Descriptive representation; this is the degree to which a representative bear a resemblance to those he/she represents such that they share similar characteristics like race, ethnicity, sex or residence. Some research questions that can be analyzed in this category are whether the representative has common interest, share common experiences or look like those they represent.
Symbolic representation: this is where the leader stands for the national ideas or the ways that a representative stands for the represented and has meaning to those he/she represents. The main research question is what kind of response is invoked by the representative in those being represented?
/> Substantive representation: this is where the group’s preferences and interests are being sought to be advanced by the representative. This representation sees the representative taking action on behalf and interest of and as an agent of the represented.
Authorization: this is one of the dimensions under the formalistic representation and is where a representative is legally empowered to act for another. Also can be described as the means by which a representative obtains his or her standing, position, status or office. Some of the research questions that can be asked here are what is the process by which a representative gains power and what are the ways in which representative can enforce his/her decisions?
In their suggestion that descriptive representation is the superior form, the two provide evidence, for example sighting the representation of the African Americans’ in the united states political arena. According to the authors, scholars who have done empirical research, have found out that descriptive representation is more representative of democracy. This is because descriptive representation will attract people that are related by some factors such as race, religion or ethnicity, and this is a common occurrence where people of African origin participate more in elections where one of their kinds is a candidate. For example, when Jesse Jackson vied for the presidency, according to Tate 1991, 1994, there were more blacks’ turnout.
Political parties can mobilize more broadly if the put in place measures that will include adequate representation of the minority. This condition is the prime and most necessary where the minority will feel acknowledge and there say, for example, through their vote is seen as valuable. From the article, it is evident that the minority groups see their vote taken for granted. This can, however, be overturned and create a sense of acknowledgement. In so doing, the political parties will mobilize broadly. This assures all members of the society including the minority that the party is democratic. Therefore, another important condition is to hold up democratic practices.
The normative role of political parties is that of a linkage institution which serves to connect citizens with the political system. This is in the realization of democracy and enhancing mass participation and representation of all members of the society including the minorities. However, political parties have not yet accomplished the role of a linkage institution. This failure is as a result of the political parties being strategic and therefore does not equalize participation. They do not lay a ground where all members of the society from different social strata are given equal participation.
Strolovitch considers the effects of advocacy groups in leveling participation inequalities. In so doing, she considers factors such as institutional targeting, level of activity and coalitions. These factors are appropriately used by political parties in the accomplishment of their roles. In institutionally targeting, for example, the organizations use various tactics to reach their policy goals. The organizations participate in various levels depending on the issue and interest group they represent, mostly the minority. In a coalition, the organizations benefit from the collective bargaining power with more emphasis being on the organizations that represent the marginalized.
In her findings, the affirmative advocacy is not an ambiguous, but something that can be achieved. Just like in other fields such as employment and education, affirmative action should be taken in the representation of the minority in democracy achievement. This will be through descriptive representation that will benefit the marginalized.