“Blood Is Thicker Than Water”: Interpersonal Influence, Selection, and the Role of Family in Forging Italians’ Political Agreement

Moreno Mancosu, Cristiano Vezzoni


Mechanisms that are known to forge political agreement include interpersonal influence—the process by which people change their ideas according to others’ attitudes—and selection—people’s choice of their discussants according to their discussants’ preferences. Using data obtained from a longitudinal survey, we test how these two processes contribute to changing vote choices or discussants around the 2014 European elections in Italy. Results partly confirm findings from the previous literature, showing influence and selection effects. Moreover, it is suggested that the family contributes crucially in stimulating strategies that result in political agreement. Propensities to maintain agreeable discussants over time and to change voting choice are boosted by exposure to family members.


social influence, homophily, social networks, electoral behavior, Italy

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