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How to Make Dutiful Citizens and Influence Turnout: the Effects of Family and School Dynamics on the Duty to Vote

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 March 2018

Carol Galais*
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Grup GADE. Administració i Democràcia Electrònica, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya Av., Carl Friedrich Gauss, Parc Mediterrani de la Tecnologia 08860, Castelldefels, Barcelona, Spain, email:


Existing literature assumes a link between voting and individuals’ political socialization, but no study has explored how political upbringing affects the most important attitudinal predictor of turnout: the duty to vote. Following previous research about the formation of attitudes related to the electoral process and social norms, this study focuses on the socialization agencies and dynamics that might first instill the belief during childhood that voting is a duty. The study also intends to contribute to political socialization theory by adopting a longitudinal perspective, by building upon developmental psychology theory and by simultaneously considering the two main childhood socialization agencies: family and school. A series of multivariate models confirms the role of family's socioeconomic status, parental engagement with children's education and non-authoritarian parenting styles, a positive effect that appears stronger than the effects on duty observed for Catholic schools and schools with democratic governance.


La littérature actuelle présume qu'il existe un lien entre le vote et la socialisation politique des individus, mais aucune étude n'a exploré comment l’éducation politique affecte le prédicteur comportemental le plus important de la participation : le devoir de voter. D'après les études sur la formation d'attitudes liées au processus électoral et aux normes sociales, cette étude se concentre sur les organismes de socialisation et les dynamiques qui pourraient d'abord faire croire que le vote est un devoir instillé au cours de l'enfance. L’étude vise également à contribuer à la théorie de la socialisation politique en adoptant une perspective longitudinale, en s'appuyant sur la théorie de la psychologie du développement et en considérant simultanément les deux principaux organismes de socialisation de l'enfance: la famille et l’école. Une série de modèles multivariés confirme le rôle du statut socio-économique de la famille, de l'engagement parental dans l’éducation des enfants et des styles parentaux non autoritaires; un effet positif qui semble plus fort que les effets observés pour les écoles catholiques et les écoles à gouvernance démocratique.

Research Article/Étude originale
Copyright © Canadian Political Science Association (l'Association canadienne de science politique) and/et la Société québécoise de science politique 2018 

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