democracy. Empirical research conducted within each of the directions made it necessary to take a fresh look at not only certain problems of democracy and political participation, but also to reconsider some of the theoretical approaches that have emerged in the social sciences. Thus, political sociology was forced to solve the problem of social determinism, which contradicts the model of an independent citizen. Political psychology faced the need to explain the political behavior of citizens in the context of their limited interest in politics and, consequently, incomplete information about political phenomena and processes, while the normative theory of democracy suggests that political decisions depend on principled and politically literate citizens. Finally, political economics faced an even more interesting mystery: why does a rationally thinking individual perform his civic duties if he understands that his individual contribution can not affect the final result, and he can use the election results on a par with active voters.

In modern political sociology, such concepts as "political participation", "political activity", "political activity" are used to describe the phenomenon of political behavior, but they are often not demarcated or defined at all. Attempts to define these concepts, undertaken by some authors, should be considered insufficiently satisfactory, because as a result of attempts, an integral picture of political behavior that can serve as the basis for the operationalization of this concept is not created. For example, sometimes only electoral behavior is understood by this term. In general, the situation can be characterized by the words of EB Shestopal: "In political science, the term" political behavior "is understood as the actions of individual participants, and mass performances, both the activity of organized subjects of power, and the spontaneous actions of the crowd, as actions in support of system, and directed against it. Moreover, voting "against" or non-appearance in elections is also treated as forms of political behavior. "

Political behavior (in the foreign political science the term political behaviour is used) can be defined as a subjectively motivated process in which this or that kind of political activity is embodied. At the same time, political activity ( political action) is understood as the totality of the forms of political actors' actions conditioned by the occupation of a certain political position and related to the goal-setting, realization of power interests.

Let's give an example from everyday life. Let's take a teacher of higher education and a student. We can say about them that the teacher carries out teaching activities, and the student - a completely different kind of activity. At the same time, the specific process of implementing activities (behavior) will depend on many circumstances, for example, the personal qualities of the teacher and student, their age, social experience, economic conditions, authority, etc. Therefore, the behavior of one teacher can significantly differ from the behavior of another teacher, although at first glance the set of forms of their actions may be the same. Also in political life - one can distinguish between political activity and political behavior. We, for example, speak about the political activity of a member of parliament, while we mean some standard set of actions in general, although we do not exclude the possibility of variations. The same applies to other types of political activity: the activities of the party activist, member of the government, head of state, etc. In doing so, we assume that this or that type of activity can be implemented in different ways. The process of such implementation may depend on many circumstances. And that's why we say that some deputies or voters behave differently.

Closely related to the notion of political behavior is the notion political participation ( political participation): it can be defined as more or less regular and, above all, instrumental use by actors of various forms political activity, through which citizens try to influence the process of making political decisions. In other words, political participation, or civic participation, has an impact on the exercise and distribution of power.

It is known that different people can participate in politics with different intensity: some people just watch TV, others also go to the polls, and still others conduct active political work. It is clear that involvement in the same type of activity can manifest itself in different ways: for example, one activist can only sporadically participate in political campaigns as an executor, and another is their active organizer; one voter can go to every election, and the other - only to particularly significant for political life. To denote these differences, there is the concept of political activity & quot ;. Under political activity (political activity), it is possible to understand the intensity of the subject's participation in the political process as a whole, and also within the framework of certain forms of political activity .

Some individuals do not show any activity in politics. To denote this type of political behavior, there is the notion However, these citizens can not be said that they do not participate at all in the political process: the lack of political activity means that the person is not a subject of political interactions. The simplest example is the non-participation of voters in elections in order to disrupt their conduct. Other forms of absenteeism also do not indicate that a person does not participate in political life. In political science, there are various ways of typology of political behavior and political participation.

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