The Dynamics of American Politics: Approaches and Interpretations

By Lawrence C. Dodd; Calvin Jillson | Go to book overview
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environments -- environments that have important consequences for their responses to politics. But these environments are changing in important ways, and only by returning the American voter to a personal sociopolitical setting can we begin to comprehend the consequences of these changes.

We are currently working with Russell Dalton of the University of California at Irvine on such a comprehensive study, focused on the 1992 presidential election. Analysis of personal, organizational, and media influence in 40 sites across the United States and, more intensively, in one urban county, should shed substantial light on the intermediation process in the United States. Comparison of the American case to companion studies in Germany, Britain, Spain, and Japan using the same design should advance our study even further.
The percentage of organizational members who belong to more than one organization is probably higher. The GSS figures understate associational ties because they ignore funding support and multiple memberships within a particular category ( Baumgartner and Walker, 1988).
This neighborhood measure is obtained by aggregating the approximately 95 survey responses within each neighborhood.
Among the exceptions are Lazarsfeld, Berelson, and Gaudet ( 1948), Berelson, Lazarsfeld, and McPhee ( 1954), and Katz and Lazarsfeld ( 1955) -- work conducted well over four decades ago! -- and some limited analysis in Patterson ( 1980) and Beck and Crone ( 1990).
Other democratic nations appear to be headed in this direction as well, but most of them still have powerful newspapers with national readerships which play more or less partisan roles in politics.


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The Dynamics of American Politics: Approaches and Interpretations
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