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Cultural Scenes and Voting Patterns in Canada

  • Daniel Silver (a1) and Diana Miller (a1)


Extending recent social science work using the concept of “scene” into politics, this paper investigates connections between cultural variation and political variation across Canadian localities. First, we introduce the notion of “scene.” Then, using a national database of local amenities (with some 1800 categories and 1.6 million data points), we show that key dimensions of cultural meaning account for significant differences in voting patterns in recent Canadian elections. In particular, electoral districts with scenes that suggest themes of self-expression are associated with support for left-leaning parties, while scenes that support locality and corporateness are associated with the right. We conclude with suggestions for pursuing hypotheses about potential mechanisms driving these associations.

Dans le but de prolonger les études en sciences sociales qui examinent l'utilisation de la notion de «scène » dans la sphère politique, nous étudions les liens entre la variation culturelle et la variation politique dans les localités canadiennes. Nous commençons par définir la notion de «scène». Nous poursuivons en utilisant une base de données nationale d'équipements (contenant environ 1800 catégories et 1,6 millions points de données) pour démontrer que les éléments culturellement significatifs des circonscriptions électorales expliquent les différences significatives notées dans les habitudes de vote aux élections canadiennes récentes. En particulier, nous observons que les circonscriptions électorales avec des scènes qui évoquent les thèmes de l'expression de soi sont associées avec le soutien de partis de gauche, tandis que les scènes qui soutiennent la localité et image de marque sont associées à des partis de droite. Nous terminons avec quelques suggestions qui permettraient d'approfondir les hypothèses concernant les mécanismes potentiels qui sous-tendent ces associations.


Corresponding author

Department of Sociology, University of Toronto, 725 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 2J4, Email:
Department of Sociology, University of Toronto, 725 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 2J4, Email:


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Cultural Scenes and Voting Patterns in Canada

  • Daniel Silver (a1) and Diana Miller (a1)


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