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Social Network Analysis and Political Behavior: A Feasibility Study

Heinz Eulau and Jonathan W. Siegel
The Western Political Quarterly
Vol. 34, No. 4 (Dec., 1981), pp. 499-509
DOI: 10.2307/447464
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/447464
Page Count: 11
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Social Network Analysis and Political Behavior: A Feasibility Study
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Abstract

Analysis of data from a 1979 Pilot Study of the American electorate by the Center for Political Studies, University of Michigan, demonstrates the utility of social network theory for the purpose of studying political behavior in interpersonal contexts. The article examines the validity of a measure of "primary zone" by exploring alternative hypotheses concerning "social absorption" versus "mutual attraction" and concerning "projection" versus "introjection" in political conduct; a puzzle in the respondents' specification of the primary zone's partisan composition; the dynamics of the primary zone's emergence as a contextual factor in the electoral situation; and the effect of the interaction of group-level and individual-level variables on political behavior.

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