What Makes a Good Neighbor? Race, Place, and Norms of Political Participation

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Authors Allison P. Anoll
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Social norms are thought to motivate behaviors like political participation, but context should influence both the content and activation of these norms. I show that both race and neighborhood context moderate the social value of political participation in the United States. Using original survey data and a survey experiment, I find that Whites, Blacks, and Latinos not only conceptualize participation differently, but also asymmetrically reward those who are politically active, with minority Americans often providing more social incentives for participation than Whites. I combine this survey data with geographic demography from the American Community Survey and find that neighborhood characteristics outpace individual-level indicators in predicting the social value of political participation. The findings suggest that scholars of political behavior should consider race, place, and social norms when seeking to understand participation in an increasingly diverse America.
Date of publication 2018
Code Programming Language R

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