Agreeing Not to Disagree: Iterative Versus Episodic Forms of Political Participatory Behaviors

Yangsun Hong, Hernando Rojas


People talk about politics with others who may or may not share their views. These conversations shape their understanding and engagement with politics. However, studies have resulted in a conundrum in the relationship between disagreeable discussion and participation. Some studies suggest that the relationship is likely contingent on the type of participation. In addition, considering the characteristics of one’s social networks alongside exposure to disagreement serves to extend our understanding of how communication matters for political engagement. Our results suggest that episodic forms of participation, such as voting or protesting, are not directly impacted by exposure to disagreement, whereas iterative forms, including certain forms of civic engagement and expressive behaviors, are enhanced by exposure to political disagreement, particularly among those with larger discussion networks.


political participation, political disagreement, conversation networks

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