Political Scientist Stacy Ulbig has a new book that dives into the political attitudes and behaviors of college students to assess how polarization and partisan antipathy in the general public have some genesis on college campuses. Angry Politics: Partisan Hatred and Political Polarization Among College Students (UP of Kansas, 2020) explores affective polarization, and elicited responses from students who have noted that they are experiencing self-censorship, across the political spectrum. The study measured levels of political animosity based on different kinds of news media consumption, with those who consumed social media as the source of their news demonstrating the most animosity towards opposition partisans. Students tend to be nervous when faced with having to deal with conflict, and this inclination also leads them to self-sort and isolate from those who hold different political views. At the same time, the research indicates that students are feeling more vocal in articulating their opinions and beliefs. Part of the experience at college is to learn how to listen to different perspectives and opinions, and to assess diverse input and information. This study is fascinating, examining the layers of student behavior around politics in an atmosphere that is characterized as fraught by a variety of news outlets.
Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). Email her comments at email@example.com or tweet to @gorenlj.
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