Social and Political Polarization

Social and Political Polarization


We’re studying social and political polarization using survey data. Responses to questions such as “How many people do you know named Kevin?” allow us to estimate social network size and see how it varies in the population. Overdispersion in responses to questions such as “How many people do you know in prison?” allow us to estimate social structure. We are also studying whether Republicans like Democrats more than Democrats like Republicans, and the extent to which people’ social networks are segregated by ethnicity, religion, and political attitudes.




Results from “How Many People Do You Know in Prison?”

Estimated personal network size (degree) along with demographic information. Thanks to Peter Killworth and Chris McCarty for providing us the original data on which this analysis was based.


National Science Foundation grant: Using “How many X’s do you know” surveys to study social and political polarization, NSF SES-0532231.09/01/05 – 08/31/08