What is it about?

Research on opinion polarization in the United States repeatedly finds more divergence among politically privileged groups: respondents who are college educated, politically interested, identified with a political party, or profess liberal/conservative views. This study demonstrates that their excluded counterparts can be polarized by exposure to small amounts of political information on the internet, suggesting that theories based on framing or cultural repertoires may be more useful than totalizing ideologies for understanding opinion polarization in the internet age.

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Why is it important?

Polarization between Democrats and Conservatives is well-documented, but what about the moderates?


The opinion of Independents, moderates, those less-interested in politics, and with less education is important for understanding growth in political polarization. Engagement with the political sphere is also a social justice issues for these groups.

Bethany P Bryson
James Madison University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Polarizing the middle: internet exposure and public opinion, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, December 2019, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/ijssp-09-2019-0181.
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