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Framing Public Discussion of Gay Civil Unions
Unformatted Document Text:  Framing Public Discussion 10 These two basic propositions need to be elaborated, however, in view of the variable degrees of resonance each frame will enjoy with different citizens. Specifically, we expect the following as a function of the ideological makeup of the groups: H3: Homogeneously conservative groups will generate discourses that are more negative, in their opinionated statements and arguments, than those generated by homogeneously liberal groups. Heterogeneous groups will generate the most balanced discussions. H4: Homogeneously conservative groups will prove most receptive to the “homosexual marriage” and “special rights” frame, while homogeneously liberal groups will prove most receptive to the “civil unions” and “equal rights” frame. Method Data come from the Electronic Dialogue 2000 project, a year-long panel project conducted during the 2000 U.S. presidential election. The project involved a multi-wave, multi- group panel design, lasting roughly one year. All data gathering was conducted over the World Wide Web. The core of project consisted of sixty groups of citizens who engaged in a series of monthly, real-time electronic discussions about issues facing the country and the unfolding presidential campaign. Participants The project did not rely upon a convenience sample of Internet users, as is common in Web-based studies. Respondents instead came from a random sample of American citizens age 18 and older drawn from a nationally representative panel of survey respondents maintained by Knowledge Networks, Inc. of Menlo Park, California. The Knowledge Networks panel includes a large number of households (in the tens of thousands) that have been selected through RDD (random digit dialing) and agreed to accept free WebTV equipment and service in exchange for completing periodic surveys on line. Details of the sampling are presented in the Appendix.

Authors: Price, Vincent., Nir, Lilach. and Cappella, Joseph.
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Framing Public Discussion
10
These two basic propositions need to be elaborated, however, in view of the variable degrees
of resonance each frame will enjoy with different citizens. Specifically, we expect the following
as a function of the ideological makeup of the groups:
H3: Homogeneously conservative groups will generate discourses that are more negative, in
their opinionated statements and arguments, than those generated by homogeneously
liberal groups. Heterogeneous groups will generate the most balanced discussions.

H4: Homogeneously conservative groups will prove most receptive to the “homosexual
marriage” and “special rights” frame, while homogeneously liberal groups will prove
most receptive to the “civil unions” and “equal rights” frame.
Method
Data come from the Electronic Dialogue 2000 project, a year-long panel project
conducted during the 2000 U.S. presidential election. The project involved a multi-wave, multi-
group panel design, lasting roughly one year. All data gathering was conducted over the World
Wide Web. The core of project consisted of sixty groups of citizens who engaged in a series of
monthly, real-time electronic discussions about issues facing the country and the unfolding
presidential campaign.
Participants
The project did not rely upon a convenience sample of Internet users, as is common in
Web-based studies. Respondents instead came from a random sample of American citizens age
18 and older drawn from a nationally representative panel of survey respondents maintained by
Knowledge Networks, Inc. of Menlo Park, California. The Knowledge Networks panel includes
a large number of households (in the tens of thousands) that have been selected through RDD
(random digit dialing) and agreed to accept free WebTV equipment and service in exchange for
completing periodic surveys on line. Details of the sampling are presented in the Appendix.


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