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Shaping the Same Sex Marriage Discussion: Mass Media, Government Action, Social Demographic Factors, and Public Opinion in the 50 States

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Abstract:

Erikson, Wright and McIver (1993) argue that public opinion in the states reflects the demographic characteristics of their residents. But they do not address the possibility that opinion may be shaped by other actors, including the mass media. Using a measure of media support (or opposition) to same-sex marriage in key newspapers in 8 states over the period from 1990 through 2004, we seek to explain the relative influence of mass media on the divergent and changing public opinion found in each state on the issue of same-sex marriage. We use a cross-sectional time series regression model as one means to consider the direction of influence of media coverage, as well as social demographic factors and the religious configurations of the state, on public opinion in each state. We find that the position of the print media, as indicated by editorials and op-ed columns, have a significant effect on the level of public support for lesbian and gay rights, even after taking into account social demographic factors and the religious configuration of the state. Moreover, it appears that print media shaped public opinion rather than was shaped by it as evidence shows that the dominant newspapers in the 8 states were much more supportive of same sex marriage and gay rights than the public. And, public support can be seen to have moved in the direction of newspaper opinion over time.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

state (199), marriag (133), opinion (128), public (126), sex (121), gay (95), support (90), media (74), lesbian (69), right (68), newspap (55), time (44), editori (44), 2004 (41), may (38), column (36), 8 (36), posit (34), nation (33), polit (33), issu (31),

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public opinion, media, gay rights, states
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Name: American Political Science Association
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MLA Citation:

Chomsky, Daniel. and Barclay, Scott. "Shaping the Same Sex Marriage Discussion: Mass Media, Government Action, Social Demographic Factors, and Public Opinion in the 50 States" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Marriott, Loews Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA, Aug 31, 2006 <Not Available>. 2013-12-16 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p152467_index.html>

APA Citation:

Chomsky, D. and Barclay, S. , 2006-08-31 "Shaping the Same Sex Marriage Discussion: Mass Media, Government Action, Social Demographic Factors, and Public Opinion in the 50 States" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Marriott, Loews Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2013-12-16 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p152467_index.html

Publication Type: Proceeding
Abstract: Erikson, Wright and McIver (1993) argue that public opinion in the states reflects the demographic characteristics of their residents. But they do not address the possibility that opinion may be shaped by other actors, including the mass media. Using a measure of media support (or opposition) to same-sex marriage in key newspapers in 8 states over the period from 1990 through 2004, we seek to explain the relative influence of mass media on the divergent and changing public opinion found in each state on the issue of same-sex marriage. We use a cross-sectional time series regression model as one means to consider the direction of influence of media coverage, as well as social demographic factors and the religious configurations of the state, on public opinion in each state. We find that the position of the print media, as indicated by editorials and op-ed columns, have a significant effect on the level of public support for lesbian and gay rights, even after taking into account social demographic factors and the religious configuration of the state. Moreover, it appears that print media shaped public opinion rather than was shaped by it as evidence shows that the dominant newspapers in the 8 states were much more supportive of same sex marriage and gay rights than the public. And, public support can be seen to have moved in the direction of newspaper opinion over time.

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Document Type: application/pdf
Page count: 41
Word count: 10154
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Shaping the Same Sex Marriage Discussion: Mass Media Government Action Social Demographic Factors and Public Opinion in the States Daniel Chomsky & Scott Barclay 2006 Annual Meeting American Political Science Association Philadelphia PA August 30 - September 3 2006 Copyright by the American Political Science Association Daniel Chomsky Scott Barclay Department of Political Science Department of Political Science Temple University University at Albany: SUNY Gladfelter Hall Room 409 Milne Hall 203 1115 West Berks Street 135 Western Avenue Philadelphia
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