Get access

Structural Antecedents to Knowledge and Participation: Extending the Knowledge Gap Concept to Participation


Jaeho Cho; e-mail:


This paper investigates relationships between community characteristics and levels of knowledge and participation examined at both the individual and the community levels. This research extends the knowledge gap concept to a parallel phenomenon, the participation gap. Results from the Social Capital Benchmark Survey 2000 showed that community density, education, and cohesion were significant positive predictors of knowledge but less consistent predictors of participation at the individual level. At the community level, relationships were even stronger, though cohesion was associated with higher mean levels of participation and reduced participation gaps, whereas population density was associated with lower levels of participation and increased gaps.