Graduation Year

2015

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Sociology

Reader 1

Phil Zuckerman

Reader 2

Thomas Kim

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© 2015 Alexandra L. April

Abstract

In order to understand the motivations and driving factors that encourage individuals to join the political sphere, as volunteers, the individual’s stories and background will be examined through an exploratory study without any initial hypothesis. Utilizing qualitative research methods, this study will directly look at the lived experiences of political volunteers that drive campaigns and candidates in Colorado’s 5th Congressional District. A greater understanding for both the factors that compel an individual to enter the political sphere in the first place as a volunteer as well as variables that persuade the volunteer to continually stay active will be analyzed. Results: Based off of 10 different interviews with registered voters in Colorado’s 5th Congressional District, this thesis found significant differences in motivations varying from party affiliations, religious values, as well as relationships with the campaign staff.

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