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Senior Seminar:

Identity Politics & Polarization



Course Description

This seminar explores polarization in American politics through the lens of identity. How do our social identities – our gender, race, ethnicity, religion, class, sexuality, etc. – shape our politics? To what extent is party affiliation an aspect of our identity, and how has this changed over time? What is the relationship between party politics, ideology, and social identity? We will engage with recent political science research to delve deeper into the concept of “identity” and analyze the nature, causes, and consequences of polarization at both the mass and elite levels in American politics.


Course Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Understand and engage with scholarly debates on the concept of “identity politics”

  • Evaluate the causes and consequences of polarization in American politics

  • Analyze the relationship between social identity and political polarization in the U.S.

  • See improvement in their writing skills

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