By J.D. Tuccille, Reason
Americans are choosing jobs, brands, and friends for partisan reasons, say researchers.
Is there anything that politics can’t ruin? The answer, it appears, is a resounding “no” as partisan conflict creeps into all areas of American life. Our political affiliations, researchers say, obstruct friendships, influence our purchases, affect the positions we take on seemingly apolitical matters, and limit our job choices. As a result, many people are poorer, lonelier, and less healthy than they would otherwise be.
“Political polarization is having far-reaching impacts on American life, harming consumer welfare and creating challenges for people ranging from elected officials and policymakers to corporate executives and marketers,” according to a new paper in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing by researchers from Arizona State University, the University of Wyoming, and four other U.S. universities.
The researchers find that people’s chosen political identities become self-reinforcing through associations with groups with shared beliefs. Our associations can even create a “group-specific shared reality” that makes it harder to relate to those with opposing views.
Categories: Culture Wars/Current Controversies