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Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics
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Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  49 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Although politics at the elite level has been polarized for some time, a scholarly controversy has raged over whether ordinary Americans are polarized. This book argues that they are and that the reason is growing polarization of worldviews what guides people's view of right and wrong and good and evil. These differences in worldview are rooted in what Marc J. Hetherington ...more
Paperback, 234 pages
Published March 9th 2015 by Cambridge University Press (first published 2009)
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Peter Mcloughlin
I don't think someone can have an understanding of American politics, Conservatism and the 2016 without understanding Authoritarianism how it is shaping all three of these things. Authoritarians are people who are characterized by low effort cognition, value of obedience, fear and loathing of out groups, and submission to people they view as legitimate authorities , and punitive outlook in foreign policy and civil liberties . The topic has evolved from thinkers who wanted to do a postmortem on f ...more
Gordon
Jun 25, 2016 Gordon rated it it was amazing
The whole Donald Trump phenomenon has mostly seemed pretty baffling to most observers since he entered the Republican party race for the presidential nomination in the middle of 2015. What on earth is it that attracts masses of people to a candidate with seemingly no coherent political platform? Here is a man of no political experience, who has never held elected office, and who apparently has nothing more to offer than his over-the-top boastfulness, appeals to patriotism and "making America gre ...more
Benjamin
Dec 06, 2010 Benjamin rated it it was amazing
This was fascinating. It's an academic book but they write to a broad audience. They argue that Americans are not "polarized" in the conventional sense of the word. They're just better "sorted" into political parties than they were in the past. That is, most liberals are now Democrats and most conservatives are Republicans, while this was not the case 30-50 years ago. They also argue that this sorting process was sparked by responses to a specific set of issues related to race, culture, and welf ...more
Gwen
Jan 02, 2010 Gwen rated it liked it
Interesting look at how authoritarianism--which they define as a preference for order and a discomfort with change or difference--structures preferences on a variety of political issues (especially gay rights, immigration, and foreign policy). As these issues have become more important in American politics in the last few years, opinions have become more divergent because, the authors argue, opinions are highly linked to authoritarianism. Not only do individuals have different opinions, but they ...more
Michele Weiner
May 17, 2011 Michele Weiner rated it liked it
This was a scholarly work with lots of charts and graphs and talk of reliability and validity. I began to read only the conclusions about midway in the book, and then gave it up as a bad job after three quarters. In my view, the authors repetitiveness was maddening. I felt like I was reading the same discussion a hundred times over. This might have been a superb 50-page journal article, but as a 150-page book, it was hard to love. The information is interesting, though, and if you are interested ...more
Ian Divertie
Aug 24, 2015 Ian Divertie rated it it was amazing
Another I read long ago and should probably re-read. I do remember it being very informative and I am sure it shapes my thinking about American politics to this day.
David
Sep 02, 2016 David rated it liked it
An academic work which provides a significant amount of dry data and statistical analyses. On the upside, it provides clear and readable discussion and conclusions.
Bryan
Mar 21, 2016 Bryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book. Really helps to explain the Trump phenomenon.
Rachael Booth
Feb 13, 2012 Rachael Booth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not terribly exciting reading the book is a series of scientific studies done by the authors to try to understand what makes people conservatives and why it causes so much polarization in American politics. But fascinating reading for anyone who is trying to understand why this movement came to be and what the mindset is of the followers of political conservatism.
Cornelio Cano guzmán
Apr 15, 2016 Cornelio Cano guzmán rated it really liked it
I think we can find a clear explanation of a current issue in American democracy in this book.
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