Back to the CSISS Home Page.

Table of Contents  |  Background & Objective  |  Contributors  

Spatially Integrated Social Science: Chapter 10
< Chapter 9 - Chapter 11 >

The Spatial Structure of Urban Political Discussion Networks
Munroe Eagles, Paul Bélanger, and Hugh W. Calkins

Social network analyses have increased in popularity in recent years, partly because the snowball sampling technique they employ "liberated" scholars from their reliance on geographically constrained research designs in their investigations of interpersonal influence on political behavior. While refreshingly sociological in their approach, such innovations in survey research have ironically further contributed to the intellectual devaluation of space in quantitative analyses of political behavior. In this chapter, we take up the challenge of bringing geography back in to the analysis of sociometric data. Using a truncated snowball sample survey of South Bend, Indiana residents in which we have geocoded respondents, we show that there are identifiable patterns in the geographic structure of urban political discussion networks, as measured by the distance separating discussion partners ("dyad distance"). Specifically, dyad distance is shown to vary as a function of the main respondent's education, age, income, race, the intimacy of the relationship, and the setting in which discussion partners met. However, the distance separating discussion partners does not appear to significantly enhance the transmission of political influence, net of other factors.


Figure 10.1

Figure 10.2


Core Programs | Learning Resources | Spatial Resources | Spatial Tools | Search Engines | CSISS Events | Community Center | About CSISS
Site Map | Contact CSISS | Plug-ins | Privacy Policy | Site Credits | Home

Copyright © 2002-2019 by Regents of University of California, Santa Barbara