How feeling free to talk affects ordinary political conversation, purposeful argumentation, and civic participation

Robert O. Wyatt, Joohan Kim, Elihu Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)


Scholars have examined how specific opinion climates affect political discourse, but little attention has been given to how perceived freedom to talk in general is related to congenial political conversation in ordinary spaces or willingness to argue with an opponent - or how each mode of talk affects civic participation. Respondents in a nationwide survey felt free to talk about politics. Freedom to talk, issue-specific news, and newspaper use were most strongly related to ordinary political conversation. With argumentation, issue-specific news, issue-specific talk, and local opinion climate dominated. Ordinary political conversation was significantly related to conventional participation; argumentation was not.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-114
Number of pages16
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Quaterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Jan 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication

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