chapter  5
49 Pages

Social Integration and Political Protest

ByKarl-Dieter Opp, Peter Hartmann, Petra Hartmann

The proposition that integration into social life may be an important determinant of political participation will not be debated by any political scientist or sociologist. Major theoretical traditions, however, differ with respect to the kind of effect that social integration is assumed to have. This chapter proposes a model in which the variables we use to explain the relationship between integration and participation are specified precisely. The explanatory variables are taken from our rational choice theory of political protest. The chapter presents data in order to test to what extent the explanatory variables of the model are able to explain relationships between several types of integration on the one hand and participation on the other. The general model reveals that rational choice theory does not yield a simple prediction about the relationship between integration and participation. Many social science traditions have noted that integration into groups is connected with various costs and benefits.