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Voting is no longer a matter of loyalty to a certain class but a rational decision based on a range of factors

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Introduction

"Voting is no longer a matter of loyalty to a certain class but a rational decision based on a range of factors" To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence supports this view? (40 marks) Instrumental and expressive are models of voting behaviour; expressive models are about social background whereas the instrumental model is about rational choice. The instrumental model shows 3 main factors that affect voting behaviour to make it a rational choice; these 3 main factors are the consumer theory, lifetime learning and tactical voting. Whereas the expressive model has 4 main factors that are: family socialisation, interactionist model, embourgeoisement and class alignment/dealignment. When voting first came into place, everyone voted for which party was representing their class, e.g. labour was working class and middle class was the conservative party. But these days people base their decisions on many different factors, some vote on what their family vote for so they stay loyal in that respect but on the other hand others vote more tactically. ...read more.

Middle

The instrumental model states that voting is tactical, tactical voting emerged in the 1980's mainly due to convergence, as the left wing and right wing parties converged towards the centre and therefore shared the same views and both parties supported working and middle classes in some way. Because of this both parties have become similar and therefore people tend to adopt a rational and tactical way of voting as people are most likely to switch between the 2 parties and therefore they sway from class loyalty. Another factor that supports the statement that voting is a rational choice rather than class loyalty is evidence by the expressive model, Crewe 1993 found that after the 1970's people stopped being loyal and stopped being class aligned and therefore results of the elections were harder to predict, as before the 1970's middle class would vote for conservatives and the working class would vote for labour, this shows class alignment, whereas now the results from voting show class dealignment. ...read more.

Conclusion

theory by Downs 1957 isn't very rational at all, it just portrays voting as a money making business, however it does support the view that voting is no longer a matter of loyalty to a certain class, as people become selfish and they think about their own values and what they want rather than what's best for the society and for their class. The best theory that supports this statement the most is by the instrumental model and it is the lifetime learning theory as it takes all the theories into account and McAllister and Rose 1990 takes into account that every individual is different and therefore voting has become based on rational choices based on values and social background, and it will never be class loyal again, therefore voting has become volatile, and therefore this theory supports that voting is no longer a matter of loyalty to a certain class but a rational decision based on a range of factors which have been shown in the expressive and instrumental model of voting behaviour. ...read more.

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