Party Identity Essay

2339 words - 10 pages

To put my theory to test I conducted a survey of my own and looked at other past surveys. I expect that the surveys will show that social psychology and the theory of social identity will have the biggest impact on whether or not we identify ourselves with a party.
For social psychology I tested and looked at information relating to social identity theory. Peoples desire to be a part of something helps persuade them to join one of the two most important organizations to our government. I looked for whether this was indeed true of those who identify with a party along with the other causes leading to membership other then the idea of being part of something. This approach is a large part ...view middle of the document...

The survey needs to cover a wide range of things including social characteristics leading to an individual's beliefs, how these beliefs influenced their party identification, and if their party identification has remained unchanged. If their identification flows through the funnel as expected it can be assumed that psychological attachments have an influence on our party identification. The funnel of casualty should have the social influences making up the shell, which form our psychological attachments that make up the core. This core then leads to the end result in someone choosing to identify with a party or not.
The survey I constructed intended to cover a vast majority of items to obtain the most useful information. I focused on questions around three areas: party identification, influences on membership, and changes in membership. For party identification I asked participants questions about which party they identify with and whether they liked the concept of party identification. The purpose of these questions was to look at whether people are intrigued by the idea of political parties and if people choose to identify with a party or not. The next area of focus was influences on participants political standings. One questions asked directly whether family, friends, political issues, and/or an alternate factor had, at some point, influenced their political preferences. The other questions in this area looked at the idea of group membership. Questions asked whether the concept of being part of something larger then yourself was a motivation to identify with a party. The last area looked at changes in membership. This was observed through asking questions about: whether a changed had ever occurred, whether they had experienced a social change, and whether a change had experienced due to policy issues.
I surveyed 30 individuals; participants were recruited through students of UNL, employees from Panera Bread, and college professors. I looked to get a variety of people who varied in age, education, and political party membership. Participants that were students of UNL provided the perspective of primarily younger , more educated individuals. Employees at Panera Bread gave me an insight to varying ages of individuals who range from no college, some college, or have a college degree. College professors focused on individuals with higher education and have had the chance to experience the world of politics.

Results
For social identity theory, the previous study I looked at examined partisan strength, political interest, and age. Partisan strength found to have a correlation of 4.154 of group members to -1.594 of non members. Members of a political party have a lot more commitment to their party then those are not members of a party. Once people commit, it's not likely to reverse. Political interest found a correlation of 1.629 (party members) to -5.287 (non party members). People who are not members of a political party are...

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