Relationship Between Social Capital And Political Participation Essay

1341 WordsDec 7, 20166 Pages
Topic Democracies have been established in many different regions worldwide, from Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America to North America. These governments always face concerns regarding the citizenry’s political participation, as it is the core of their ideals. Without the engagement of a vast number of individuals, the different processes of self-governance may decay and be left vulnerable to authoritarian control. But what constitutes political participation? Where do citizens harness their will to become engaged in the process? Tocqueville’s analysis of associations can be linked to the concept of social capital, which will help us understand the trends of political participation among United States citizens. This paper will examine themes including Tocqueville’s arguments on associations and its connection to social capital, decline of social capital, and the use of social media (as a form of social capital) in the 21st century through a Tocquevillean frame. However, others may argue that Tocqueville’s analysis on associations hardly explains the relationship between social capital and political participation. In order to fully understand the possible connection, important key terms must be defined on associations, social capital, political participation and social media. According to Tocqueville, associations unite Americans of all ages, conditions and minds to support a cause or shed light on an issue (Tocqueville). Putnam defined social capital as “civic engagement
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