The Two-Step Flow and Opinion Leaders with Nick Switalski
Season: 1 Episode: 4
Nick is a long-time campaigner and former Hill staffer. He and Elizabeth talk about opinion leaders and the two-step flow hypothesis. In theory these opinion leaders use social pressure and social support to influence their friends and family but Nick argues that kind of influence just isn't that useful in most federal campaigns. Additional Resources:
Academic journal article by Katz (he and Lazarsfeld first developed the idea): Two-Step Flow of Communication: An Up-to-Date Report on an Hypothesis. The article is from 1957, so it was up-to-date at some point.
Academic journal article by Dubois (yes, as in host Elizabeth Dubois) and Gaffney: The Multiple Facets of Influence: Identifying Political Influentials and Opinion Leaders on Twitter. Pages 1261-1264 are especially relevant. They distinguish between so-called "influentials," popular accounts, and others online who are some times called opinion leaders and those people who are more locally influential which, they say, is closer to what Katz and Lazarsfeld described as an opinion leader.
Academic journal article by Bennett and Manheim: The One-Step Flow of Communication. In the episode Elizabeth mentions the theory developed here.