Heidi M. Berggren

University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth
Political Science/Women's and Gender Studies

285 Old Westport Road
North Dartmouth, MA
USA
02747
hberggren@umassd.edu

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Berggren

One of my research agendas centers on work-family policies and on the wider political, ideological, gender, social, and economic issues surrounding the problems of work-family balance, primarily in the U.S. and in Europe. I am now researching cohousing, an emerging social movement that holds promise as a potential solution to work-family conflict, civil disengagement and other contemporary problems.

Citation:
Berggren, Heidi M. 2013. “Cohousing as Civic Society: Cohousing Involvement and Political Participation in Massachusetts,” New England Journal of Political Science VII (1).
Abstract: Abstract: This study asks whether cohousing as a form of non-political association has spill-over effects on participation in politics. The civic-society literature has shown that organizational and persuasive activities engaged in by members of voluntary civic associations constitute on-the-job training in political participation skills and can lead to higher levels of participation. Using original survey data on members of nine of the twelve cohousing communities in Massachusetts, I test the hypothesis that the exercise of quasi-political skills among members of cohousing communities leads to higher levels of political participation. I find that involvement in cohousing is positively related to political participation and that involvement in cohousing and political participation are positively related to self-reported change in political participation since joining cohousing. These results, in view of data limitations, suggest limited support for the hypothesis to the extent that members claim that their political participation has changed since moving to cohousing.
URL: http://www.nepsanet.org/#!7-1/cssi
Citation:
Berggren, Heidi M. 2014. "Cohousing as Civic Society: Cohousing Involvement and Political Participation in the United States," Midwest Political Science Association Conference, Chicago, Illinois.
Abstract: This study asks whether cohousing as a form of non-political association has spill-over effects on participation in politics. The civic-society literature has shown that organizational, persuasive, and community-building activities engaged in by members of voluntary civic associations constitute on-the-job training in political participation skills and habits of mind, which can lead to higher levels of participation. Using data from the National Cohousing Survey, Phase III, I test the hypothesis that the exercise of quasi-political skills and participation in community-building activities among members of cohousing communities leads to higher levels of political participation. I find that involvement in cohousing is positively related to political participation and that involvement in cohousing and political participation are positively related to self-reported increases in political participation since joining cohousing. These results, while taking account of data limitations, suggest limited support for the hypothesis to the extent that members claim that their political participation has increased since moving to cohousing.

Substantive Focus:
Social Policy PRIMARY
Comparative Public Policy SECONDARY

Theoretical Focus:
Policy History
Policy Process Theory
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation PRIMARY
Public Opinion SECONDARY

Keywords

WORK-FAMILY POLICY WORK-FAMILY BALANCE SOCIAL MOVEMENTS COHOUSING MOVEMENT SOCIAL POLICY WELFARE POLICY COLLABORATIVE HOUSING INTENTIONAL COMMUNITIES