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The Casualty GapThe Causes and Consequences of American Wartime Inequalities$
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Douglas Kriner and Francis Shen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195390964

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195390964.001.0001

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How Local Casualties Shape Politics

How Local Casualties Shape Politics

(p.109) 5 How Local Casualties Shape Politics
The Casualty Gap

Douglas L. Kriner (Contributor Webpage)

Francis X. Shen (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The death of a soldier can affect an entire community. Friends and neighbors, politicians and community leaders, and even just readers of the local newspaper join in the grieving, mourning, and healing. This chapter seeks to understand the mechanisms through which local casualties can have these community-wide effects. Specifically, it focuses on three possibilities. The casualty rate suffered by each American's local community can affect (1) one's sense of personal contact with fallen soldiers; (2) the type of elite cues one receives; and (3) the scope and tenor of war coverage one sees in the local media. It is argued that through each of these mechanisms, the casualty gap can create politically salient cleavages in Americans' wartime opinions and behaviors, and these in turn can fundamentally influence the course of politics and policy.

Keywords:   war casualties, fallen soldiers, American soldiers, community effects

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