SOC 4320

SOC 4320

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2019-2020.

Is there a "culture war for the soul of Amerca"? This seminar will explore the definition, types, causes, dynamics, diffusion, and consequences of partisan cultural alignment. Readings will include theoretical models and empirical studies of opinion cascades, identity politics, motivated reasoning, network homophily, echo chambers, filter bubbles, social contagion, conformity, and cultural cognition. What is polarization? Is it the disappearance of a consensual middle ground or the tendency for substantively unrelated opinions to become correlated? Did polarization emerge from the top down, beginning with political and cultural elites, or from the bottom up, through the self-reinforcing dynamics of network homophily and peer influence? Do social media and cable news contribute to polarization or merely reflect it? Can polarization be reversed, and if not, what are the implications for democratic institutions?

When Offered Spring.

Distribution Category (SBA-AS)

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Enrollment Information
Syllabi: none
  •   Regular Academic Session. 

  • 4 Credits Graded

  • 17267SOC 4320  SEM 101