Social Network Model of Political Participation in Japan

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Abstract

The objective of the study is to re-examine the Verba, Nie, and Kim (VNK)'s path-breaking analysis of political participation and political equality, under the inclusion of a social network model in Japan. In particular, the present research investigates how and why we find the extremely low correlations between one's socio-economic resource level (SERL) and political participation in Japan, the evidence unsatisfactorily explained by the VNK analysis. Building on the social network model and employing the first wave of the Asian Barometer survey conducted in 2003, this research presents a more comprehensive model of political participation. The study finds three major kinds of causes for the weak associations between SERL-participation levels in Japan: exogenous factors (i.e., sex, urbanization, and age); equalizing impact of social networks; and weak SERL-psychological involvement linkage. From the viewpoint of the social network model, it is clear that the weak SERL-participation linkage is derived from the equalizing impact of group-based processes, yet uniquely Japanese style of network involvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-62
Number of pages19
JournalJapanese Journal of Political Science
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 29 2016

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