Politics as a Vocation: Notes Toward a Sensualist Understanding of Political Engagement

  • Matthew Mahler

One of the greatest paradoxes of contemporary social scientific research is that students of politics are hard pressed to find any evidence of man’s nature as a political animal in the extant political science or political sociology literature. Certainly there is no shortage of scholarly exchanges employing the term “politics” or purporting to have arrived at a better “model” of political participation or political outcomes, just as there is any number of studies exploring the relative salubrity of modern democracies. Conspicuously missing, however, from most of these inquiries is any consideration or account of the political animal cum animal – a living, breathing, suffering, sensual being who is shaped by more than just rational calculations, symbolic exchanges, the dictates of public opinion, or any of the other more fashionable explanatory variables employed in current political research such as levels of partisanship, institutional structures, or one’s degree of social capital.


Social Capital Political Participation Political Life American Political Science Review Political Engagement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Mahler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA

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