Descriptive Representation Of The American Democracy Essay

Descriptive Representation Of The American Democracy Essay

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Citizens of the United States rely heavily on their representatives to ensure that their concerns are heard, as well as that their needs are met. Descriptive and agency representation are two types of representation. Descriptive representation is the idea that one will get representation when they share characteristics with representatives such as race, religion, and gender (Conover, 10/13). This means that persons who have similar backgrounds and experiences should also have similar political preferences. Therefore, the characteristics of the elected representatives should clearly epitomize the characteristics of their constituents. The importance of descriptive representation regarding the American Democracy is that it enhances the representation of group’s interests which greatly benefits minorities. Consequently, citizens have a greater sense of trust in the government when they are confident that their interests are clearly being represented within the realm of the government. Then, there is the idea of agency representation. Under this form of representation, accountability strongly shapes the decisions and actions of elected representatives. The importance of this idea in regard to the American Democracy is that it increases the chance of citizens being able to trust someone different from themselves in a political sense (Conover, 10/13). For example, senators and representatives are able to be held accountable for their decisions during elections because voters can show their approval or disapproval by whom they choose to vote for. Although it is extremely important to have a form of representation present within Congress, whether it is descriptive or agency, there is only mid-level descriptive representation and low-leve...


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...ngress is not being consistent. For example, Congress does not appear to have much descriptive representation because congress members consist mainly of old, elite, white men, with the exception of a few members that represent minorities. The characteristics of today’s elected officials are not in line with today’s constituents. On the other hand, agency representation is more present because constituents are becoming more open-minded and trying to trust those that are different than themselves. However, the idea of allowing someone in control make decisions knowing that they have different views on issues than yourself is still a challenge that many Americans today face. Demographics, gerrymandering, voting restrictions, and Republican control of both houses are just a handful of the issues that are keeping Congress from being representative of the American people.

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