Citizens, Politics and Social Communication: Information and by R. Robert Huckfeldt

By R. Robert Huckfeldt

This e-book is devoted to investigating the political implications of interdependent electorate in the context of the 1984 presidential election crusade because it used to be skilled within the metropolitan sector of South Bend, Indiana. nationwide politics is skilled in the neighborhood via a chain of filters targeted to a specific atmosphere. a number of diverse issues are explored: the dynamic implications of social verbal exchange between voters, the significance of communique networks for citizen decision-making, the workout of citizen function in finding resources of knowledge, the restrictions on person selection, and institutional and organizational results.

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Indeed, forty years after its publication, a small eminent group of methodologists are still struggling to come to grips with its implications (Erbring and Young 1979; Achen 1986; Shively 1987; Hanushek et al. 1974). We do not intend to recapitulate the entire argument surrounding Robinson's original article and its later critiques and extensions. But the general problem lies at the core of contextual analysis, and to the extent that the ecological fallacy poses a problem, contextual analysis provides the solution.

The metropolitan area has suffered from the long-term decline of its once strong manufacturing sector, symbolized by the 1963 closure of South Bend's Studebaker operations. Demographic trends have affected the health of South Bend as well. While the population of Indiana is expected to increase slightly during the rest of the century, St. Joseph County's population is expected to decline. In short, the South Bend area faces many of the problems that are typical of the region. Along with problems also come advantages.

Aj = a' + a"Xj (2) b, = b' + b"x_} (3) Substituting equations 2 and 3 into equation 1 produces the single equation form. Ytj = a'+ a \ + b'Xij + V'xfy (4) The resulting multilevel model can be estimated in several different ways (Boyd and Iversen 1979; Alwin 1976; also Iversen 1991), but, most important for present purposes, notice what the model demands in terms of evidence. Not only are observations on individuals required, but also observations on the aggregates of which they are a part. The important point of this exercise is that contextual theories of politics grant no particular epistemological status to the ecological fallacy.

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