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Going HomeBlack Representatives and Their Constituents$
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Richard F. Fenno

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780226241302

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226241326.001.0001

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(p.251) Chapter 7 Conclusion
Going Home
University of Chicago Press

This chapter, which concerns the activities of members of the United States House of Representatives when they are back home with their constituents, examines the various constituency activities of four African American House members and proposes some conceptual guidelines to help in studying in-the-constituency activities. The observational and conceptual purposes enhance the study of representation in the American political system. The focus is on representation as a process—a continuous process—that links the activities of elected officials to those of their constituents. The most heavily researched activity of elected representatives has been their votes in Congress, and the most heavily researched activity of the constituents has been their votes at election time. This emphasis on the two sets of voters is certainly the right one, because the linkage between them is the bottom-line relationship in a representative democracy.

Keywords:   democracy, Congress, American political system, African American House, constituents

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