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Controversy and Politics Divider

Alignment - How do people choose a side?

Bullet pointOccupation
  • they earn their livelihoods from the support of the technology
  • career may be tied to its viability or to the businesses that support it
  • work day is spent with friends and colleagues who are like minded.
  • eg biomedical scientists found more likely to oppose nuclear power, while physicists more likely to be favourable.

Bullet pointSpecial Interests

  • place of residence - local residents tend to oppose hazardous facilities in their neighbourhoods

Bullet pointSocial Influences

  • family and friends

Bullet pointIdeology

  • "activists embed their positions for or against a technology in a larger ideological framework of social and political beliefs, while most members of the general public do not" spaceAllan Mazur

A person's stated reason for choosing a side is usually just a rationale that may come after their support.

"An alignment, once formed, usually remains stable, though the supporting rational may change over time...In many cases one's alignment serves as an anchor point around which to interpret the various issues in the controversy, so that they may be incorporated into one's viewpoint in a consistent manner."

Allan Mazur