The study of voting behaviour remains a vibrant sub-discipline of political science. The Handbook of Electoral Behaviour is an authoritative and wide ranging survey of this dynamic field, drawing together a team of the world's leading scholars to provide a state-of-the-art review that sets the agenda for future study. Taking an interdisciplinary approach and focusing on a range of countries, the handbook is composed of eight parts. The first five cover the principal theoretical paradigms, establishing the state of the art in their conceptualisation and application, and followed by chapters on their specific challenges and innovative applications in contemporary voting studies. The remaining three parts explore elements of the voting process to understand their different effects on vote outcomes. The SAGE Handbook of Electoral Behaviour is an essential benchmark publication for advanced students, researchers and practitioners in the fields of politics, sociology, psychology and research methods.
Chapter 14: Party Identification: Meaning and Measurement
Party Identification: Meaning and Measurement
Since the publication of The American Voter (Campbell et al. 1960), the concept of party identification has played a central role in the study of electoral behavior. Breaking from previous sociological theories that emphasized the causative role of social position and group membership (e.g. Berelson et al. 1954), the book's core thesis is that voters’ psychological sense of attachment to a political party guides their evaluation of candidates, not to the exclusion of all other factors, but profoundly and in election after election. Not all Americans of the 1950s or today describe themselves using partisan social group labels such as Democrats ...