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In 2017, conflict was stronger between red and blue than it was between black and white.
31 December, 2017
Wikicommons: Ferguson, MO Riots
<p></p><p dir="ltr">In 2017, conflict was stronger between red and blue than it was between black and white.</p> <p></p><p dir="ltr">A new <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/12/19/far-more-americans-say-there-are-strong-conflicts-between-partisans-than-between-other-groups-in-society/" target="_blank">Pew Research Center survey</a> shows that 86 percent of Americans said conflicts between Democrats and Republicans are strong or very strong. In comparison, just 65 percent of Americans said the same for race relations between black and whites, while 60 percent reported strong conflicts between the poor and rich.</p> <p></p><p dir="ltr"><span>The respondents didn’t, however, report feeling nearly as strong of a conflict between rural and urban Americans – a dichotomy that </span><a href="http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-reasons-trumps-rise-that-no-one-talks-about_p2/"><span>some suggested</span></a><span> played a role in the election of President Donald Trump – with only 37 percent saying there were </span><span>strong </span><span>or </span><span>very strong</span><span> conflicts between the groups.</span></p> <p></p><p dir="ltr"><span><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODI0MDc2OS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1Nzc0NTMzNX0.B7AfM4aMe8VDIrDluyJZdPD1u9FkwYmdotmtCDQBkNs/img.png?width=980" id="d85d4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8cc38c6454dbd9891fe91f1e5af77200" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"><br></span></p> <p></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Both conservatives and liberals felt the discord: 90 percent of Democrats and 86 percent of Republicans reported a sense </span><em>strong </em><span>or </span><em>very strong</em><span> conflicts, representing a higher total rate than Pew Research Center recorded for </span>2016 or 2012. And the two parties appear to be more divided than ever when it comes to fundamental political issues. Pew Research Center reports that:</p> <p></p><blockquote><p dir="ltr"><span>On 10 questions that the Center has asked in surveys since 1994 through summer 2017, the average gap between Democrats and Republicans has risen from 15 percentage points to 36 points. This gap is now much wider than the average gap on the same questions between people of different races, ages, educational backgrounds and other demographic factors.</span></p></blockquote><p> </p><p> </p><p></p><p dir="ltr"><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODI0MDc3MC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MjcyOTI1MX0.kVUz2M67x9EG2Jdk42FsAhGsiCm_zdvVyv1AyWoPFrM/img.png?width=980" id="f9aa7" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6361b8e8a3f9c2fc06890c60432a697e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"></p> <p></p><p dir="ltr">Interestingly, Democrats were more likely than Republicans to perceive the presence of strong conflict between every set of groups listed in the survey: rich and poor, white and black, rural and urban, and Democrat and Republican. Similarly, blacks were more likely than whites to perceive conflicts between every group measured.</p> <p></p><p dir="ltr"><span><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODI0MDc3MS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NDUzOTk4MH0.5vIiIOGKhgTidDYn17ndkzwrujkZjS7-1uNuKio19o4/img.png?width=980" id="0fb29" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="037c867aac52065809bd1e51a17eca48" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"><br></span></p> <p></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-c57f8df9-aea7-3abe-b4c8-68ff71957de8"><span><span id="docs-internal-guid-c57f8df9-aea8-d780-7bf1-314c5daef0b4">Making matters more complicated is the division and infighting within the two parties. In October 2017, the Pew Research Center published a <a href="http://www.people-press.org/2017/10/24/political-typology-reveals-deep-fissures-on-the-right-and-left/" target="_blank">report</a> that describes the subgroups that have taken shape within each party in the wake of President Donald Trump's election. </span></span></span></p> <p></p><p dir="ltr"><span><span><span><span>On the left:</span></span></span></span></p> <p></p><p><strong>Solid Liberals </strong>– "Largely white, financially comfortable and highly educated (most are college graduates and nearly a third have postgraduate degrees), Solid Liberals overwhelmingly express liberal attitudes on virtually every issue."<br><strong>Opportunity Democrats</strong> "Agree with Solid Liberals on major issues. But Opportunity Democrats are less affluent, less politically engaged and less liberal – both in their attitudes on issues and in how they describe themselves politically."<br><strong>Devout and Diverse</strong> "[this group] faces even tougher financial hardships than Disaffected Democrats. Devout and Diverse also are the most politically mixed typology group (about a quarter lean Republican), as well as the least politically engaged."<br><strong>Disaffected Democrats</strong> "have very positive feelings toward the Democratic Party and its leading figures. Their disaffection stems from their cynicism about politics, government and the way things are going in the country. This financially stressed, majority-minority group supports activist government and the social safety net, but most say government is 'wasteful and inefficient.'"</p> <p></p><p>And on the right:</p> <p></p><p><strong>Core Conservatives </strong>– are "in many ways the most traditional group of Republicans" and are "financially comfortable, male-dominated group overwhelmingly supports smaller government, lower corporate tax rates and believes in the fairness of the nation’s economic system."<br><strong>Country First Conservatives </strong>– represent a "much smaller segment of the GOP base, are older and less educated than other Republican-leaning typology groups. Unlike Core Conservatives, Country First Conservatives are unhappy with the nation’s course, highly critical of immigrants and deeply wary of U.S. global involvement."<br><strong>Market Skeptic Republicans </strong>– "support <em>raising </em>tax rates on corporations and large businesses. An overwhelming share (94%) say the economic system unfairly favors powerful interests, which places the view of Market Skeptic Republicans on this issue much closer to Solid Liberals (99% mostly unfair) than Core Conservatives (21%)."<br><strong>New Era Enterprisers </strong>– "are fundamentally optimistic about the state of the nation and its future. They are more likely than any other typology group to say the next generation of Americans will have it better than people today. Younger and somewhat less overwhelmingly white than the other GOP-leaning groups, New Era Enterprisers are strongly pro-business and generally think that immigrants strengthen, rather than burden, the country."</p> <p></p><ul class="ee-ul"> </ul><p> </p><p></p><p>Check out more about the subdivisions within each party in <a href="http://www.people-press.org/2017/10/24/political-typology-reveals-deep-fissures-on-the-right-and-left/" target="_blank">Pew Research Center's exhaustive report</a>.</p> <p></p><p></p><div class="video-full-card-placeholder" data-slug="the-red-state-blue-state-resolution" style="border: 1px solid #ccc;"> <div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="axp3fojJ" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="0fada319b0bf1cad65490e168c6c5b9b"> <div id="botr_axp3fojJ_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/axp3fojJ-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/axp3fojJ-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview"> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/axp3fojJ-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> </div>
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Research shows the groups have different tastes when buying science books. For the most part.
08 April, 2017
Still from Steven Spielberg's 1993 film "Jurassic Park."
<p class="p1">While scientists generally try to stay out politics, letting evidence-based research speak for itself, the strong division in American society has spread to science. How you view stem cell research, climate change, evolution, and the role of science in setting public policy is one indicator of political leanings. Another can be the kind of science books you read. Indeed, a <a href="http://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-017-0079" target="_blank">new study</a> finds that liberals and conservatives have very different tastes.</p> <p class="p1">By analyzing millions of online purchases, researchers from Cornell, Yale, and University of Chicago found that there are clear partisan preferences in how we buy books on scientific topics. Liberals opt for so-called "basic" sciences — physics, astronomy and zoology — while conservatives go for applied and commercial sciences, such as medicine, criminology, and geophysics.</p><p>"When we look at what science books they read and on what topics, liberals and conservatives are noticeably divided," said the study's co-author Professor <a href="http://infosci.cornell.edu/faculty/michael-macy" target="_blank">Michael Macy</a> from Cornell University. “They tend to not read the same books, and they don't follow the same topics."</p> <p class="p1">Feng Shi, the study's first author, proposed that liberals like “scientific puzzles" while conservatives prefer “problem-solving."</p> <p class="p1">One topic popular with both sides — books on <strong>dinosaurs</strong>. These were bought across the whole political spectrum.</p> <p class="p1">For the study, researchers looked at purchase histories from Amazon and Barnes & Noble online stores, creating a dataset of 25 million “co-purchases" and 1.5 million books. They relied on the fact that these retailers recommend books to customers via book suggestion features like “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought". That way the scientists could see what scientific texts were bought by those who also got liberal or conservative books.</p> <p class="p1">The study's authors think it's likely that people who buy political books get science books to support their views rather than out of a general interest in science.</p> <p class="p1">Is there a way science could help heal the division in the country? The study's lead author <a href="https://www.ci.uchicago.edu/profile/187" target="_blank">Professor James Evans</a> from University of Chicago is somewhat optimistic, thinking that people on all sides ultimately respect science. </p><p>"Interest and respect for science remains high across political boundaries in the United States, suggesting that it could be a crucial bridge for crossing partisan divides in America," <a href="https://news.uchicago.edu/article/2017/04/03/book-purchases-liberals-and-conservatives-reveal-partisan-division" target="_blank">said Professor Evans</a>.</p> <p class="p3">Professor Macy thinks their research highlights the fact that science communication needs to improve. </p><p>"Our findings point to the need to communicate scientific consensus when it occurs, helping scientists find common cause with their audiences and adding public debate alongside scientific analysis to clarify the distinction between facts and values," <a href="http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2017/04/study-conservatives-liberals-read-different-scientific-books" target="_blank">said Macy</a>. </p> <p class="p3">While the study is illuminating, it has some limitations, with political scientist Toby Bolsen <a href="http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/liberals-and-conservatives-read-totally-different-books-about-science-180962802/" target="_blank">cautioning</a> that this research did not draw on a random sample of books, relying instead on how the online sellers categorized them. We also don't know conclusively the motivations behind why individuals bought certain books.</p> <p class="p6">You can read the new study in <a href="http://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-017-0079" target="_blank"><em>Nature Human Behavior</em></a>.</p>
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