Deliberative democracy can be defined as a political system based on citizens' free discussion of public issues. While most scholars have discussed deliberative democracy normatively, this study attempts to test the validity of a model of deliberative democracy through examining the interrelationships among its four components: newsmedia use, political conversation, opinion formation, and political participation. Sufficient empirical evidence was found to support the hypotheses that (a) news-media use is closely associated with the frequency of political conversation in daily life both at general and issue-specific levels; (b) willingness to argue with those who have different opinions is influenced by majority perceptions and by news-media use and political talk; (c) news-media use and political conversation have positive effects on certain measures of the quality of opinions (argument quality, consideredness, and opinionation) and perhaps on opinion consistency; and (d) news-media use and political conversation are closely associated also with participatory activities, but more so with "campaigning" than "complaining."
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
A portion of this article was presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Montreal, May 1997. Funding for this study was provided by Middle Tennessee State University’sJ hnoSeigenthalter Chair of First Amendment Studies and Office of Communication Research and by the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science