Citizens, Political Communication, and Interest Groups: Environmental Organizations in Canada and the United States

By John C. Pierce; Mary Ann E. Steger et al. | Go to book overview
3. In both countries, the strongest incentives to group membership are policy-relevant information, direct interest in a particular environmental issue, and general political goals. However, viewed cross- nationally, each of those three incentives is more important to the American group members than to the Canadian counterparts.
4. In both countries, information, interest in specific issues, and political goals load on the same primary incentive factor, while social activities and specialized goals and services load on a separate factor. However, viewed cross-nationally, on that factor primary political goals are more important in the Michigan setting than in the Ontario context.
5. In both countries, information and political goals represent the most predominate combination of active incentives to environmental organization membership. But, information is more likely to stand alone as an incentive among Ontario group members than among their Michigan equivalents, while it is more likely to be accompanied by political goals in Michigan than in Ontario.
6. As noted above, politicos and purists are more likely to differ on environmental issue positions in Michigan than in Ontario. In Ontario, the purists appear just as political as the politicos.
7. Politicos and purists differ in their trust of certain information sources in both Canada and the United States. But, those differences are more frequent in Michigan than in Ontario. In addition, Michigan group members are more likely to discriminate among potential information sources than are Ontario group members.

Chapters 5 and 6 move from the individual level of analysis of publics and group members to the level of the groups themselves. We have seen that the rudiments of group linkage around information are present, but that those linkages differ to some extent in Michigan and Ontario. At this point, we shall begin to find out if environmental organizations in these American and Canadian settings respond differently to the demands posed by the technical information quandary.


NOTES
1.
Respondents in the general public sample were asked if they had "joined a group or organization" concerned about environmental and natural resource issues. These respondents were considered "self-identified" members in the following analyses.
2.
Respondents were asked to indicate their level of formal education by locating themselves on an 8-point continuum: (1) never attended school, (2) some grade school, (3) completed grade school, (4) some high school, (5) completed high school, (6) some college, (7) completed college, (8) some graduate work or an advanced degree.
3.
To indicate support for the NEP, respondents were asked to indicate agreement or disagreement on these six items: (1) the balance of nature is very

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Citizens, Political Communication, and Interest Groups: Environmental Organizations in Canada and the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figure and Tables ix
  • Series Foreword xiii
  • Notes xv
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Chapter One - Information, Individuals, and Interest Groups 1
  • Conclusion 31
  • Chapter Two - the Political Culture Context 33
  • Notes 64
  • Chapter Three - Trust in Sources of Policy-Relevant Information 69
  • Notes 94
  • Chapter Four - the Information Incentive 95
  • Notes 120
  • Chapter Five - Organizational Resources and Informational Capacity 123
  • Notes 147
  • Chapter Six - Environmental Groups as Communicators 151
  • Note 170
  • Chapter Seven - Interest Groups, Individuals, and the Technical Information Quandary 171
  • Conclusion 186
  • Appendix Survey Questionnaires 191
  • References 211
  • Index 223
  • ABOUT THE AUTHORS 227
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