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Persuasive PeersSocial Communication and Voting in Latin America$
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Andy Baker, Barry Ames, and Lúcio Rennó

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691205779

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691205779.001.0001

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Neighborhoods and Cities as Arenas of Social Influence

Neighborhoods and Cities as Arenas of Social Influence

(p.129) 5 Neighborhoods and Cities as Arenas of Social Influence
Persuasive Peers

Andy Baker

Barry Ames

Lúcio Rennó

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the relationship between political discussion and the geography of the vote. Social influences induce many citizens to cast votes that differ from the ones they would have cast if they lived elsewhere. The chapter considers neighborhood effects on vote choice in two Brazilian cities. Nearly two-thirds of discussion partners in the two cities are residents of the same neighborhood. Neighborhoods with a stable and relatively homogeneous partisan leaning assimilate, over the course of a campaign, initially disagreeing residents toward that leaning. The chapter then shows that this effect occurs through discussion between neighborhood coresidents in the politically polarized city of Caxias do Sul. In other words, the clustering of political preferences by neighborhood in Caxias is partly due to social influences and not, as in the case of the United States, mere self-sorting . By contrast, the same level of political discussion in Juiz de Fora, a less polarized city where the partisan leanings of neighborhoods are amorphous, yields no assimilation effect.

Keywords:   political discussion, social influences, vote choice, neighborhoods, discussion partners, neighborhood coresidents, Caxias do Sul, political preferences, Juiz de Fora, partisan leanings

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