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Paul Stoneman Civic Time Use of Citizens Comparing Britain's civic culture.

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Presentation on theme: "Paul Stoneman Civic Time Use of Citizens Comparing Britain's civic culture."— Presentation transcript:

1 Paul Stoneman Civic Time Use of Citizens Comparing Britain's civic culture

2 To come… Measuring Civic Culture with the aid of time use variables Britains Civic Culture Compared with other West European Countries Technologies and Civic Literacy the knowledge and skills that we need for effective participation in the community, government, and politics (see also Crick Report, Political Literacy)

3 To be passionate about politics… …is to be some kind of nut. (Roseman, Abelson, and Ewing: 1986) Why? Because it is not rational – the free-rider problem In-fact, very few regularly participate – only 9.2 percent of Brits record time allocated to civic acts (MTUS 2000) We rely on a few (mad?) High Intensity participators (Seyd & Whiteley: 2004)

4 Participation and Citizenship

5 Civic Culture Measures Levels of: Voting Political Party Orientated Acts Seeking out Political Information Secondary Associations Other Acts: protesting, boycotting, petition

6 How do we (the Brits) Compare? 1. Average Time Allocated to Civic Acts (MTUS 2000) 2. Formal Acts (ESS 2004): Did you vote in last general election? Are you a member of or have worked for a political party? 3. Civic Literacy (ESS 2004): How often did you use the mass media for information on current affairs (includes internet)? How often do you discuss politics? 4. Informal Acts (ESS 2004): Do you participate in the any of the following organisations? Have/are you likely to: Protest? Sign a petition? Boycott/buycott a product?

7 Time Use Diary Data (MTUS, 2000 to 2005)

8 Vote Last General Election (2000 to 2005)

9 Member of a Political Party (ESS 2004)

10 How Often Use Media for Public Information (ESS 2004)

11 How Often Discuss Politics (ESS 2004)

12 Participate in Voluntary Organisations (ESS)

13 Protest (sign petition, attend public demo - ESS)

14 Boycotting and buycotting (ESS 2004)

15 Civic Culture Score (ESS 2004) Very weak formal – reasonably strong informal

16 How do technologies play a role? Main source of political information (Norris 2000) Promotes political interest and discussion (ESS 2004 - controlling for age, gender and education) Enhances Civic Literacy (Milner 2002)

17 The Importance of Civic Literacy Formal and Informal Activities Separate Civic Literacy Activities Correlate With Both!

18 Spatial Representation of How Civic Acts Cluster Formal Acts Informal Acts Civic Literacy

19 Different Technologies, Different Behaviours? Formal Acts Internet + Informal Acts Discussion mediates

20 Are these associations just an artefact of age and education? NO! Controlling for age, gender, education:.075*Vote Newspaper Party??? Internet.069* Vol Org Radio.086** Informal.157***

21 Has internet usage facilitated civic culture switch? No…formal civic measures were declining BEFORE widespread internet uptake Decline in voting and party membership long term phenomena since early 1970s (Dalton 2000; Whiteley 2004) Likewise, trust in British governments (Stoneman 2005)

22 So what has? People uninspired by the two main parties… Lowest turnout since 1918 Last time most people believed two main parties were different

23 The Benign Internet and Mass Media Between 1997 and 2001, internet uptake in Britain huge – good timing! The internet has provided British citizens avenues to channel their political energies into at a time when formal avenues are increasingly seen as a waste of time Some forms of media usage improves interest and participation in politics (Newton 1997; Norris 2001; Milner 2002) In particular, the internet has increased informal participation rates and a sense of political efficacy (Ward 2002, 2005)

24 Conclusion Britain currently suffers from a weak formal civic culture This is primarily due to problems with the party system Citizens have moved into more informal types of participation With apt timing, Internet usage has facilitated this – a good thing (despite what the PMs Chief Strategy Advisor says) So….

25 New Technologies Play An Important But Limited Role The Internet opens up new avenues for the interested but currently disengaged However! The Internet will not stimulate interest amongst the apathetic – only politicians and parties can sort that one out!

26 Thankyou for listening For working paper, references and/or further information contact:

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