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The "Daily Grind": Work, Commuting, and Their Impact on Political Participation

Newman, BJ and Johnson, J and Lown, PL (2014) 'The "Daily Grind": Work, Commuting, and Their Impact on Political Participation.' American Politics Research, 42 (1). pp. 141-170. ISSN 1532-673X

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Past research demonstrates that free time is an important resource for political participation. We investigate whether two central drains on citizens? daily time?working and commuting?impact their level of political participation. The prevailing ?resources? model offers a quantity-focused view where additional time spent working or commuting reduces free time and should each separately decrease participation. We contrast this view to a ?commuter?s strain? hypothesis, which emphasizes time spent in transit as a psychologically onerous burden over and above the workday. Using national survey data, we find that time spent working has no effect on participation, while commuting significantly decreases participation. We incorporate this finding into a comprehensive model of the ?daily grind,? which factors in both socioeconomic status and political interest. Our analysis demonstrates that commuting leads to the greatest loss in political interest for low-income Americans, and that this loss serves as a main mechanism through which commuting erodes political participation.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2015 08:35
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:28

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