Talking about Politics Informal Groups and Social Identity in American Life
by Katherine Cramer Walsh
University of Chicago Press, 2003
Cloth: 978-0-226-87218-6 | Paper: 978-0-226-87220-9 | Electronic: 978-0-226-87221-6
ABOUT THIS BOOKAUTHOR BIOGRAPHYTABLE OF CONTENTS

ABOUT THIS BOOK

Whether at parties, around the dinner table, or at the office, people talk about politics all the time. Yet while such conversations are a common part of everyday life, political scientists know very little about how they actually work. In Talking about Politics, Katherine Cramer Walsh provides an innovative, intimate study of how ordinary people use informal group discussions to make sense of politics.

Walsh examines how people rely on social identities—their ideas of who "we" are—to come to terms with current events. In Talking about Politics, she shows how political conversation, friendship, and identity evolve together, creating stronger communities and stronger social ties. Political scientists, sociologists, and anyone interested in how politics really works need to read this book.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Katherine Cramer Walsh is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

TABLE OF CONTENTS

List of Tables and Figures

List of Appendixes

Acknowledgments

1. Introduction: The Public’s Part of Public Discussion

2. The Role of Identity-Based Perspectives in Making Sense of Politics

3. The Social Practice of Informal Political Talk

4. Clarifying Social Identity through Group Interaction

5. Talking Politics in a Context of Understanding

6. Public Discussion of the Daily News

7. The Data Are Not Given: Perspectives, Political Trust, and the 2000 Elections

8. Social Interaction, Political Divides

Appendixes

Notes

Bibliography

Index