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The Participation Gap – Social Status and Political Inequality - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Participation Gap: Social Status and Political Inequality

Russell J. Dalton


The participation gap arises from two contrasting trends. Voting turnout is generally declining, especially among citizens with lower social status. At the same time, more people are participating in civil-society activity, contacting government officials, protesting, and using online activism and other creative forms of participation. These non-electoral activities are growing because of more activity by higher-social-status citizens. The democratic principle of the equality of voice is eroding. The politically rich are getting richer—and the politically needy exercise less voice. This book a ... More

Keywords: political participation, inequality, voting, protest, democracy, generations, citizenship norms, elections, social class

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780198733607
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198733607.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Russell J. Dalton, author
Research Professor of Political Science, University of California, Irvine