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Title: Political information behavior, political ignorance, and voting behavior of rural dwellers in pakistan
Authors: Muhammad Asif, Naveed
Keywords: political information behavior
MS Public Policy
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: University of Management and Technology Lahore
Abstract: This study explored political information behavior, political ignorance, and voting behavior of citizens residing in a rural setting using a qualitative research design. Face-to-face interviews of 71 individuals were conducted using an unstructured interview guide. Each interview was carefully recorded and transcribed. The transcribed data were analyzed and grouped into recurrent themes using content analysis. The results indicated that a large majority of rural inhabitants were politically ignorant and did not seem to be in need of political information. They were not politically conscious as they were unaware about the existing political system, the way government operates and affect their lives, current affairs, and rural development programs. However, a good number of participants required political information on current affairs, rural development policies, government policies and decisions, and both local and national political news. They mainly depended on mass-media particularly television for political information followed by newspapers, radio, and interpersonal relationships. The analysis also revealed that a large majority of these participants (n=61, 86%) did not know the value of their votes as a they, especially males, cast their votes using their preferences for their caste/clan, endorsement by the community leader, fear of enmity of village elite, and friendship with community leader. It was interesting to mention that the female participants mainly cast their votes considering the wishes of their household heads which was in contrast with the male voting behavior. There were only a few participants who choose a social worker for vote casting. Illiteracy, low education, language barriers, electricity shortage, bad timings of television talk shows were the major constraints restricting the rural dwellers in obtaining political information. These results have quite serious implications on the existing political system known as democracy in Pakistan. In addition, the results will assist the government officials in the development of a need-based, unified, and integrated rural information delivery system. These will also be helpful for NGOs, civil society, mainstream mass-media, and community based organizations in shaping public opinion, overcoming socio-political inequalities, altering existing socio-political arrangements, and strengthening socio-political participation. This research may provide new directions for more detailed and in-depth inquiries in the proposed area as no other study appears to have been conducted so far on the rural citizens’ political ignorance, political information behavior, and voting behviour.
Description: Supervisor: Rahat Ul Ain
Appears in Collections:School of Governance and Society

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