Paolo Parigi. Strange Bedfellows: Informal Relationships and Political Preference Formation within Boardinghouses, 1825-1841

Monday, November 9, 2015 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall

November 9, 2015, 2:00-3:00pm Barrows, 402

Strange Bedfellows: Informal Relationships and Political Preference Formation Within Boardinghouses, 1825-1841

We present a dynamic view of how institutions external to the boundaries of the state foster informal relationships that impact the voting preferences ofnd Party system in America—when Congressmen lived together in boardinghouses that they chose independently of preexisting political preferences. We find that common residency muted the effect of partisanship while reinforcing the North-South divide, and that this effect was strongest during the period of most acute polarization. This finding sheds light on the interaction between state and non-state institutions and their differential impact on the political process. It also suggests a cause of current high levels of political polarization: the lack of time congressmen spend together informally.
Paolo Parigi is the associate director of computational social science at IRiSS and an assistant professor of Sociology at Stanford University. Paolo is a network scholar interested in understanding the tension between change, a fundamental part of individual life, and stability, a fundamental aspect of the social structures individuals build with their interactions. In his work, Paolo has explored this tension with projects that use both historical and contemporary cases.  
He is the author of The Rationalization of Miracles (Cambridge University Press 2012). Paolo's articles have been published in American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Social Networks, Social Science History among others.