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date: 26 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article provides an argument for the consideration of individuals in dynamic relationship to both categories and the context of power in the study of political behavior. It argues that contemporary scholars of US political behavior should consider more carefully two important assumptions when analyzing the relationship between political participation and democracy in the United States. The first is the assumption of individuals as a unit of analysis in stable and meaningful categories. A second assumption which suggests holding to greater scrutiny involves the uniformity of political agency. Education and other individual-level resources may work in different ways in influencing political participation among minority populations. Furthermore, if one assumes that individuals participate in politics partly as a reflection of their political needs or demands, and these vary across groups due to social and political structures, then the nature of political action is likely to vary across groups.

Keywords: individuals, dynamic categories, power, US political behavior, political participation, democracy

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