Sharply distinguishing "ideology" from "partisanship" seems to me to be a potentially fatal flaw in what is otherwise an absolutely brilliant essay. We East African Plains Apes think in groups: we outsource a great deal of what we believe to others whom we trust. Thus "partisanship" and "ideology" reinforce each other massively. But that also means that when thought-leader elites change what the partisans with access to audiences say, people's "ideologies" will change as well—without the thinking about it much, if it all: Nathan P. Kalmoe: Uses & Abuses of Ideology: "Ideology is a central construct in political psychology, and researchers claim large majorities of the public are ideological, but most fail to grapple with evidence of ideological innocence in most citizens...

...Here, I show these ideological limits with several popular measures—self-identification, core political values (egalitarian & traditional), and policy indices—in representative U.S. surveys across five decades (N~13k-37k), including panel data for evaluating stability. In stratified tests, only the most knowledgeable 20-30% of citizens carry substantive, coherent, stable, and potent ideological orientations. In other words, political sophistication is necessary for predispositions to actualize as ideology. Moreover, ideology’s power is confounded—largely due to partisan identity instead, and I show that ubiquitous convenience samples make trouble for ideology generalizations. Finally, I propose analytic best practices to avoid inferential errors. Taken together, what first appears to be strong and broad ideology is actually ideological innocence for most people, and real ideology for a few...


#shouldread

Comments