English title: Unequal Political Participation in Europe

Author(s): Aina Gallego -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2007


The fact that social stratification factors are closely related to different levels of political participation is a classical issue that has relevant normative as well as explanatory implications for the study of participation. Research on this topic has focused mainly on unequal participation in the United States and we know little about contemporary patterns in other contexts. This article uses data from the European Social Survey to explore the effect of various possible sources of inequality (gender, age, social class, education, income, ethnicity, and working status) on four political activities: voting, working with parties and action groups, attending demonstrations, and boycotting products. Overall, age, education, and social class emerge as the most common causes of distortion, while gender membership in minorities, and occupational variables are less clearly related to participation. In conventional political activities the differences are more predictable in the direction of the disadvantaged, while demonstrators are in some respects undistinguishable from the general public. Finally the fact that socioeconomic inequalities in turnout are unambiguously visible in most European countries stands in contrast to past research and deserves further attention.

Volume: 37

Issue: 4

From page no: 10

To page no: 25

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.2753/IJS0020-7659370401

Journal: International Journal of Sociology

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