Networks, context, and the use of spatially weighted survey metrics Article

Makse, T, Minkoff, SL, Sokhey, AE. (2014). Networks, context, and the use of spatially weighted survey metrics . POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY, 42 79-91. 10.1016/j.polgeo.2014.07.003

cited authors

  • Makse, T; Minkoff, SL; Sokhey, AE



  • Social context is a vitally important concept to political geographers, but one that suffers from measurement problems and ambiguities of definition, particularly at the most localized levels of measurement. In this paper, we argue that unique insights about context can be gained by combining the tools of survey research with the geographic tools of spatial analysis. By spatially interpolating indicators of neighborhood-level political discussion from egocentric network batteries, we capture meaningful variation in micro-level political environments. Focusing on three activist-driven measures of the political environment, we demonstrate that these measures pass key validity tests and improve model fit compared to unit-invariant measures of social context. We conclude by discussing the practical considerations and challenges associated with this measurement strategy and discuss other, more general dimensions of social context that might be captured utilizing this methodology. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

publication date

  • January 1, 2014

published in

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 79

end page

  • 91


  • 42