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Would You Like to Know More? Selection, Socialization, and the Political Attitudes of Military Veterans

26 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2016  

Tyson Chatagnier

University of Houston - Department of Political Science

Jonathan Klingler

Vanderbilt University

Date Written: November 28, 2016

Abstract

Although research during the Vietnam era suggested that the political attitudes of American veterans were not significantly different from those of the public at large, more recent studies argue that this may not be the case for veterans of the all-volunteer military. Thus far, however, the reason for this difference has gone unexplored: are veterans from the volunteer era different because a certain type of person is drawn to military life (selection), or are their attitudes shaped by their service (socialization)? Using new survey data on the political attitudes of Americans, and statistical techniques designed to tease out the difference between selection and socialization effects, we examine this question, assessing the extent to which the two factors play a role in this attitudinal difference. Our results have implications for political representation, civil-military relations, and the role of formative experiences in political and psychological development more generally.

Keywords: Public Opinion, Veterans, Military, Survey Research

Suggested Citation

Chatagnier, Tyson and Klingler, Jonathan, Would You Like to Know More? Selection, Socialization, and the Political Attitudes of Military Veterans (November 28, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2876839 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2876839

Tyson Chatagnier (Contact Author)

University of Houston - Department of Political Science ( email )

TX 77204-3011
United States

Jonathan Klingler

Vanderbilt University ( email )

PMB 505
230 Appleton Place
Nashville, TN 37203
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.jonathandklingler.com

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