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Politics Today

A Thanksgiving Fable Debunked: Folks Aren’t Combating About Politics

Dr. Klar mentioned that her analysis has indicated that this pattern is pushed partially by the truth that, for the reason that feminist motion’s second wave within the mid-Twentieth century, girls have grown extra instantly engaged in politics — and have grow to be extra prone to put a precedence on discovering a husband with whom they agree politically.

The identical factor goes for folks and their youngsters. On issues of partisanship and political opinions — together with a measurement that lecturers name the “racial resentment scale” — younger individuals are way more prone to maintain related views to their dad and mom than they had been within the mid-Seventies, and even within the Nineteen Nineties.

Consequently, Dr. Tedin mentioned, on the Thanksgiving desk, “if there’s a disagreement, nearly anyone within the nuclear household — mother, dad and the youngsters — goes to be on one facet, and the cousins are going to be on the opposite facet.”

However principally, they’re prone to tiptoe round each other. “Polarized politics will increase avoidance inside households,” he mentioned. “You may suppose polarized politics means they’re going to be combating at Thanksgiving, however no — it’s the reverse. Polarized politics will increase the stress to keep away from battle on the vacation.”

The inclination to keep away from battle doesn’t essentially imply that disagreement is inevitable if the dialog does flip to politics. Matthew Levendusky, a professor on the College of Pennsylvania who research political polarization, mentioned that when these sorts of conflicts do come up, they aren’t essentially prone to grow to be hostile. And whether or not laborious or simple, Dr. Levendusky added, these conversations are elementary to the functioning of a democracy — particularly in a time when social media and cable information typically play up every celebration’s most excessive parts.

In 2016, Dr. Levendusky revealed a examine displaying that individuals tended to vastly overestimate the variations between the 2 events. “We requested folks the place their place was, and the place they thought the common Republican and Democratic positions had been,” he mentioned. “Principally, they thought the events had been twice as far aside as they’re in actuality, on all kinds of points.”

Now he’s at work on a guide about how folks with differing views may overcome their political animus. Merely speaking to at least one one other, he mentioned, is crucial to bridging the divide — and it’s typically not as painful as folks anticipate it to be. That’s as a result of most Individuals will not be deeply ideological, so political disagreements will not be terribly high-stakes for them. In finishing the analysis for the guide, he and his collaborators convened roughly 500 examine members from throughout the political spectrum, and invited them to speak about politics.

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