Psychology Sample Essay on Social Inequality and Political Participation

Social inequality and political participation

Why do ordinary people tend to vote less and participate less?

Surveys have shown that, the lower the people are, in the social hierarchy, the less likely they are to participate in the civic associations. One of the best explanations that can be used to explain these phenomena is that people are not accustomed to make decisions that affect the other people on a large scale (Nina, 2013). Therefore, the people at the top learn to rule. The people, who control the economic production, discourage people from thinking about the ideas that can challenge the power structure (Nina, 2013).

These people also control the production of ideas. The people at the top control the circulation of ideas in the public arena. Many ordinary people always look at the people high on the ladder and wonder why they should bother with the civic engagement. The ordinary people are prevented from expressing their voice in the public, speaking out can get them into problems; they can lose their jobs, land and reputations (Nina, 2013). The ordinary people can cause themselves extreme shame if they think that they have said something that is stupid. Many ordinary people do not feel that there is something worth voting for. They feel that the problems in the society can only be fixed through revolutions and not voting. They also believe that their vote will not be effective, or change anything (Nina, 2013).

What are the mechanisms through which the wealthy also have the most political and civic power?

The first reason is the famous revolving door between the corporations and the political positions, for example, an oil CEO is more likely to be a member of the congress than a gas station cashier is. It is possible for wealth to buy the political power and nullify the civic associations; many people who have the economic power dine and bond together (Nina, 2013). They create bonds during the retreat than those that would be formed in the workplace; they do this by using simple calculations of self-interest, paybacks, and the deal making. They become friends, paradoxically; the tight bonds allow them to tighten their grip on the political and the economic power. This voluntary association works to amplify the concept and the inequality. The wealthy donors have the power to set up campaigns that are aimed at undermining the real grassroots campaigns (Nina, 2013). Through the Astroturf campaigns, the wealthy corporations together with the individuals spend money to have the appearance of a grassroots movement. Instead of challenging the power of the big business, the Astroturf campaigns reinforce it, they protest in the favor of the business as usual.

Another reason that the civic life might echo the already existing inequalities is the fact that the elites can be able to control the terms of the debate. The major news outlet is more concentrated in fewer and fewer hands each year for decades. Many corporations and the power elites are able to make their ideas become the news (Nina, 2013). Many wealthy people have the ability to buy the civic association with enough money; many corporations and the individual millionaires can subvert the equality that civic associations promise. They have the power to buy billboards adds magazines. They have the potential to flood people’s mails with flyers that express their ideas.

                        Works cited                                                    

Nina, E. (2013). The Politics of Volunteering. Malden: Polity.