The Structure of Communication Networks Matters: How Network Diversity, Centrality, and Context Influence Political Ambivalence, Participation, and Knowledge

Hyunjin Song, William P. Eveland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present study focuses on how different features of discussion networks and the contexts in which they reside are related to political ambivalence, participation, and knowledge. Using full sociometric network data derived from 25 different student activity organizations, we reveal complex implications of various facets of discussion networks and their contextual settings. Ambivalence is amplified by being highly central within a discussion network and a political minority within the group. Diversity of one’s egocentric discussion network increases participation, whereas closeness centrality was negatively correlated with participation. High levels of betweenness centrality were most positively associated with knowledge in groups that were relatively political in their orientation compared to those that were apolitical. The results support the argument that communication networks and the contextual settings in which they are situated should be more fully considered in the study of political communication effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-108
Number of pages26
JournalPolitical Communication
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 2

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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