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ERIC Number: ED147241
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Sep
Pages: 36
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Systemic Disaffection: A Three-Factor Theory of Political Alienation.
Long, Samuel
The paper develops a theory of political alienation based upon interactions among three antecedent conditions. Political alienation is interpreted as combining feelings of inefficacy, discontent, cynicism, estrangement, and hopelessness. The factors evaluated for their contribution to political alienation are: (1) critical perceptions of sociopolitical conditions such as racial discrimination, social deprivation, economic alienation, or discrepancies between democratic theory and practice; (2) tendencies toward personal and political irrationality which are strong enough to inhibit problem solving; and (3) psychological perceptions of freedom threat or loss through workings of the political system. The hypothesis is that political alienation will correlate positively with these three factors. Political alienation data were examined for 264 college students and compared with scales of sociopolitical reality, irrational ideation, and psychological reactance. Findings indicated that although there is positive correlation among all factors, perception of sociopolitical reality is the single best predictor of political alienation among college students and an influence on both attitudes and reactions. It was concluded that many alienated individuals do not conform with the traditional image of the alienated as apathetic, ignorant, and uninvolved but rather conform more closely to the textbook definition of the "democratic man." The appendix outlines scales dealing with discrimination, alienation, elitism, personal and political attitudes, and psychological perceptions. (Author/DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: Yale Univ., New Haven, CT.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (Washington, D.C., September 1-4, 1977)