Political Identification Book Critique


PoliticalIdentification Book Critique

PoliticalIdentification Book Critique

Thecentral theme of the book is the reasons why Americans do not voteand the voting patterns of the American population. To expound onthis theme, the author cites the rise of independent, nonpartisanpopulation and the growing immigration as the main reasons for thecurrent situation. Zoltanand Lee (2011) examine the theme by exploring political inclinationsof the racial groups in the U.S. The four groups are Latinos,African Americans, Asians and White Americans. Therefore, the bookexamines the factors of race and immigration into the central themeof exploring why the four groups do not vote. The exploration of thetheme is achieved by giving an account of the influence race andimmigration on the voting patterns of the people in the UnitedStates.

Thebook successfully focuses on the central theme through themulti-racial approach to the subject. The approach is marked by theexploration of the theme in four main racial groupings in the UnitedStates. According to Campbellet al (1992), discussion of political identification in terms ofsocial groupings helps to understand the viewpoints of eachindividual social group in relation to political attachment. Whilethis seems to be an approach that does not give a comprehensive view,the method of exploring helps the reader understand the underlyingfactors. The approach gives the reasons that relate directly to eachsocial grouping. Moreover, the approach gives the specific views ofthe different social groups in relation to the political attachment.

Thebook pays close attention to the bipartisan models of the Michiganmodel and the Downsian model.The book cites the importance its analysis of the politicalattachment of the American population to the Michigan model. Zoltanand Lee (2011) successfully employ the model to understand the needfor an American to be attached to either of the parties in thecountry. In the same way, the book uses the model to identify thereasons why people are not attached to any political parties. Inunderstanding the voting patterns, the Michigan model integrate thevoter behavior aspects and the sociological views of the voters. Thisis the most perfect way of understanding the social groupings in theUnited States in relation to the political patterns. Therefore,Zoltan and Lee (2011) successfully relate their theme to the model inthe book.

Onthe other hand, the authors understand the economic factors thatrelate to the social dynamics they explore in the book. By exploringthe social groups of the United States population, they do notalienate the fact that these diversities translate into economicfactors. According to Fiona (1978), the economic factors impactsignificantly on both the voters and the political parties andinfluence the voting patterns. In this regard, Zoltan and Lee (2011)relate their argument to the economic elements as argued by theDownsian model. According to the Downsian model, governments focus onthe goal of being reelected by concentrating their efforts on theachievement of predetermined economic and political goals (Zoltan &ampLee, 2011). Therefore, the achievement of these goals becomes themain influence of voting in the elections for all the social groupsand individuals.

Thebook provides an extensive analysis of each of the social groupingsin relation to the unique characteristics of each faction. Forinstance, the authors examine why Latinos and Asians are not inclinedin the major parties in the United States. In addition, they examinewhy African Americans tend to incline to certain political partiesand why the white Americans are focused on the issues that polarizetheir attachment to the political parties. In addition, the booksuccessfully identifies the failures of the political parties toengage the people through these perspectives. According to Zoltanand Lee (2011), the political parties have not raised politicalawareness to the four groupings in relation to their issues.Therefore, nonpartisanship ends up being the most rational option forthe people.

However,the approach that the book takes risks being misunderstood by readerswho are not focused on the racial segregation topics. The bookreviews the political attachment of each of the groupings in theUnited States without explaining the reasons for the differences.While the book adequately covers each of the groups in a fair way,the idea of breaking the theme into social groupings may shift thefocus of the reader. The focus of the reader is on the central themeof why some American population does not vote. This is because thecentral focus is not on why some racial groupings do not vote. Whilethe book does not promote a multi-racial discussion on politicalattachment, it concentrates its arguments based on the four socialgroupings.

Inthe book, Zoltanand Lee explore the reasons why Americans do not vote as the centraltheme of their context and content. The book approaches the theme byexploring the political attachments of the four main social groupingsin the United States. In addition, the book achieves the analysis ofthe central theme by focusing on the ideas of the bipartisan modelsthe Michigan model and the Downsian model. Through these models andapproach, the book succeeds in discussing the reasons why Americansdo not vote and understanding the political attachments thatinfluence the voting patterns.


Campbell,A., Converse, P.E, Miller, E., &amp Stokes, D.E. (1992). Theimpact and development of party identification.In Niemi,R.G.&amp &nbspWeisberg.(1992). ClassicsIn Voting Behavior Paperback Edition. Michigan: University ofMichigan

Fiona,M.P. (1978). EconomicRetrospective Voting in American National Elections:A.MicroAnalysis.American Journal of Political Science, 22, 2: 426-443

Zoltan,H. &amp Lee, T. (2011). WhyAmericans Don`t Join The Party: Race, Immigration, and the Failure(of Political Parties) to Engage the Electorate.Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.