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John Inazu is the Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law and Religion at Washington University in St. Louis. He teaches criminal law, law and religion, and various First Amendment[…]

What explains the high levels of political polarization in American society today? To writer and law professor John Inazu, the answer is not necessarily that the media has become more biased — there has always been bias in the news, after all.

The more likely answer is that the “volume” of information we encounter has increased, thanks to technology. For example, while we used to have limited access to the news through the newspaper and nightly broadcasts, we can now receive constant updates on social media, email, and news apps.

Often, the result is that we seek out information that confirms our beliefs, and we have trouble connecting with people whose opinions differ from our own. Inazu suggests we can break out of our ideological bubbles through “confident pluralism,” which he describes as a framework that uses the values of tolerance, patience, and humility to help people better engage with each other.