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The European Journal of Communication Research

Ed. by Averbeck-Lietz, Stefanie / d'Haenens, Leen

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Like-minded and cross-cutting talk, network characteristics, and political participation online and offline: A panel study

Jörg Matthes / Franziska Marquart / Christian von Sikorski
Published Online: 2020-02-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2020-2080


We test the role of like-minded and cross-cutting political discussion as a facilitator of online and offline political participation and examine the role of strong versus weak network ties. Most prior research on the topic has employed cross-sectional designs that may lead to spurious relationships due to the lack of controlled variables. The findings of a two-wave panel survey controlling the autoregressive effects suggest that cross-cutting talk with weak ties significantly dampens online but not offline political participation. However, no such effects were detectable for cross-cutting talk with strong ties. In addition, we found no effect of discussions involving like-minded individuals in either weak or strong network connections on online and offline forms of political engagement. Implications are discussed.

Keywords: disagreement; like-minded and cross-cutting political discussion; political participation


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About the article

Published Online: 2020-02-07

Citation Information: Communications, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2020-2080.

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