Combating Modeling “at the Expense of Relevance”: Moving the Study of Political Behavior Past Large-n Survey Analysis in American Politics

  • Amy Widestrom


In this chapter, Widestrom investigates the relationship between residential economic segregation and civic and political engagement, focusing on highly segregated prosperous and impoverished communities. The chapter specifically argues for greater use of mixed-methods approaches when studying political behavior in the United States in order to move beyond large-scale surveyanalysis, which tends to dominate the field and also underrepresent the most disaffected in American political life. When she does this, the author finds that residential economic segregation affects the stability of families and communities, the social and economic assets of communities, and the mobilizing capacity of organizations within communities, all of which contribute to declining levels of civic engagement and voting in segregated, impoverished communities and higher levels of engagement and voting in segregated prosperous ones. A mixed-methods approach allows the author to highlight all the ways that civic/political participation is not just an individual act, but a communal one as well.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy Widestrom
    • 1
  1. 1.Arcadia UniversityGlensideUSA

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