Interpersonal Environment Effects on Political Preferences: The “Middle Path” for Conceptualizing Social Structure in New Zealand and Japan

Interpersonal Environment Effects on Political Preferences: The “Middle Path” for... The effect of interpersonal environment, as measured by the degree of heterogeneity or homogeneity of political party preferences among important others in an individual's social network, was investigated using a national probability sample in Japan and regional sample in New Zealand. In both cultures, the interpersonal environment exerted significant and consistent effects on individual voting preferences. Those who reported inhabiting relatively homogeneous interpersonal political environments (IPEs) displayed a strong tendency to vote for the same political party as the important others in their social network. This effect was robust even after controlling for party identification, attitudes, media exposure, and objectively defined group memberships. Importantly, this tendency was not predicated on the frequency of talk about politics with significant others. Implications are discussed for both micro-level and macro-level theories of social structure and political behavior; an argument is made for the importance of a “middle path”—the psychology of enduring relationships between people. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Interpersonal Environment Effects on Political Preferences: The “Middle Path” for Conceptualizing Social Structure in New Zealand and Japan

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1024822606323
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The effect of interpersonal environment, as measured by the degree of heterogeneity or homogeneity of political party preferences among important others in an individual's social network, was investigated using a national probability sample in Japan and regional sample in New Zealand. In both cultures, the interpersonal environment exerted significant and consistent effects on individual voting preferences. Those who reported inhabiting relatively homogeneous interpersonal political environments (IPEs) displayed a strong tendency to vote for the same political party as the important others in their social network. This effect was robust even after controlling for party identification, attitudes, media exposure, and objectively defined group memberships. Importantly, this tendency was not predicated on the frequency of talk about politics with significant others. Implications are discussed for both micro-level and macro-level theories of social structure and political behavior; an argument is made for the importance of a “middle path”—the psychology of enduring relationships between people.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 7, 2004

References

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