Political Activists in America: The Identity Construction Model of Political Participation by Nathan TeskePolitical Activists in America: The Identity Construction Model of Political Participation by Nathan Teske

Political Activists in America: The Identity Construction Model of Political Participation

byNathan Teske

Paperback | January 19, 2009

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Through vivid portrayals of political activists, Political Activists in America offers a fresh analysis of why people become involved in politics. Based on interviews with environmental, social justice, and pro-life activists, the book argues, contrary to both popular opinion and the main approaches of political science, that active involvement in politics can be deeply fulfilling to the individual. The identity construction approach is the core of the book's argument and shows how activists value political involvement for themselves.

The book argues against approaches that see politics as an inherently costly or unpleasant activity. In contrast, the identity construction approach sees political activism as enabling activists to become people whom they would otherwise have been unable to become. The construction of identity for all activists is both about morality and about what one wants for oneself, and hence it illustrates shortcomings in approaches that divide motivations into either the "self-interested" or the "altruistic."

About The Author

Nathan Teske has a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He works for Catholic Charities in Oregon. Nathan Teske has a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He works for Catholic Charities in Oregon.

Details & Specs

Title:Political Activists in America: The Identity Construction Model of Political ParticipationFormat:PaperbackDimensions:180 pages, 9 × 6.02 × 0.55 inPublished:January 19, 2009Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271035463

ISBN - 13:9780271035468

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Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments

Part I: Activism in Political Science

Portrait of an Activist

Two Scholarly Portraits of Activists

Politics as Displacement: The Psychological Needs Approach

Politics as Value Maximization: Instrumental-to-Self Approaches

Conclusion: Activism, Morality, and Politics

Part II: Involvement Stories

Introduction

Involvement Stories

Three Themes in Involvement Stories

Conclusion: Involvement Stories as Moral Tales

Part III: Politics, Purposes, and the Incentive Theory of Groups

The Troubled Concept of Purposive Incentives (Revisited)

Lobbyists’ Moral Justifications and Purposive Incentives

Conclusion: Politics and Purposive Incentives

Part IV: Identity as the Basis for Activism

Introduction

Morality as Altruism: The Antirational-Choice Approach in Contemporary Social Science

Beyond Altruism: Suggestions from Activists

Beyond Self-Interest Versus Altruism: Identity Construction as the Moral Basis of Activism

Self-Interest, Altruism, and the Concept of a Moral Consideration

Contents

Methodology Appendix

Bibliography

Index