Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 07 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The sociology of legislators and legislatures is an interdisciplinary approach which focuses on the social interactions, groups, and institutions involved in the process of parliamentary representation. From this perspective, the institutions of representative democracies are the creations of the people running them. In other words, representatives are both the creations and creators of the institutional settings in which they act. The interactions of legislators both inside and outside legislatures are characterized by three types of social relations: the competition for votes, antagonistic cooperation, and principal–agent relations. This article examines the social relations within parliaments (insider–insider relations) and the relations between parliaments and society (insider–outsider relations). It considers how antagonistic cooperation is learned and reinforced in the process of legislative socialization, and how the social interests and preferences of the population are articulated and mediated in the legislature. It also discusses legislative recruitment and how it paradoxically promotes both equality and social closure.

Keywords: sociology, political sociology, legislators, legislatures, parliaments, political representation, social relations, antagonistic cooperation, principal–agent relations, legislative socialization, legislative recruitment, parliamentary representation

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.