Support II: Participant/Citizen Support
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Support II: Participant/Citizen Support book
This chapter examines the gamut of what Parry calls "taking part" in politics, from levels of interest in politics, to types and intensities of participation, to general motives for participation. It looks first at the levels of interest in and knowledge about politics in Japan and Britain. The chapter considers attitudes toward participation and actual levels and intensities of participation in various forms of political activity. It focuses on the distinction commonly made in the literature between conventional behavior—such as voting and campaign work, attending political meetings, and discussing politics—and unconventional political behaviors—such as signing petitions, attending demonstrations, participating in boycotts, and committing acts of violent protest, and upon the distinction between individual and collective modes of participation. Japanese political behavior, too, is changing as the society urbanizes, democracy becomes accepted as a native tradition, and modern values impinge upon traditional values. Political parties arose as mediating bodies between citizen and government. Finally, the chapter compares motives for participation.