- This reading expresses the mode of operation amongst the members of congress Decision -making processes and specific duties are outlined in the reading
- Fenno argues that the members of congress developed a style of presenting themselves to the districts, in which the constituents believed that members of congress are part of the district (Richard, 884).
- Fenno asserts that the members of the district require heterogeneity for them to differentiate their members (Richard, 885).
- The members of the congress have developed two styles, which include “issue oriented style”, and “person-to-person” style. The home style that was adopted by the district members represents members of congress representation of self.
- The congress members who visit their districts frequently are ones whose districts are closer to the DC, and those with less seniority.
- According to Fenno, the basis of the debate is whether the congress members are either delegates or trustees. Trustees make independent decisions, whereas the delegates vote according to their constituency (Richard 886).
- Fenno notes that the home styles of senators have been less personalized due to the following reasons.
- The first reason is that districts have grown big, making it hard for them to be understood (Richard 889).
- Some of the senators are lazy because of the addition of governing terms to six.
- Intensive use of the mass media has made the home styles of the senators less personal; however, several changes have been experienced in the home styles.
- The districts have grown bigger, decreasing the number of personal relationships among the members.
- The society has become not only atomized, but also suburban. This has made it hard to cultivate personal relationships.
- Fenno concludes that the congress is not responsive to people because it has been held hostage by iron triangles (Richard 914).
Reading 2: Malici, Akan and Elizabeth Smith. Political Science Research in Practice. CHAPTAR 4
- This reading describes political science as a discipline as well as the underlying concepts
- Data evaluation techniques as well as drawing of conclusions are discussed in the reading
- According to Malici et al (245), political science is a normal discipline that is concerned with theories that explain the manner in which things should happen, but not how things are happening currently.
- The students who study politics learn that the crucial way of making claims about things is through proper understanding of how things are. This includes having a positive attitude towards things that happen in the society and in nature.
- Politics has undergone a behavioral revolution, where the generalities in political science are found using empirical data (Malici et al 253).
- The use of empirical data makes political science more explanatory, and precise than before.
- Political science is divided into four subfields, which include political theory, comparative politics, American politics, and international politics (Malici et al 257).
- However, despite other subfields of political science, political theory depends, not on the empiricism. This is because, the ideas applied in political theory act as the basis for the ideas that are tested in the scientific and systematic ways.
Reading 3: Moug, Peter. 2007. “Non-participative Observation in Political Research: The ‘Poor’ Relation?” Politics 27 (2): 108–114.
- The reading specifically addresses the key aspects that are used in data collection and analysis
- The reading also discusses the key attributes that define research in political science
- Peter Moug explains about a tool of gathering data in which the researcher takes the role of observing in order to minimize participation.
- This ensures a low profile when it comes to the empirical political research.
- The subfield of American politics concerns the study of behavior in the political systems of America and the political institutions.
- The scientific study of American politics has enhanced the alienation of assumptions made by both citizens and the media (Johnson 59).
- Malici explains about the problem in which women were under-represented in the elected offices of the United States.
- During this time, women covered a population of half the American people. In American history, Malici asserts that regardless of the 1200 congress members, women were represented by only two percent. This happens because the American voters are biased against women, and this makes the voters fail to vote women candidates.
- Data collection is one of the methods used in political research. Ethnographic benefit political studies when culture is used to collect data.
- Nonparticipant observation refers to a method of data collection that is used mostly in a case study research in which the researchers enter social systems (Johnson 67).
- The researchers in these social systems observe activities, events, and interactions in nature, with the aim of gaining appropriate understanding of phenomena in the natural context.
- The observers do not participate in activities that are observed because they are non-participants.
- The non-participant observation explains many facts about the behavioral and social sciences. Non-participant observation is distinguished from participant observation by considering the level of involvement in the research setting (Johnson 69).
- In the participant observation, the observers are present during the activities concerning the organization.
Reading 4: Steven D, Levitt. super Freakonomics. HarperCollins, 2009
- This reading provides an overview on the manner in which laws of economics made impact in the prostitute business.
- According to Steven D, Levitt (296), laws of demand and supply have a similar impact in the prostitute business than they have in other forms of business.
- Technically, there has been a gradual decrease in demand in the industry during the current era as opposed to the past when sex was more revered and prestigious.
- Value addition has been enhanced in the prostitute business just like in other forms of products especially through pimping and formation of cartels in order to increase demand in the prostitution industry.
- The part develops a recap on the essence of political science as a discipline
- Political science is a social discipline that constitutes both hard and soft science worlds.
- The characteristics of hard science include application of close attention to the formal standards, and strict rigorous scientific standards.
- The soft sciences rely on interpretive approaches and are more informal than the hard sciences.
- The methods of research used in political science are borrowed from other disciplines including economics, psychology, history, neurology, and biology. Political science is therefore considered a field of research.
- The department of political science is important because, through this department, the practical and theoretical studies are merged.
- Merging of the theoretical and political studies is important because it enables researchers to use their knowledge in both group and individual research.
Johnson, Michael P.. Reading the American past: selected historical documents. 5th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2012. Print.
Malici, Akan, and Elizabeth S. Smith.Political science research in practice. New York: Routledge, 2013. Print.
Richard F. Fenno, Jr., U.S. House Members in Their Constituencies: An Exploration, 71 Am. Pol. Sci. Rev. 883 - 917 (1977)
Steven D, Levitt. Super Freakonomics. New York: HarperCollins, 2009