If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Journal Article

Have American's Social Attitudes Become More Polarized?

Paul DiMaggio, John Evans and Bethany Bryson
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 102, No. 3 (Nov., 1996), pp. 690-755
https://www.jstor.org/stable/2782461
Page Count: 66
Were these topics helpful?

Select the topics that are inaccurate.

  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($14.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Your search terms occurs one time in this item.
Have American's Social Attitudes Become More Polarized?
Preview not available

Abstract

Many observers have asserted with little evidence that Americans' social opinions have become polarized. Using General Social Survey and National Election Survey social attitude items that have been repeated regularly over 20 years, the authors ask (1) Have Americans' opinions become more dispersed (higher variance)? (2) Have distributions become flatter or more bimodal (declining kurtosis)? (3) Have opinions become more ideologically constrained within and across opinion domains? (4) Have paired social groups become more different in their opinions? The authors find little evidence of polarization over the past two decades, with attitudes toward abortion and opinion differences between Republican and Democratic party identifiers the exceptional cases.