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ERIC Number: ED179432
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Aug
Pages: 72
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Differentiation and Integration: Two Dimensions of Political Thinking.
Neuman, W. Russell
Results of a study which measured two complementary forms of political thinking, conceptual differentiation and conceptual integration, are reported. Conceptual differentiation is a person's ability to identify individual political issues, acts, and events which compete for attention in the news media. Conceptual integration is a persons ability to synthesize individual issues and ideas into abstract terms. The study involved 137 hour-long depth interviews concerning national politics which were tape recorded and transcribed. Conclusions are that depth interview data strongly contribute to the interpretation of more routinely gathered poll data; that two-thirds of the mass electorate make only marginal use of political abstractions in their evaluation of the political system; and that there is no indication that those with lower scores on conceptual differentiation and integration are more easily manipulated by political symbols or arguments. Separate sections of the technically written paper describe ways in which people relate the conditions of their own lives to those of their fellow citizens and political authorities and discuss the measurement of conceptual differentiation and integration as related to political issues, units of government, organized political groups, general constituencies, and political figures. Later sections describe the levels of differentiation and integration to variables such as educational level. (KC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (Boston, MA, August, 1979)