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How politics became our identity - YANSS 133

How politics became our identity - YANSS 133

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political scientist Lilliana Mason ... new book, Uncivil Agreement ... we actually agree about most things... “our conflicts are over who we think we are, rather than reasoned differences of opinion... Our opinions can be very fluid... if we wanted to come to a compromise we could, if there were not these pesky identities in the way... we disagree in order to defend our identity and our sense of difference from other people"...
tribal signaling at play... we’ve moved away from issue-based polarization ... [to] identity-based polarization.... "we’re telling ourselves a story about a war that’s going on in our country, and it’s only making the war worse.”...
it’s partially Facebook, but also the political moment is so polarized that that we don’t really know how to speak to each other with any sense of common humanity or attempts for understanding....
this research demonstrates is that ... All politics is rooted in identity. The more isolated we are from our social outgroups, the more we... think of our own group as the best and think of our outgroups as terrible....
to say that one party or another is using identity politics, is like saying Democrats are constantly using oxygen.... everybody is focusing on their own identities ... blind to the humanity of people who are not them.... We all have 100 identities, thousands. But the one that’s the most salient at any given moment is the one that feels threatened...
when you separate people into two groups and they create an us and them, not only do they immediately want to have a conflict, but they also start perceiving the world in a biased way... People will form groups around just about anything salient, and then they will engage in us. vs. them thinking ...
cohesion:... humans have two basic needs, one for inclusion and one for exclusion...We need to feel like we’re part of a group. But there is no meaning to the group unless other people are excluded ... without that sense of categorization, the world feels very chaotic... really important ... for our own psychological well-being...
Seeing an ingroup member suffer makes a person’s brain act like they are suffering, but seeing an outgroup member suffer actually activates pleasure parts of the brain... people learn more slowly if they’re being observed by an outgroup member... you can detect psychological group attachments in saliva ... this is not something we can control...
if you can convince people that their party holds a different position than it does, they will change their position immediately without even knowing that the party gave them the cue... Our racial identities and our religious identities are being separated by parties ... if you’re racial and religious identity is connected to your party identity, then you don’t want your racial, religious, AND party identity to lose... Our parties are taking up an increasingly large portion of our self-concept real estate, and so the stakes of the game are much higher ...
social changes ... sent racial and religious cues to voters to give them additional information as to which party represents you the best... we also had a partisan media that was telling us exactly what those cues were and which party we were supposed to belong to — and who we were... feedback loops on top of feedback loops...
Social media ... is like 98 percent tribal signaling ... because it’s what drives engagement... it’s portrayed in the media ... these are the winners and these are the losers, and then everybody watches because they want to know if they won or lost...
Trump... change anxiety into anger for these people. Anxiety is an emotion that makes you sit down. Anger is an emotion that makes you get going... once they come to power... partisanship allows them to disregard norms... No one feels identified with norms. You can have norms of your group... but if you feel like the norms are of another group then why worry about them?...
on-average, Americans prefer liberal policies, but also, on-average... prefer to call themselves conservatives... a wide range of issue positions that people who call themselves conservatives hold... even with people who have the wrong issue positions, the more strongly they identify with the label, the more they hate the other side....
making these decisions more like sports fans... You cheer for your team just to make the team win.... you don’t hold them accountable for whatever they do after the victory...
two different ways to approach this. One is to try to change the subject away from politics. Let the temperature of the conversation die down... Go cook a pie together or something ... when hackles go up nobody’s going to agree to anything...
where you are using a completely different basis of reality and truth…don’t jump into a political argument with somebody before establishing some type of trust.... spend a little time together... peak on a human level... with your own feelings and thoughts ... understanding that the other person has feelings... Stop rehearsing your lines...
“What do we do about this"...I just made a snap judgment about this person based on their identity... try to try to change that ... practice thinking about that person as the opposite of the stereotype... by practicing, a secondary response ... that says wait don’t assume that. Give this person a chance...
Unfortunately, not everyone is motivated... People who have very homogeneous groups ... tend to be more intolerant of outsiders.... already isolated in these very homogeneous social groups..., The people who need to try the most are the people who are the least inclined to try... there is a party asymmetry here... the Republican Party is largely white and Christian and straight, they tend to socially exposed to other partisans who are very similar to them... the one policy ... that could work would be service... get people of varying backgrounds to work together... Working in a soup kitchen or building houses ... Peace Corps ... something in the military.

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The above notes were curated from the full post youarenotsosmart.com/2018/08/04/yanss-133-how-politics-became-our-identity/.

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