How Partisan Media Polarize America

Paperback | September 3, 2013

byMatthew Levendusky

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Forty years ago, viewers who wanted to watch the news could only choose from among the major broadcast networks, all of which presented the same news without any particular point of view. Today we have a much broader array of choices, including cable channels offering a partisan take. With partisan programs gaining in popularity, some argue that they are polarizing American politics, while others counter that only a tiny portion of the population watches such programs and that their viewers tend to already hold similar beliefs.
           
In How Partisan Media Polarize America, Matthew Levendusky confirms—but also qualifies—both of these claims. Drawing on experiments and survey data, he shows that Americans who watch partisan programming do become more certain of their beliefs and less willing to weigh the merits of opposing views or to compromise. And while only a small segment of the American population watches partisan media programs, those who do tend to be more politically engaged, and their effects on national politics are therefore far-reaching.
           
In a time when politics seem doomed to partisan discord, How Partisan Media Polarize America offers a much-needed clarification of the role partisan media might play.

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Forty years ago, viewers who wanted to watch the news could only choose from among the major broadcast networks, all of which presented the same news without any particular point of view. Today we have a much broader array of choices, including cable channels offering a partisan take. With partisan programs gaining in popularity, some ...

Matthew Levendusky is assistant professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of The Partisan Sort: How Liberals Became Democrats and Conservatives Became Republicans, also published by the University of Chicago Press. He lives in Philadelphia.

other books by Matthew Levendusky

Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:September 3, 2013Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022606901X

ISBN - 13:9780226069012

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Chapter 1. The New Partisan Media Environment
Chapter 2. What Do Partisan Media Actually Say?
Chapter 3. Why Do Partisan Media Affect Viewers?
Chapter 4. Can Partisan Media Polarize?
                        Appendix
Chapter 5. Do Partisan Media Make Viewers Dislike and Distrust the Opposition?
                        Appendix
Chapter 6. Partisan Media’s Electoral Effects
                        Appendix
Chapter 7. How Partisan Media Matters for America
Data Appendix
Notes
References

Editorial Reviews

“Levendusky argues that the combination of partisan political news and the modern twenty-four-hour news cycle has fundamentally changed the relationship between media, governance, and society. . . . This book is of interest to political scientists and scholars of both media and culture. Its focus on presenting the results of a multimethod research project makes it a useful resource.”