Despite scholarly interest in determining how exposure to disagreeable political ideas influences political participation, existing research supports few firm conclusions. This paper argues that these varied findings stem from an implicit model of contextual influence that fails to account for the indirect effect of aggregate social contexts. A model of contextual influence is outlined which implies that the neighborhood partisan context moderates the effect of political disagreement in social networks on campaign participation. The evidence shows that network disagreement demobilizes people who are the political minority in their neighborhood, but has no influence on people in the majority. When viewed together, these findings indicate that a person’s relationship to the broader political environment sets distinctive network processes in motion.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 9, 2006
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