The Role And Impacts Of Descriptive Representation In Politics Homework Essay Sample

Descriptive Representation

In politics, descriptive representation entails the elected official representing their constituencies and the interests of their identity groups based on their identity characteristics. As such, in descriptive representation, the elected official is a representative of interests and ideas of his race, geographical areas or socioeconomic group. In this representation, the political candidate does not use policies to lure voters to elect him but capitalizes on the groups of identity such as race and socioeconomic status to appeal to the electors. The elected official who pursues descriptive representation seeks to represent the ideas that are politically relevant to the constituents and that emanate from identity characteristics.

Descriptive Representation Matters

Based on socioeconomic factor as an identity category, descriptive representation matters in politics because it brings out the characteristics of people that the elected official represents. If the elected official claims to represent the interests of identity groups with low income, they have to come up with descriptions that show the needs of the constituents. In making these descriptions, the elected official is likely to make the other representatives understand the characteristics of his identity group and why its interests are important matters to be represented by an elected official. Descriptive representation also matters in politics because it reflects the voting patterns of a state. In this case, the elected officials and voters tend to seek understanding of their identity and why they vote based on a given pattern (Clark 345). As such, the politics of a state can be predicted based on the descriptive representation. The predictability emanates from the fact that voters and political candidates tend to use the identity characteristics as their major concern that requires national policy. Thus, they can form a pattern of voting for candidates that are vocal about socioeconomic inequalities in a state.

Although descriptive representation matters in many states, it does not change the thinking about its role and impacts in states politics. However, this representation might have different weights across states (Scherer and Curry93). Weight, in this case, refers to the importance that the electorate attaches to identities and how they influence politics. For instance, there are states that can give more weight than others on the issue of socioeconomic background as an identity concern and that influences how they are represented.

Impacts of Descriptive Representation On Politics

Descriptive representation changes the focus of policies in state politics. For instance, when an elected official claims to represent the interests of his socioeconomic group, then he will support policies and incentives that aim at addressing the social and economic affairs of the state. Interestingly, these affairs may not touch on the whole constituency but because the representative represents the majority, the affairs are given priority in policy interventions. According to Clark, descriptive representation changes the focus of representation from the general needs of a state to the specific socioeconomic needs of the constituents (345). Therefore, leaders elected in descriptive representation pursue policies that tend to help the identity group and not the public policy touching on areas that they represent. These leaders do not pursue collective representation of interests but the interests that serve to uplift their socioeconomic backgrounds (Scherer and Curry 97).

As noted earlier, descriptive representation can be used to predict who is to be elected as a representative of the state. When a state gives much weight to the socioeconomic background as an identity group, it will strive to elect a person that represents its socioeconomic interests. In such a case, if a political candidate wants to represent the state or constituency in the Congress, they will have to play their socioeconomic card for them to be elected. In such a state, the public is aware of the socioeconomic background of the political candidate (Jones 179). Based on this background, electors gauge the suitability of the candidate in representing the interests of their group. If the candidate comes from the socioeconomic group which has the majority of voters. he is likely to win. As such, one can predict the politics of a state based on their identity category that they use to get descriptive representation.

Descriptive representation affects the voter tumout in state and local politics. In an election where voters feel that the political office will not represent their interests based on identity category of socioeconomic background, some of them can fail to turn out to vote. This move is triggered by the feeling that voters should elect people that represent their socioeconomic needs as Jones points out (193). By failing to vote, the electors do not feel losing anything given that their socioeconomic needs are not tied to the political office. This phenomenon explains why some political posts could attract more voters than others in the same state. However, when a political office is associated with making policies that touch on social and economic issues, people in such a state will turn out in large numbers to ensure their voice is heard.

A Reflection Paper: What I Have Learnt About Different Psychologists’ Theories About Personality

In this course, we have examined different psychologists’ theories about personality. So far we have discussed in detail the theories of Freud, Jung, Adler, Horney, Fromm, and Erikson. In this paper I will reflect on what I have learned in the class, what has challenged me, and what I would like to know more about.

What I Have Learned and Found Most Valuable

It has been interesting to learn about how different psychologists view personality and how it is developed. The main idea of each theory sets them apart from one another. Freud believed that our behavior is a result of our unconscious motives, and is divided into the id, ego, and superego. He believed that personality is developed in stages throughout life (oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital. If you remain fixated in one of the stages it will impact your personality a certain way depending on which stage that is. Freud also theorized that we have defense mechanisms, such as repression and sublimation, that help us to cope with anxiety. Jung’s analytical psychology theory states that our behavior is driven by the ego, the personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious (Reno 2016). He believed that our personality comes from our attitudes that control the ego, either introversion or extroversion, and the functions to perceive the internal and external world (thinking, feelings, sensation, and intuition).

Horney theorized that behavior is a result of both unconscious motivation and childhood experiences. She believed that we experience neurotic needs and trends to interact with others (Reno 2016). A sense of safety and security and childhood is extremely important and lack of that can lead to anxiety and becoming stuck in one neurotic trend, rather than maintaining a balance between them (moving towards, moving away, and moving against people). Fromm theorized that freedom is the basic human condition (Reno 2016). Freedom brings anxiety, and we must react to society with productive and non-productive strategies. These character orientations determine personality, and are the result of the environment around us and how we cope with it.

Erikson accepted Freud’s theory but changed and expanded the stages of development to occur over the entire lifespan. Erikson’s eight stages are: Trust vs. Mistrust, Autonomy vs. Shame, Initiative vs. Guilt, Industry vs. Inferiority, Ego identity vs. Role Confusion, Intimacy vs. Isolation, Generativity vs. Stagnation, and Ego integrity vs.. Despair (Reno 2016). He believed that the ego is responsible for creating an identity, and it develops in the resolution and progression through these stages. I think the most valuable part of learning about these theories is gaining a thorough understanding of what contributes to personalities. It is interesting that most of these theories distinguish between “healthy” or “normal” people and those who are unable to accomplish this because they have an unresolved conflict or negative social experience that affects their development. I also have noticed that these theorists’ personal experiences have shaped their theories in some way, and perhaps creating theories about personality and character development is a way for them to come to terms with their own problems and challenges in life and to make sense of them.

What Challenged Me the Most

What has challenged me the most in this class is differentiating between which theorist believed which ideas. I can see some of the connections between theories, but it is difficult to remember which model or idea matches with each person. There are multiple models that use stages to explain development, and various trends or qualities that people exhibit based on their personality. There is also an overlap of vocabulary and what those terms mean for each theory that can lead to confusion. The amount of material covered in this class is challenging to process, especiall because there are a lot of similarities between the different sections being covered.

What I Want to Know More About

I want to know more about personality tests and how those have been developed. There are a lot of tests available today, some serious and some not, but I am curious to know of which theory or theories the results of the test are based upon. I am also interested to learn more about how people with different personalities interact, and if there are ways to manage personality conflict based on any psychological theory. I am not sure if it is related to this class, but I want to know more about how zodiac personality ideas have been developed over time.


So far in this class I have learned about six personality theories and their psychological creators. They examine human behavior and personality development through a biopsychosocialspiritual model. Essentially, personality is the result of how people cope with the everyday challenges of living, ranging from experiences in early childhood to the surrounding environment and society. I have struggled most to differentiate between the theories and models presented within them. I want to know more about how the personality theories have influenced modern day personality tests, and how people with different personalities interact according to psychological ideas.


Reno, R. (2016, Fall). Personality Psychology Class Notes. Dean College, Franklin.

An Analysis Of Descriptive Techniques In Crime And Punishment, A Novel By Fyodor Dostoyevsky

In the novel Crime and Punishment, the Russian author Feodor Dostoevsky implements certain narrative techniques which aid greatly in accurately portraying the lives, surroundings, physical characteristics and hardships of protagonist Rodya Raskolnikov, as well as the rest of the lower class in St. Petersburg where the story is set. In addition to simply depicting the bustle of the Russian suburbs, Dostoevsky will often insert select words which serve the purpose of further indicating the tone of the passage or a specific mood that he is trying to convey. Dostoevsky also has a unique style of melding the meanings of character names with the natures and behaviors of their corresponding characters. Dostoevsky often does not overtly indicate thorough description the psychological characteristics of some characters. Instead, the reader is left to infer this from the meaning of the character’s name. These narrative styles appear immediately at the beginning of the novel and continue throughout the novel.

The first chapter of the novel begins with the following paragraph: “Towards the end of a sultry afternoon early July a young man came out of his little room in Stolyarny Lane and turned slowly and somewhat irresolutely in the direction of Kamenny Bridge” (1). The narrator includes descriptive words such as “sultry” and “irresolutely”. The word “sultry” appoints a rather somber tone to the entire paragraph, as well as accurately portrays the current weather in the populated city setting at this point in time. Meanwhile, the word “irresolutely”, referring to the protagonist Raskolnikov, is the first indication of his indecisive nature, as well as his general self-unawareness. Dostoevsky uses these single profound adjectives to elicit the dreary and lackluster feel in the opening scene of the novel.

When one deconstructs the names of characters in the novel such as Raskolnikov and Razumikhin, one finds that their names have definite meanings. Dostoevsky intended for these meanings to correlate directly with the traits of their corresponding characters. For example, the prefix “raskol” from the name of the protagonist Raskolnikov, when translated into Russian, translates into a schism or split. Likewise, the reader sees that Raskolnikov exhibits highly ambiguous actions and behavior which indicate his mental instability and indecisiveness, or even that he has split personalities. An example of Raskolnikov’s ambiguity appears in Chapter IV of Part I when Raskolnikov encounters an elderly man following, and possibly attempting to rape a drunken young woman. Raskolnikov finds a policeman and offers him a sum of money for his help in subduing the old man. Soon after, Raskolnikov suddenly urges for the policeman not to help the situation saying, “‘Stop! What is it to you? Drop it! Let him amuse himself!’ (he pointed at the gentleman). ‘What business it is of yours?’” (42). Just before this passage, Raskolnikov acts upon a desire to help and prevent a potentially tragic situation. However, his highly indecisive attitude forces his willingness to help to abruptly cease.

Another example of Dostoevsky’s use of hidden meaning within character names is the meaning of the name Razumikhin. The name Razumikhin translates roughly into reason and good sense. Likewise, the character Razumikhin demonstrates good judgment when helping his dear friend Raskolnikov when some people begin to gain some suspicion that he may be guilty of committing the murder if Alyona Ivanovna. When the maid Nastasya and the doctor Zossimov begin to make inquisitive comments pertaining to the old woman’s murder, Ruzimikhin, knowing that Raskolnikov is guilty of the murder, suggests some things to divert their suspicion away from Raskolnikov. Because of Razumikhin’s quick thinking and good logic, he is able to keep Raskolnikov from being suspected of the murder for the time being.

While Dostoevsky uses a number of useful and clever narrative techniques, his methods of portraying dialogue are questionable. He often does not specify which character is speaking. Instead, he leaves the reader to infer from the context of the dialogue which character is speaking. Although it can be argued that this narrative method more realistically simulates conversation, it produces some issues with analyzing the text.