Yanna Krupknikov (Stony Brook University)
Beyond interest: how Americans view political socialization
You can learn more about Professor Krupknikov by clicking here.
Where and When: Friday, October 4, 2019 at 3:00pm. Room C-6070-9, Pavillon Lionel-Groulx, Université de Montréal.
Abstract: While there is a great deal of focus on the partisan divide in American politics, we identify a divide that is often overlooked: the divide between those for whom politics has a central role in their lives and those who dislike politics. We argue that this divide leads to more profound differences in the electorate than partisanship. We develop a new measure which allows us to move beyond interest and to capture the extent to which following politics is a way of life. This measure, we demonstrate, is a better predictor of affective polarization than partisan strength or ideological extremity. We apply our measure of “politics as life” to studies of political socialization. Relying on experiments and survey data, we demonstrate that the extent to which people perceive politics as a way of life has profound effects on their beliefs about whether children should be taught to be politically active. We also show that while most people do not believe that politics should play a role in their child’s choice of a marriage partner, people high on our measure are more likely to oppose inter-party marriage. Our work suggests that while a (vocal) minority of Americans does believe in the primacy of politics, a majority is repelled by the idea that politics should be important to them. To capture these dynamics, however, one must look beyond partisanship and consider people’s perceptions of politics beyond interest.
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This series is sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship, which is funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC).