Date of this Version
American Political Science Review
Exposure to conflicting political viewpoints is widely assumed to benefit the citizens of a democratic polity. Nonetheless, the benefits of exposure to heterogeneous political viewpoints have yet to be demonstrated empirically. Drawing on national survey data that tap characteristics of people's political discussion networks, I examine the impact of heterogeneous networks of political discussion on individuals' awareness of legitimate rationales for oppositional viewpoints, on their awareness of rationales for their own viewpoints, and on levels of political tolerance. Finally, utilizing a laboratory experiment manipulating exposure to dissonant and consonant political views, I further substantiate the causal role of cross-cutting exposure in fostering political tolerance.
Copyright © 2002 by the American Political Science Association. Online at Cambridge Journals Online.
Mutz, D. C. (2002). Cross-Cutting Social Networks: Testing Democratic Theory in Practice. American Political Science Review, 96 (1), 111-126. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0003055402004264
Date Posted: 10 June 2008
This document has been peer reviewed.