Mutz’ forsøger med bogen at undersøge dilemmaet mellem på den ene side at ”høre den anden side”, altså være deliberativ, og så at deltage i demokratiet (”participation”). Dette dilemma beskrives på side 125:
Political diversity poses a disturbing dilemma for images of the ideal citizen. There is a tendency to see the model citizen as a neat package of characteristics that all fit comfortable together into a single composit portrait. The problem is that for some very logical reasons these characteristics do not cohere. We want the democratic citizen to be enthusiastically politically active and strongly partisan, yet not to be surrounded by like-minded others.
Analytisk undersøger hun gennem en række datasæt ”the extent of cross-cutting exposure”, som værende indikator for deliberation.
Hvad undersøgelsen viser (side 3):
But based on my findings, it is doubtful that an extremely activist political culture can also be a heavily deliberative one. The best social environment for cultivating political activism is one in which people are surrounded by those who agree with them, people who will reinforce the sense that their own political views are the only right and proper way to proceed. Like-minded people can spur one another on to collective action and promote the kind of passion and enthusiasm that are central to motivating political participation.
Den ideale samtalesituation (side 7):
Habermas’s “ideal speech situation” incorporates the assumption that exposure to dissimilar views will benefit the inhabitants of a public sphere by encouraging greater deliberation and reflection.
Den politiske uenighed reduceres, når at intimiteten i relationerne stiger (side 26):
When one examines the individual respondent-discussant relationship involved in political talk, one can see that the extent of political disagreement in a relationship steadily decreases as the intimacy of the relationship increases. As shown in the line marked by diamonds in Figure 2.1, it is those relationships characterized as “mere acquaintances”, rather than as friends, that are most likely to involve political disagreement.
Arbejdspladsen og cross-cutting political conversations (side 29):
Of the various social contexts identified, the workplace appears most promising as a site for cross-cutting political conversations.
Jo mere viden om politik og interesse man har i samme, desto mere dominerer ligesindede holdninger over divergerende holdninger (side 32):
those most knowledgeable about and interested in politics are not the people most exposed to oppositional political viewpoints. The dominance of like-minded over oppositional voices increases as political knowledge increases.
Those who are highly politically involved are not as likely to expose themselves to cross-cutting political perspectives.
Those who consider themselves liberals or conservative and those who self-identify as partisans on either end of the spectrum are less likely to be exposed to cruss-cutting political communication.
Muligheden for selv at vælge og styrke sin identitet (side 44):
Selective exposure is likely to account for the fact that the networks of highly partisan and politically active people are more dominated by like-minded discussants. Politics is important to their lives and identifies, thus their friends are likely to be chosen at least in part on basis of this dimension of similarity. People who deem politics a relatively minor aspects of their lives and identities are less likely to take this dimension of similarity into account.
Om udsættelsen for andre politiske holdninger og at stemme (side 112):
Having friends and associates of opposing political views makes it less likely that a person will vote. This relationship is particularly pronounced for nonvoting in congressional elections, although it also applies to nonvoting in the presidential context. The greater the cross-cutting exposure in the person’s network, the more likely he or she is to abstain from voting.
Mutz, Diana C. (2006). Hearing the Other Side – Deliberative versus Participatory Democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press.