Small-Town Politics: A Study of Political Life in Glossop

Small-Town Politics: A Study of Political Life in Glossop

Small-Town Politics: A Study of Political Life in Glossop

Small-Town Politics: A Study of Political Life in Glossop

Excerpt

This account of the political life of Glossop would not be complete without some analysis of the political preferences and activities of the relatively unpolitical: that is, the great majority of the citizens, who do not belong to a party, do not attend political meetings, and rarely make any public declaration of their political beliefs. The sample survey which we conducted included a number of questions designed to elicit information of this kind, and it is mainly on the answers to these questions that this chapter is based.

Our survey of the activities of the political parties and the clubs and societies in the town has made it clear that there is very little opportunity, and apparently little demand, for any organized discussion of political topics. We asked our sample of electors whether they were interested in politics, how often, if at all, they discussed political matters, and, if they did, where these conversations took place. In answer, 11 per cent. of the electors told us that they were very interested in politics, a further 33 per cent. said that they were moderately interested, and the remaining 56 per cent. said that they had no interest in politics. The proportion who said that they often discussed political matters was also 11 per cent., while 25 per cent. said that they occasionally did so and 64 per cent. said that they rarely did so. There was more interest among men than among women, and 14 per cent. of the men said they often discussed politics as against 9 per cent. of the women. People in professional and managerial occupations, and those who own their own businesses, also tended to be more interested, and to discuss politics more often, than industrial workers and their families, and among the men in the former categories as many as 25 per cent. claimed that they often discussed politics.

In the great majority of cases these political conversations take place in people's homes or in the homes of their friends. Some also take place at work, but very few people in Glossop, it appears, ever talk about politics at the local pub. Political conversations at clubs . . .

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