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Political Loyalties and Social Class Ties: The Mechanisms of Contextual Influence

R. Robert Huckfeldt
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 28, No. 2 (May, 1984), pp. 399-417
DOI: 10.2307/2110879
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2110879
Page Count: 19
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Political Loyalties and Social Class Ties: The Mechanisms of Contextual Influence
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Abstract

The social context is considered as a connecting tie between individuals and the political loyalties that predominate within social classes. Two different explanations for contextual influence are examined: (1) the social context as a source of group loyalty and self-identification and (2) the social context as a factor that structures social interaction. Results indicate that the social context is especially important in relationship to the social class content of friendship groups, but the political influence of context persists even when subjective class membership and friendship group composition are taken into account. Finally, the political impact of the social context appears to vary, both in magnitude and direction, as a function of class loyalties, friendship group composition, and the larger political environment.

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