Which Contexts Count? A Multilevel Approach to the Analysis of the Social Ecology of Voting in New York City 2013

Annette Jacoby, Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY)
John Mollenkopf, City University of New York (CUNY)

In a multilevel analysis that goes beyond the conventional hierarchical models, we will look at the relationship between voting behavior and neighborhood characteristics such as neighborhood diversity level, racial composition and contextual socio-economic status in relation to individual attributes of residents such as race and age (New York City voter registration file for 2013). In addition, we will also study neighboring activity spaces—i.e., the actual spatial and social exposures people experience in their daily routines— and their influence on behavioral voting patterns. Conventional theories of neighborhood effects on voting behavior have largely neglected routine exposures to local settings – i.e., specific locations, organizations, and institutions. Considering the intersection of individuals and actual behavior settings through use of so-called “activity spaces” may provide us with more insight into the processes by which exposure to neighborhood contexts shape the way people participate politically instead of simply relying on pre-assembled neighborhood boundaries.

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 Presented in Session P2. Data and Methods/Applied Demography/ Spatial Demography/ Demography of Crime