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A Logic of Expressive Choice
Author: Alexander A. Schuessler

ISBN: 9780691006628
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 194
Published: 17 October 2000
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.7
Description:


Alexander Schuessler has done what many deemed impossible: he has wedded rational choice theory and the concerns of social theory and anthropology to explain why people vote. The "paradox of participation"--why individuals cast ballots when they have virtually no effect on electoral outcomes--has long puzzled social scientists. And it has particularly troubled rational choice theorists, who like to describe political activity in terms of incentives. Schuessler's ingenious solution is a "logic of expressive choice." He argues in incentive-based (or "economic") terms that individuals vote not because of how they believe their vote matters in the final tally but rather to express their preferences, allegiances, and thus themselves.

Through a comparative history of marketing and campaigning, Schuessler generates a "jukebox model" of participation and shows that expressive choice has become a target for those eliciting mass participation and public support. Political advisers, for example, have learned to target voters' desire to express--to themselves and to others--who they are. Candidates, using tacti...

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