We seem to have become partisan animals, with Republican or Democratic identification now tied to all other social identities and political attitudes. In the height of campaign seasons, Americans start to define themselves based on partisanship, changing views to reinforce their identity. Emily West finds that partisan identity is heightened as Election Day approaches and can be made more or less salient in experiments. When partisan identity is brought to the top of the mind, Republicans become more racially resentful–matching their party norm. But induced partisan identity does not explain affective polarization. We don’t seem to hate each other because partisanship is part of our identity. Ideological considerations and other factors still matter for producing and sustaining opposition to the other party and our own partisan identity. It all tends to be self-reinforcing, but there are times and interactions that can dampen the cycle. 

Guest: Emily West, Pittsburgh

Studies: “Partisanship as a Social Identity” and “The Effect of Partisan Identity on Whites’ Racial Attitudes.”


Matt Grossmann: When partisanship forms our identity, this week on the Science of Politics. For the Niskanen Center, I’m Matt Grossmann. From online shouting to in-person vitriol, we seem to have become partisan animals, with Republican or Democratic partisanship now tied to all of our other social identities and political attitudes. In the height of the campaign season, Americans start to define ourselves based on our partisan side, perhaps even changing our views to reinforce our identity. But it can be hard to distinguish between the reasons we have moved apart, and sometimes our views might lead us to choose our labels. This week, we take a deep dive into partisanship as a form of personal identity, when and how it becomes more or less salient, and its effects on our politics.

I talked to Emily West of Pittsburgh about her political psychology article with Shanto Iyengar, Partisanship as a Social Identity, as well as her new paper, The Effects of Partisan Identity on White’s Racial Attitudes. She finds that partisan identity is heightened as election day approaches and can be made more or less salient in experiments. When partisan identity is brought to the top of the mind. Republicans become more racially resentful, matching their party norm. But induced-partisan identity does not explain effective polarization. We don’t seem to hate each other because partisanship is part of our identity. So ideological considerations and other factors still matter for producing and sustaining opposition to the other party and our own partisan identity. It all tends to be self-reinforcing, but there are times and interactions that can dampen the cycle. Here’s our conversation.

As a starting point, what does it mean for partisanship to be a social identity, and are there any alternatives to that view?

Emily West: Yeah. So I think the beginning part of this answer has to be just what are identities, what are social identities, and why do scholars outside of political science, social psychologists, psychologists, why do we study them? I teach my PhD students who want to learn about social identities that you can think about it from an evolutionary biologist perspective. So there’s this rich explanation that I buy into, that is humans need groups in order to survive. So back in the day when we had to survive on very little, we primordial humans needed to be at least in small groups in order to work together. So if you take that as sort of the nation’s stage of the development of humans’ attachment to belonging to groups, I think that that’s a very powerful explanation.

And then if you fast forward to the canonical work that social psychologists and political psychologists who study identities, cite, it’s Tajfel and Turner, and their whole spiel is that humans have these identities. You can be more or less attached to different identities at different times. There’s also variance in people’s attachments at the individual level. So I may be particularly attached to my group identities, but you may be less attached to your group identities than I am. But the big takeaway then is that identities largely govern humans’ social and political behavior. I think that this point that has been made to me about my research is always well taken, that they are so explanatory that you can often take them and run in too many directions and overexplain human behavior through the lens of identities. But I still think they’re useful as long as you have that cautionary lens on.

So I think just to give an example of what I mean when I talk about fluctuations in people’s identity salience, I feel that my identity as a woman is more important to me. It’s more part of who I think of myself as. It’s part of self concept more when I sit in a room that’s mostly men because it’s brought to my attention more. So that’s just an example from my own life where one of my identities might be more or less salient throughout even a 24-hour time span.

So I think another important piece of background information is that I learned about identities through training at NYU by Kanchan Chandra. She really has this amazing edited volume about constructivist theories of ethnic identities. I think the core principles that I use from that training and my own work are twofold. First, she talks a lot about this idea of activation. So again, my woman identity is activated in certain contexts, but it’s less important and deactivated and more in the background of who I see myself as in other contexts. And I think that is important when I talk about political identities and partisan identity in my own work.

And then the other part of what I learned from her is that identities can be more or less sticky. So an identity can be something that you wear, that you can’t take off, and that the external world imposes upon you. Or an identity can be more fluid and available to you when you want to use it, and you can downplay and up play it as you see fit. So you can imagine that there’s a spectrum along that stickiness definition that you could place different identities on.

So when you talk about partisan identity with all of that in mind, I think what’s really interesting is that partisan identity shouldn’t be sticky. Right? From an objective standpoint, given that definition, you can choose your partisan identity. It’s not imposed upon you. You don’t wear it, at least not in a way that you couldn’t take it off. There are really cool studies by some grad students that I’m working with at Pitt and other institutions where they study partisan people’s proclivity to wear certain things and present themselves in certain ways that fit within the archetype of what we have in our minds a Democrat or a Republican could look like. But those are choices. You can certainly take those things away.

So ostensibly, you could highlight the importance of your partisanship when you want to and downplay it as you see fit. But it doesn’t seem, at least in my studies, that to be the case, that context is divorced from partisan identity salience. And that people, whether they want their partisanship to be top of mind and important to how they see themselves or not, they seem to respond to things like electoral context in ways that suggest that they walk around on the days around an election, leading up to and following an election, wearing their partisan identity very strongly. It’s the top of their mind.

Even when you survey them and ask them things like, “How important is being a Republican or a Democrat to how you see yourself or how you define yourself?” If you ask them those questions really close to an election, you get, “It’s really important to me.” And if you survey the same people around the holiday season about five or six weeks later, it’s much less important to them. So we do have this strong evidence. Shanto Iyengar and I have one paper that looks at this and does that resurveying around elections and after elections. I think it’s interesting to show first and foremost that partisan identity operates like other identities. It operates like race, it operates ethnicity in these ways that we maybe haven’t thought about it before.

Matt Grossmann: So I don’t think anybody doubts that partisanship is partially a social identity that operates like other social identities, but we do have some other alternatives out there as to why people might adopt Republican or Democratic identifications. Could be because they’ve selected candidates and learned from the candidates that they have a particular partisan lean. Could be because they entered politics at a time when the Republican or Democratic brand was doing very well because of the economy or presidential approval. So how do we go about distinguishing partisanship as an identity from these other alternatives?

Emily West: I certainly, in my own work, am always careful to situate the findings that I have within the existing scholarship. And for sure, there is good scholarship to suggest that individuals, Americans sort into the two parties based on attitudes that they already hold. So it’s an important point to make that when we talk about costly identifying the effect of something, it doesn’t preclude the arrow going the other way. So in the case of work that I’ve done recently that looks at the effect of partisan messaging and partisanship and partisan identity salience on racial attitudes, it’s important to note that I came at that question knowing that partisans sort into the two parties first largely based on their racial attitudes.

So my question is not so much which one is it, but are they self-reinforcing? So once you get to your planet Democrat or your planet Republican, and you adopt that identity, given that that identity is sometimes really important to how you see yourself, politicians, elites, different contexts, other citizens, other constituents, are they able to manipulate you and get you to think in certain ways because you are attached to that identity? And another part of what canonical work by Tajfel and Turner says is that when you’re part of an identity group, you want to do your best to follow norms that are put forth by that group. You want to be considered a good member. So I think this is a self-reinforcing hamster wheel of, we sorted and now there is an effect of being a Democrat or Republican on our attitudes and our preferences.

Matt Grossmann: Okay, so let’s give an overview-

Emily West: … students and our preferences.

Matt Grossmann: Okay. So let’s give an overview of your paper in political psychology about partisanship as a social identity and potential effects on affective polarization. What did you find?

Emily West: Yeah, so the idea, the impetus for that study was twofold. First, we really wanted to show with new kinds of evidence that people are attached to their partisanship in a way that we would expect them to be, if it’s an important identity to them. Because it could just be ideological, it could just be, “Hey, I think of myself as a Republican, because it’s easier than telling you what I stand for on all the issues.” And so we wanted to use some new measures. We took the collective self-esteem battery of questions and applied it to party ID. These kinds of questions have been asked to get a sense of how attached people are to their race or their gender historically in social psychology, and so we wanted to apply that to a party. And then-

Matt Grossmann: And people might not know what those look like. So give some examples of what that is like?

Emily West: Yeah, so being a Democrat or being a Republican, depending on… We know the party of our respondents when they enter the survey. So being a Democrat or Republican is an important part of how I define myself. It’s an important part of my self image. So these types of questions that if you stop and think about it, maybe I would imagine that most people don’t walk around thinking about their identities in an explicit way the way researchers do. But if you stop and think about that, it’s a pretty intuitive question to answer. It’s “Wow. Yeah, do I think about my party a lot when I think about who I am as a person?” And people do. So there’s variation, there’s people at either ends of that distribution. But people who identify as Democrat or Republican, they think of it as an important part of who they are.

And so that was the first measurement contribution that we wanted to make. And the second is this idea in the literature that Shanto has pushed forward over the last decade or so, which is that Americans, really partisan Americans, really hate each other. So Democrats and Republicans, they really dislike the out group and they really like the in group. And so we’ve coined this term ‘Affective polarization’ in political science and really run with it, given that historical data over the last 10 or 20 years, you can see this increase in that affective polarization. How much I like my party and how much I dislike the other party. And so one of the reigning theories about why affective polarization has been on the rise is this idea that partisanship has become an important social identity. That it isn’t just a label that’s helpful, a heuristic, a cue about, “Oh gosh, I can’t go into all of my policy preferences here, I’m a Republican.”

Instead of just being that heuristic, maybe it’s also this identity. And so people have said, “All right, it makes sense that we hate each other because we are attached to these partisan identities.” We don’t find great evidence of that. So we are able to reduce, we’re able to see people’s partisan identities become less important to them. So we do that in two ways. We interview the same people twice, we interview them right around the 2018 midterm elections, and then five or six weeks later during the Christmas holiday season when you would expect maybe politics isn’t making their partisan identity super important to them. And we do find that their identity is higher during elections and their partisan identity is less important to them around the holiday season. But we don’t see any corresponding reduction in how much they hate each other.

And so this is suggestive evidence. We do some experimental manipulation to reduce attachment to partisan identity as well. And neither time, we can show you that we’ve reduced partisan identity, but neither time do we see a corresponding reduction in how much partisans hate each other. So is this suggestive evidence that maybe they hate each other for a different reason and we know what those reasons are, because there’s already a debate about, is it ideology? Is it partisans commitment to the policy preferences? Or is it this identity based explanation? I don’t think we have the answer, but we certainly find suggestive evidence that it’s not the partisan identity explanation.

Matt Grossmann: So you also have a new paper that also uses proximity to election day, but in a more fine grained way to increase people’s partisan identity. So talk about that and why it would be the case that as election day approaches, we increase our attachment to partisanship?

Emily West: So as elections approach, politics are obviously on people’s minds. First, they have to decide whether they’re going to turn out and vote, which is a decision in and of itself. And then they have to decide what that vote is going to look like. And so whether they are thinking about it in explicit terms or not, they’re thinking about it. And even if they want to be divorced from the political process, which a lot of people over the last few years, we’ve seen more divorce from the political process and anger over the contention between the two parties. Whether they like it or not, they are bombarded with campaign messages. Their neighbors have signs in their yard, they’re bombarded with the messages on the radio and on the TV. And so partisanship, if you are a partisan, is just part of your political identity.

So the thing that comes right after politics are important right now if you are a Democrat or Republican is being a Democrat or a Republican is important right now. And so I think the important takeaway though is that while that is intuitively, and we show that the partisan identities are more important around elections, they’re way less important when elections are in the past. And they don’t have to be that far in the past.

So it’s not the case that the average American partisan is walking around thinking about how important being a Democrat or Republican is to them on a minute to minute or constant basis. But there are these fluctuations and the importance of those identities. And again, to bring it back to something I think is important, is an important takeaway here, the fact that there’s room for that fluctuation means that elites or people that want to use that room for fluctuation and the importance of partisan identity for their own devices, if you figure that out, that’s a very, very powerful tool. You can activate an entire, very large group of people and impact the way that they think and the way that they behave pretty easily.

Matt Grossmann: So you also use a series of other treatments to try to increase people’s partisan identities. You use just which party is mentioned first in the question, whether they see a donkey or elephant representing their party before answering, and a writing treatment where they’re asked to write about their partisan identity. So talk through those, it seems like on the one hand, it’s a hard thing to do to actually causally manufacture partisan identity, but you found some sort of intriguing ways. So talk through why those work and what they’re supposed to do?

Emily West: Yeah, so I think that’s an interesting point. I say interesting because I think it’s interesting that the two of us have a different perspective on whether it would be hard or easy to manipulate people’s attachment to their partisan identities. I guess because I’ve done it a few times, I would say it’s pretty easy to do. And so yeah, I’ve done it in a few different ways. I have to say some of them I didn’t have experimental control over. So one of the ways that I’ve looked at people having a light touch prime of their partisan identity is just in the ANES, in the American National Election Survey. They often in the pilots will at least randomly assign whether you see the Democratic or the Republican party in the answer choices to which party do you identify with.

And so I use that as sort of a light touch prime of partisan identity. And in that paper that I do that in, I’m looking, my outcome is actually racial resentment. And so I find that when republicans see the Republican party first in the answer choices instead of the Democratic party, that their racial resentment increases.

Matt Grossmann: Yeah, I should say I don’t necessarily think it would be hard to increase people’s partisanship. I would just think it would be hard to only increase people’s identity component of their partisanship. So yeah, as we get closer to the election, certainly partisanship is increasing, but so is a lot of other stuff. So I thought the donkey and elephant prime is kind of a nice way of differentiating something that seems pretty identity based or team based versus some other changes people might see.

Emily West: Absolutely. Around elections, a whole bunch of, that’s a bundled treatment. There’s a whole bunch of other things primed around elections for sure.

Matt Grossmann: So you do find though, across these different treatments that partisan identity affects racial attitudes in this particular way in 2016, where less educated Republicans increased their level of racial resentment when they had higher levels of partisan identities. So talk about that finding and what you concluded from it?

Emily West: I again, want to situate this study within the existing literature. So what came before me and situate the research question within the existing literature. Which shows in a very robust way, so Michael Tesler and Lilliana Mason and Andrew Engelhardt, they all have great research that shows us that partisans sort into the Democratic and the Republican party based on their racial attitudes. And in Tesler’s case, it’s based on their attitudes towards black Americans. So white partisans decide whether to be a Democrat or a Republican based on whether to be a Democrat or a Republican based on how they feel towards Black Americans. This is very well documented, and I’m quite convinced by that literature. So when I set out to see whether the causal arrow also worked in this, the other direction, do partisan identities and partisan messaging, does that affect racial attitudes, I was in no way trying to refute that already. We know that when Democrats and Republicans get to planet Democrat and planet Republican, they already did so based largely on their racial attitudes.

I just think it’s important, at this point, to say, once you get there, is there room for additional movement towards the left or towards the right in terms of your racial attitudes? And so this paper does a few things to try to isolate the effect of partisan identity salience on racial resentment. So racial resentment, I should say, is a battery of questions that was introduced by Kinder and Sanders in the 1980s. It was actually introduced in the biggest political science survey, the ANES, because we decided that, given the civil rights movement, we probably weren’t going to get white Americans to answer in the affirmative to very explicit questions about how racist they were. There were now established social norms that dictated that you couldn’t be so racist. And so another word for the racial resentment scale is symbolic racism. These are more implicit ways of asking about racial attitudes among whites.

And so one example of such questions is, generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for Blacks to work their way out of the lower class. And so the four questions are sort of all in that vein.

And so in this study, I do a few things to try to again, measure the, or look at the manipulation of, partisan identity salience. So making Republican identity more salient, at least in the transient sense in the experiments to Republicans, making the democratic identity more salient to Democrats, at least in a short term way. And then measuring their racial resentment, and seeing whether the hypothesis is that elite messaging and partisan identity, and everything that goes, if it’s wrapped up with feeling like a Republican at this point, that dictates how you answer those racial resentment questions. And so the study does a bunch of different things to try to manipulate partisan identity salience. And time and time again, no matter how I manipulated it, no matter how I chose to make Republicans feel more attached to their Republican identity, I saw a significant increase in their racial resentment.

Matt Grossmann: And you try to show that this is not due to changes in conservatism or white identity, and posit that it’s sort of a group norm. So talk about how you tried to differentiate among those and why it would be a group norm to score high on these questions.

Emily West: Yeah, so I think the second part of the question needs more research. So in the end of this paper, I use some manipulations of group norms, in particular partisan norms, that have been used in other political science research. And I find that, in addition to my primes increasing racial resentment, that they also increase adherence to these partisan norms. And so I present some suggestive evidence that the mechanism by which an increase in partisan, Republican partisan, identity increases racial resentment is by way of these norms. But in no uncertain terms, I think there’s a lot of room for more research to identify that effect. Norms are hard to study. And so I’m going to try to continue to study this and find more evidence for the fact that it’s norms, but I think we all have to push on that more.

And then the question about seeing whether it works through alternative mechanisms, I think the biggest one that I got pushed back on was something that actually comes from a historical pushback against these racial resentment questions. So there’s a camp of people that argued, when the questions were being used for a number of years, that potentially they were just measuring ideological conservatism. So if you ask people whether it’s the case that Irish, Italian, and Jewish ethnicities overcame prejudice and worked their way up, Black should do the same without any special favors. There is a camp of political scientists who then argued, “Well, that sounds like small government to me. Maybe the racial resentment battery is really just tapping conservatism.” And I would push back on that argument for other reasons. But not to get sidetracked, I just test whether my manipulations of the salience of partisan identity also affect measures of conservatism. And it just isn’t the case. So my primes, while they increase racial resentment, they do not make Republicans any more or less conservative on a whole bunch of ways of measuring conservatism.

Matt Grossmann: So you were careful to caveat that racial attitudes and partisanship causal directions run in both ways. But it does seem like, and we’ve had Andrew Inglehart on before, who tries to assess how much of each, but he finds quite a path for partisanship to racial attitude. So I just wonder if this does cut against some claims that, especially in 2016, that it was racial attitudes that moved some Republicans. If it’s the case that when we see it in the aggregate cross tab, a lot of what we’re seeing is actually partisanship causing that versus being caused by it.

Emily West: Yeah, I am a huge fan of Drew’s work. I think a lot of my work grows from reading his papers and getting inspired by his findings. So I think that’s right. I think with this point, his research, some of my research, really shows us that we know that they sort, but what’s happening once they sort, something about party, the identity, the messaging, the elite messaging, the queuing, is increasing racial resentment among Republicans in particular.

And I think your point is a really good one. I don’t want to sidestep here, but my true answer is that I think that we have to allow for both things in the explanation. And I think the most alarming thing, at least to me, is if partisan identity is becoming this big umbrella identity that encapsulates racial identity, encapsulates racial attitudes, and encapsulates all these other important social identities, ethnic identity, gender identity, if that’s the case, then the only other time I can think of in history, or the only other analog to that kind of power, hegemonic power of an identity, is national identity and nationalist movements. And I think that’s really scary.

So to me, it’s not as important to say which one is it all of the time. But to say that if partisan identity is this powerful, and it encapsulates all these things, and it works in all these really powerful ways, it’s a really powerful tool for someone to pick up and wield in a way that can get a lot of Americans, can get partisan Americans who are attached to their partisan identity, to do things and to think in certain ways very easily.

Matt Grossmann: Well, one place where they are in some conflict is among non-white voters where they’re more likely to have a partisan attachment to the Democratic party, but an ideological attachment or set of views that are more mixed. And I know that you have some new work on Hispanic voters in 2020 as well, that finds continued sorting on the basis of ideology and class. So talk about that if you want, but also talk about how these processes might differ across racial groups.

Emily West: So I’m not an expert on Latino voting or Latino identity, but I work at the CBS decision desk on election night. So I’ve been doing that since the 2016 election. And so the research question became important to me about what’s going on with Latino voters in 2020, just from my hands on experience seeing vote returns at the precinct level pour in on election night in 2020.

And so once the dust had settled on that, I sort of approached a friend and colleague about… So Bernard Fraga, I said, “Hey, you’re an expert on this area. I’m just very interested in exploring in lots of different data sources, what is going on? Because we did see the significant shift. I saw it happening on election night, and a lot of people are going to answer this question. Should we try to answer it as well?” And he said, “Yeah, that sounds great.” And then he brought on our other amazing co-author, [inaudible 00:32:17], and we have been working on this for almost two years now.

And so what we are trying to do is take a step back. So other scholars before us saw the same phenomenon in 2020 and said, “What’s the role of COVID? What’s the role of misinformation? What’s the role of racial animus in the campaign?” And there’s some really good evidence that those things, chief among them, I would say misinformation, [inaudible 00:32:46] work does a really awesome job at isolating the effect of misinformation on voters in general, and Latino voters specifically, in the 2020 election. We’re just saying all of that is super important, but let’s zoom out a little bit and say how much of this is and say how much of this is a new phenomenon or how much of this is Latino voters, some subset of Latino voters, holding historically, not just shifting in the conservative direction, actually holding pretty conservative positions and attitudes and [inaudible 00:33:21] those conservative positions and attitudes up until now and voting maybe based on a Latino identity up until now? And so the title is working, it’s a working paper, but we have this idea of reversion to the mean. Are they actually just behaving in a way that we might expect given historically what their positions were? And, again, this is not the majority of Latino voters, but we did see shifts. And so we want to analyze as much as we can, as accurately as we can what happened among those subpopulations of Latino voters?

So we use a lot of data to try to get at that. And I think our punchline, our main takeaway, is that for a lot of these subgroups, it is a story about they had these positions and now they’re just voting in a way that we would naturally predict them to vote. And the other thing is they look a lot like a lot of the trends. So working class Latinos, working class identity among Latino voters, is one of the strongest predictors of the shift towards the Republican Party in 2020. And that is a reversion to the mean in another sense in that we’ve seen that shift among working class whites since 2016. So that’s our story, but we’re certainly not pitching it as an alternative explanation, but just a little bit of a zoom out.

Matt Grossmann: So are you looking for any changes in 2022? Is there any sense that partisan identity is operating differently this time or that we should expect you to be surprised on your election night desk again?

Emily West: Yeah, I think this is a great question. I think my answer, I don’t know if it’s so great. I don’t think things are changing all that much. I think that the rich literature that political scientists have put out on the reaction to COVID-19 is my biggest piece of evidence for things are only getting worse and not better. I think this was a huge national and global crisis and [inaudible 00:35:32], nobody knew what to expect in a lot of ways. But political scientists I think [inaudible 00:35:39] were excited to study a unification and whether COVID-19 was going to break down some of the partisan animus and unify. Because we’ve seen historical evidence of such unification when we come under national threats. And that just didn’t happen. The exact opposite happened and there’s great research that shows that the pandemic and everything that followed from it from masking to vaccinating became partisan.

And so if we can find it in our bones as a society to make COVID-19 a global pandemic and a national crisis partisan, I think that, that suggests to me that we’re not going to reverse course or see any easing up on this so soon. I will say that, for me, that’s very scary and so the things that I want to work on in the future are trying to push us to understand, what could possibly break down those boundaries between Democrat and Republican and chip away at them in order to reverse course at least eventually?

Matt Grossmann: So let’s end there. What are the most promising interventions that might actually reduce partisan partisanship or its negative effects?

Emily West: My most recent studies come from this large scale data collection endeavor that I undertook in the last year and a half, which looks at the promise for cross partisan dialogue. Now, I don’t know if you would say face to face, because it’s over Zoom given that we were in a pandemic, but I randomly assigned half of my participants to have these 20 minute discussions about politics with a confederate who was acting like a Democrat or a Republican just for the purposes of reducing statistical noise. But the findings I think are promising. The study participants always talked about two racial issues. They always talked about preferential hiring or affirmative action, and they always talked about police reform in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality. And then they either talked about one of two other placebo, but very important and controversial social issues. They either talked about abortion or climate change.

And I find that Republicans are particularly susceptible to easing up on their racial attitudes, moving their racial attitudes and their racial policy preferences on preferential hiring and police reform. They move them slightly away from the right, they move them in the left word direction when they’ve just have these 20 minute conversations with a Democrat. And the conversations are reasonable. The goal was very explicitly. There’s a moderator in the Zoom room, and the explicit goal was do not try to convince the other side that you’re right. This is just an opportunity to discuss these issues. The conversations were very civil. They were very pointed. They dealt with discrete and important issues of the day. And the reactions from both Republicans and Democrats in this study were very enthusiastic. They said, “Gee, I wish I had more of these types of opportunities for dialogue with the other party in my day to day life.”

And so, for me, the finding that problematic attitudes that are clustered among the Republican Party can be moved away from the ideological poll on race is promising. I also think it’s great that there was enthusiasm for this activity because this activity is certainly scalable. If we can do it over Zoom, which is one of the gifts I think that the pandemic gave us, then this is relatively cheap. It’s relatively easy to scale up and have people in communities across the country have opportunities for these kinds of dialogues with one another. And I think it’s important.

Matt Grossmann: There’s a lot more to learn. The Science of Politics is available biweekly from the [inaudible 00:40:08] Center. I’m your host, Matt Grossmann. If you like this episode, I would recommend several prior episodes. We’ve covered partisanship and racial views quite a bit as it’s central to contemporary politics. Check out our Americans becoming tribal with identity politics trumping all. Is white identity causing a backlash against immigration? Did Americans’ racial attitudes elect Trump? The hyper involved versus the disengaged, and how politics changes our racial views and identities? Thanks to Emily West for joining me. Please check out partisanship as a social identity and the effect of partisan identity on whites’ racial attitudes. And then listen in next time.

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