I cannot more strongly recommend this study for our reading shelf...

Posted By: UtahFanSir
Date: Thursday 11 October 2018, at 04:19 pm
Recommended by 2 user(s)

Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape.

This link will download a pdf file for the report. All 160 pages of it. But it is terrific and surprising.

From part of the Executive Summary:

This report lays out the findings of a large-scale national survey of Americans about the current state of civic life in the United States. It provides substantial evidence of deep polarization and growing tribalism. It shows that this polarization is rooted in something deeper than political opinions and disagreements over policy. But it also provides some evidence for optimism, showing that 77 percent of Americans believe our differences are not so great that we cannot come together.

At the root of America’s polarization are divergent sets of values and worldviews, or “core beliefs.” These core beliefs shape the ways that individuals interpret the world around them at the most fundamental level. Our study shows how political opinions stem from these deeply held core beliefs. This study examines five dimensions of individuals’ core beliefs:

– Tribalism and group identification
– Fear and perception of threat
– Parenting style and authoritarian disposition
– Moral foundations
– Personal agency and responsibility

The study finds that this hidden architecture of beliefs, worldview and group attachments can predict an individual’s views on social and political issues with greater accuracy than demographic factors like race, gender, or income.

From the forward:

Political polls and years of knife-edge elections have convinced many that our country has become a 50:50 society, divided into two opposing political tribes and trapped in a spiral of conflict and division.

Our research uncovered a different story, one that probes underneath the issues that polarize Americans, and finds seven groups that are defined by their core beliefs, rather than by their political opinions, race, class or gender.

In talking to everyday Americans, we have found a large segment of the population whose voices are rarely heard above the shouts of the partisan tribes. These are people who believe that Americans have more in common than that which divides them. While they differ on important issues, they feel exhausted by the division in the United States. They believe that compromise is necessary in politics, as in other parts of life, and want to see the country come together and solve its problems.

In the era of social media and partisan news outlets, America’s differences have become dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants, the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.

These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and putting our democracy in peril.

Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from immigration and trade to economic management,climate change and national security, become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.

Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate. The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us.

Our polarization is not simple, but nor is it insoluble. We need to understand it, so we can fix it. More in Common hopes that this report can help inform and inspire this urgent work.

An article in the Atlantic (10/10/2018) about the research: Americans Strongly Dislike PC Culture.

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