Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226812571 Will Publish January 2022
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226812267 Will Publish January 2022
E-book $34.99 Available for pre-order. ISBN: 9780226812434 Will Publish January 2022

The Obligation Mosaic

Race and Social Norms in US Political Participation

Allison P. Anoll

The Obligation Mosaic

Allison P. Anoll

272 pages | 27 line drawings, 25 tables | 6 x 9
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226812571 Will Publish January 2022
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226812267 Will Publish January 2022
E-book $34.99 ISBN: 9780226812434 Will Publish January 2022
Political participation is a costly activity with little clear payoff. And yet, millions of Americans vote, many donate their time and money to campaigns, and even more spend time becoming informed on issues they will have almost no influence over. Even more puzzling, some racial groups, like African Americans, whose members are least obviously able to bear the costs of participation are more likely to engage than other resource-rich groups, like Asian Americans.
What explains this?
 
To answer this question, Allison P. Anoll draws on a rich mix of interviews, surveys, and experiments with the four largest racial groups in America to look at the power of social norms in a community, specifically a civic duty norm, as an explanation for the variation in political participation across different racial and ethnic communities. Beliefs about how best to honor the past and help those in need centrally define concepts of obligation, Anoll finds, but whether these feelings of duty connect to politics depends on each group’s distinct history and continued patterns of racial segregation. Her findings offer a thought-provoking explanation for why some people participate in politics and others do not, while also providing a window into opportunities for change, pointing to how traditionally marginalized groups can be mobilized into the political sphere.
Contents
Chapter 1. The Value and Meaning of Political Participation
Chapter 2. The Racialized Norms Model
Chapter 3. Which Norms?
Chapter 4. Finding Purpose in the Past
Chapter 5. Taking Care of Those in Need
Chapter 6. Norms and National Turnout
Chapter 7. Norms and High-Cost Participation
Chapter 8. The Present and Future of Participatory Social Norms
Acknowledgments
Appendix A Participatory Social Norms Survey Instrumentation
Appendix B Supplemental Material for Qualitative Interviews
Appendix C Supplemental Empirical Analyses
Notes
References
Index
An online data appendix can be accessed at https://dataverse.harvard.edu/.
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