Political Behavior

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 189–213 | Cite as

The Displaying of Yard Signs as a Form of Political Participation

Original Paper

Abstract

Despite the ubiquity of yard signs, little is known about how and why individuals display them. Using two original studies of the 2008 presidential race, along with American National Election Study data, we address three points pertaining to this understudied form of political participation. First, what are the correlates of the individuals and households that display signs? Second, what motivates such displays, and to what extent do those motives reflect expressive and communicative desires? Finally, how do individuals obtain signs, and do individuals—rather than parties or candidates—play a role in spreading signs throughout neighborhoods? Our findings suggest that the dissemination of yard signs is not merely a top–down process driven by campaign professionals, but a genuine participatory act that is fueled by individual initiative and social networking.

Keywords

Political participation Presidential elections Campaigns Yard signs Motivations Neighborhoods Social networks 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Susquehanna UniversitySelinsgroveUSA
  2. 2.The University of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA

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