Self-concepts of american and canadian party officials: Their development and consequences


Journal Article

As party organization politics become less passionate and the opportunities for personal payoff and graft decrease, the continued work of party functionaries is something of an anachronism. The political systems of the United States and Canada require party-like voluntary organizations, but decrease the motivations for individual participation. This analysis sheds some light on sustained participation by focusing on the role of politics in the personal identities of 1,250 of the top party officials of Seattle, Minneapolis, Vancouver, and Winnipeg. At present, the significance of politics in the self-concept of even the high-ranking party official is highly variable. They may rise to the top of an organization after very short working careers and without total investment of their “selves.” The extent to which the political dimension suffuses the identity of the official and its place in the self-concept are shown to be related to both early and current life experiences in ways that accord with symbolic interactionist theory. Finally, the self-concept is shown to relate to how the party role is played and the respondent’s further career expectations. © 1970, University of North Carolina Press.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Smith, J; Kornber, A

Published Date

  • January 1, 1970

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 49 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 210 - 226

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1534-7605

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0037-7732

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/sf/49.2.210

Citation Source

  • Scopus