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The Consequences of Cross-Cutting Networks for Political Participation
Diana C. Mutz
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 46, No. 4 (Oct., 2002), pp. 838-855
Published by: Midwest Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3088437
Page Count: 18
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Voting, Political candidates, Ambivalence, Political science, Social environment, Coefficients, Political campaigns, Political partisanship, Social interaction, Presidential elections
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This study advances our understanding of "cross-pressures," a concept recognized in the earliest studies of American voting, but for which empirical evidence and theoretical development has been sorely lacking. Although the current consensus suggests that political cross-pressures are of little, if any, consequence for political participation, I find that people whose networks involve greater political disagreement are less likely to participate in politics. Two social psychological processes are suggested to account for this effect. First, those embedded in cross-cutting social and political networks are, as a consequence, more likely to hold ambivalent political views, which in turn discourage political involvement. Second, social accountability pressures in cross-cutting networks discourage political participation; the inherently controversial nature of politics is perceived to pose threats to the harmony of social relationships.
American Journal of Political Science © 2002 Midwest Political Science Association