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From the Public Square to Echo Chambers

Lecture Outline: 

Why We Still Can't Be Friends: The Digital Construction of Echo Chambers

1)Everybody Votes

Voting Rights Act, 1965

Its impact on the Democratic Party

2)Ideological and Sectional Alignment

For the first time since the New Deal coalition was formed, ideology and party align and are consistent with georgraphic support of the parties

So, what do the parties stand for and who are their most loyal voters?

Beliefs of Republican loyalists

Key Republican constituencies

F You Boys

Beliefs of Democratic loyalists

African Americans

Super Educated women

In recent years, religion has become aligned with partisan preference

The great sorting out has aligned ideology, section and partisanship

3) Candidates know a lot more about the voters

4) Creation of Echo Chambers that reinforce partisan divisions


This cuts against the theme of fracture

like media consolidation and global organizaitons, strong partisan identification has aggregated, not fractured.

has made the parties stand for something substantive and delineate their differences

  • Why Can't we be Friends?  The Partisan Divide
  • Why we Still Can't be Friends: The Digital Construction of Echo Chambers


  • What echo chamber do YOU belong to?  Describe the ideological contours of this echo chamber, the news and advertising outlets that fuel it and the ways that it has shaped your views of a specific political issue.  If you believe that you have been able to avoid living in an echo chamber, explain how you have accomplished this.