Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Model Citizen

Some of the network literature that Granovetter cites argues that individuals with a rich assortment of weak ties are likely to be more politically sophisticated than those in close-knit networks who are relatively unexposed to outside points of view and influences. This is an interesting counterargument to the classic two-step flow argument by Lazersfeld and Katz re: the key role of influential people--that is people within a network of strong ties--in shaping the opinions of others. So maybe the question is not whether you listen to someone inside or outside your group, but the quality of the information you're responding to.

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