Angry Politics: Partisan Hatred and Political Polarization among College Students, Stacy G. Ulbig
Angry Politics: Partisan Hatred and Political Polarization among College Students paints a vivid attitudinal snapshot of a generation of Americans whose youth political socialization occurred in an era characterized by polarization and contention. Stacy Ulbig's study assesses the correlates and consequences of partisan hatred, utilizing an original survey fielded in 2015 on a sample of college students at a large public university in Texas. The writing and data analysis are accessible, and the chapters reviewing the evolution of our scholarly understanding of polarization are engaging. I can easily imagine assigning the book to an advanced undergraduate seminar: the topic and the style would be of interest to students, and the book certainly would spark a lively classroom conversation.
The greatest contribution of the book is a careful application of theories about social identity, intergroup dynamics, and group threat. While it is en vogue to use these theories to evaluate contemporary American politics, Ulbig is considerably more thoughtful than most. This is reflected in her novel measurement of partisan hatred, adapted from a scale developed to study ethnic hatred and modified to capture distinct dimensions of partisan animosity. The crux of the empirical analysis explores the association between subfactors of this novel measure and more conven
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