Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1581132
 


 



Understanding Visible Political Participation: An Analysis of Yard Sign-Displays during the 2008 Presidential Election


Anand E. Sokhey


University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Political Science

Todd Makse


Dickinson College

Scott Minkoff


Barnard College

March 31, 2010

Western Political Science Association 2010 Annual Meeting Paper

Abstract:     
Displaying a political yard sign is a conspicuous element of the election experience but an understudied act of political participation. We argue that the study of spatial patterns in the dissemination of yard signs speaks to the debate over “context” as a cause of political participation. We ask whether evidence of such contextual effects exist, and if so, how they operate: through the micro-social environment and interpersonal communication, or the meso-social environment and impersonal information cues?

To address these questions, we utilize an original, geo-coded observational dataset of more than 25,000 households in Franklin County, Ohio from the 2008 presidential election cycle. In addition to traditional predictors of participation, we find evidence that spatial dependence exists in the distribution of yard signs at both the property level and at the Census block level, indicating that both contextual mechanisms are simultaneously important in creating the “sign wars” often observed in neighborhoods.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 46

Keywords: political participation, yard signs, context, political geography, 2008

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Date posted: March 29, 2010 ; Last revised: June 7, 2010

Suggested Citation

Sokhey, Anand E. and Makse, Todd and Minkoff, Scott, Understanding Visible Political Participation: An Analysis of Yard Sign-Displays during the 2008 Presidential Election (March 31, 2010). Western Political Science Association 2010 Annual Meeting Paper . Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1581132

Contact Information

Anand E. Sokhey (Contact Author)
University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Political Science ( email )
333 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0333
United States
Todd Makse
Dickinson College ( email )
PO Box 1773
Carlisle, PA 17013
United States
Scott Minkoff
Barnard College ( email )
3009 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States
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