Talking Politics: Political Discussion Networks and the New American Electorate

ISBN : 9780190082116

Taylor N. Carlson; Marisa Abrajano; Lisa Garcia Bedolla
264 ページ
140 x 210 mm

Over five decades of research has made clear that social networks can have an important impact on our political behavior. Specifically, when we engage in political conversation within these networks we develop connections that increase the likelihood that we will become politically active. Yet, most studies of political behavior focus on individuals, rather than the effects of networks on political behavior. Furthermore, any studies of networks have, by and large, been based on White Americans. Given what we know about the ways in which neighborhood, cultural, friend, and family networks tend to segregate along ethnic and racial lines, the authors of this book argue that we can assume that political networks segregate in much the same way.

This book draws on quantitative and qualitative analyses of 4000 White American, African American, Latino, and Asian American people to explore inter and intra-ethnoracial differences in social network composition, size, partisanship, policy attitudes, and homophily in political and civic engagement. The book thus makes three key contributions: 1) it provides, for the first time, detailed comparative analysis of how political networks vary across and within ethnoracial groups; 2) demonstrates how historical differences in partisanship, policy attitudes, and engagement are reflected within groups' social networks; and, 3) reveals the impact that networks can have on individuals' political and civic engagement.


Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Empirical Shortcomings: Why Do We Know So Little About Non-White Networks?
Chapter 3: The Composition and Determinants of Political Discussion Networks
Chapter 4: Discussion Networks, Political Trust, and Political Efficacy
Chapter 5: Political Discussion Networks and Information
Chapter 6: Political Discussion Networks and Political Engagement
Chapter 7: Conclusion


Taylor N. Carlson is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis. Her work focuses on political communication, political psychology, and race/ethnicity in American Politics. Specifically, she is interested in understanding the content and consequences of interpersonal political communication.
Marisa Abrajano is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. Her research examines the political behavior of racial and ethnic minorities in the United Sates, with a particular focus on Latinos.
Lisa Garcia Bedolla is Vice Provost of Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on the causes and consequences of political inequalities in the United States.