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Discussion Group Composition and Deliberation Experience

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 January 2017

Nathanael Gratias Sumaktoyo
Affiliation:
University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA; e-mail: www.nathanaelmu.com
David W. Nickerson
Affiliation:
Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA; e-mail: david.w.nickerson@gmail.com
Michael J. Keane
Affiliation:
Institutional Research, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA, USA; e-mail: michael.keane@lmu.edu

Abstract

In order to encouragee broad participation in deliberative forums, it is important to understand how people from politically less powerful groups perceive the deliberative experience and how discussion group composition affects their experiences. Using data from 27 deliberative polls from 2004, we examine how four individual characteristics (sex, age, race, and education) and randomly assigned small group composition predict participants’ attitudes about the deliberative experience. We find evidence that women, young people, non-whites, and those without college degree generally evaluate the experience positively, but find no evidence for the argument that including more people from these groups would lead to more positive deliberation experience for participants from the groups. That is, there is no interaction between minority status and group composition in predicting participants’ evaluation of the deliberation process.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Experimental Research Section of the American Political Science Association 2017 

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