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The American Voter - (Campbell Converse Miller Donald 1966...

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(Campbell, Converse, Miller, & Donald, 1966) Campbell, A., Converse, P., Miller, W., & Donald, E. (1966). Stokes. 1960. The American Voter: New York: Wiley. Chapters 2, 18, skim 19 Chapter One – Introduction Voting research must be placed in a broader setting. 1 – The voting behavior of a mass electorate can be seen within the context of a larger political system. 2 – The empirical materials of our work lie within a particular historical setting. 3 – Their research lies within a sequence of studies on voting. (4) If politics has to do with “who gets what, when and how”, the free competitive election has proven an essential means of insuring that the current solution of this problem enjoys the broad consent of the governed. (5) The political system can be idealized as a collection of processes for the taking of decisions. (6) This book focuses on the choice of a President (thus, only the US) and looks backward to the configuration of causal influences that have produced these decisions rather than forward to its impact in other arenas of the political system. Chapter Two – Theoretical Orientation The authors seek to understand (not predict ) voting behavior. - In the past, most research has been either sociologically or psychologically based. They seek to combine these theories into a broader framework. The functions of theory - Understanding versus prediction o They only concern themselves with prediction if it serves to test their understanding. o Understanding ranges more widely than prediction and it enhances our grasp of the total situation and the full range of conditions that operate within it. - The problem of causality o We move beyond an understanding of a relationship to distinguishing cause from effect.
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o A systematic theory must be able to accept a set of data pertaining to any individual case and provide an ultimate prediction of behavior. Thus, theory should provide us with a way to use several levels of explanation without confusion.
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