Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

Fall 2019

Thesis Director

Paul Janssen Danyi

Thesis Committee Member

Melinda A. Mueller

Thesis Committee Member

Kevin R. Anderson

Abstract

This project lays down a foundation to study the civic lives of people with cognitive limitations. Considering the lack of research on the issue, the findings lean more toward theory building. Drawing on in-person interviews conducted with institutionalized individuals with intellectual disability (ID), this work attempts to clarify the impact of their disability on their civic lives. The questions that will be answered relate to their issue preferences, voting behavior, partisanship and mobilization, political awareness, and the influence of their circle on their citizen participation. Getting input directly from people with ID, instead of their proxies, will improve our understanding of their political (or lack of) involvement.

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