English title: Reducing the participation gap in civic engagement: Political consumerism in Europe

Author(s): Necla Acik -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2013


Based on the analysis of the European Social Survey (2002), this study explores the nature of civic engagement and identifies three main dimensions: political activism (such as political party or political action group involvement or demonstrations), involvement in voluntary associations and political consumerism (boycotting, ‘buycotting’, and signing petitions). While political activism and associational involvement accords well with traditional studies of civic engagement, political consumerism points to a new pattern of political behaviour that has become popular in Europe in the past decade. Moreover, modelling the three dimensions of civic engagement demonstrates that the socio-demographic profile of these activists differ from each other. Particularly, political consumerism appeals more to people who have been traditionally regarded as less active, such as women, the young, and those living in urban areas. These findings suggest that political consumerism reduces the participation gap between different social groups and might carry important lessons for participative democracy.

Volume: 29

Issue: 6

From page no: 1309

To page no: 1322

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1093/ESR/JCT016

Journal: European Sociological Review

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