Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Hidden Tribes

I haven't written about tribes for quite some time.  It used to be one of my main topics.  I'm glad to see everyone else finally getting on board. The group More In Common has some very interesting research on Hidden Tribes: A Study of America's Polarized Landscape. I'll let you find the interesting parts yourself, rather than give it away. I didn't read it all.

This seems to be another group of mostly liberals who think they are moderates, but gosh-darn it they are going to try really hard to see both sides, here.  Good on them.  We need more of that. Their phrasing reveals their bias in only minor ways, and it is rather relaxing to read that. They identify 7 American political groups, including the disengaged. It is not identical to the Pew Research Group's political typology, but it has a lot of overlap.

Looking at the answers about what people in the seven groups believe, about whether white privilege exists and how important it is, or whether the police are more violent with African Americans, it occurs to me that these are not strictly opinion questions.  There are no complete answers, but there is more evidence for some of these points of view than others. The responses are not on all fours. That said, I don't think the conservatives always have the overwhelming evidence on these things. If the test designers and researchers are aware that there might actually be answers to some questions, they don't reveal it.

Also interesting is how often a full 99% of the extreme left signed on to an idea. Extreme conservatives frequently hit over 90% on a viewpoint, but topped out in the mid-90's.


RichardJohnson said...

By Pew Research typology, I was classified as Core Conservative.

The Atlantic has an article on Hidden Tribes: Americans Strongly Dislike PC Culture:Youth isn’t a good proxy for support of political correctness, and race isn’t either.

Political tribe—as defined by the authors—is an even better predictor of views on political correctness. Among devoted conservatives, 97 percent believe that political correctness is a problem. Among traditional liberals, 61 percent do. Progressive activists are the only group that strongly backs political correctness: Only 30 percent see it as a problem.
So what does this group look like? Compared with the rest of the (nationally representative) polling sample, progressive activists are much more likely to be rich, highly educated—and white. They are nearly twice as likely as the average to make more than $100,000 a year. They are nearly three times as likely to have a postgraduate degree. And while 12 percent of the overall sample in the study is African American, only 3 percent of progressive activists are. With the exception of the small tribe of devoted conservatives, progressive activists are the most racially homogeneous group in the country.

Fifth grade stand up in front of the class book report:"If you want to find out what happened, read the book."

Lazy person a half century later: "Read the summery in The Atlantic."

RichardJohnson said...

That would be "summary." Oh well.

Christopher B said...

Not a bad article, once you get past the ritual genuflection that 25 percent of the country holds views that are 'out of the mainstream'.

In the spirit of contraryness, focusing on PC as a problem is a way to avoid discussing actual policy disagreements and turn the issue into a question of how our woke betters can market their vision of America, not if it is actually acceptable to the majority of Americans.

Sam L. said...

I don't trust The Atlantic.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ Sam L - it's essentially liberal but makes an effort to try and find interesting opposing points of view. Like NPR, except they are better at it. My overall take is that their model is "intellectual liberal, but also the guilty pleasure of liberals who actually agree with conservative things but don't dare admit it." They have published PJ O'Rourke a lot, who isn't always right but does well at making fun of liberals.

@ CB - A lot of people dislike the extremes of PC and like to think of themselves as rebels, but essentially sign on to 75%+ of PC speech. Guilty pleasure to think themselves brave and standing apart. What happens is that everyone thinks PC culture is extreme outside of their particular hobbyhorse, such as race, gender, LGBT, etc, but signs on to PC in their own case.