Blog Post: Identity politics: What’s political for some, is personal to others


Ming Boyer and Loes Aaldering wrote a blog post about their recent publication on the influence of societal status on motivated reasoning.

When the news discusses identity politics, it addresses both political identities and other group identities. Ming Boyer, Loes Aaldering, and Sophie Lecheler pose that the societal status of this other group determines how strongly citizens’ political identity motivates their reasoning about identity politics. While issues of identity politics are often abstract and political for the high-status group (e.g. men, white people or heterosexuals), they can form a shared grievance for the low-status group (e.g. women, non-white people and people from the LGBTQIA+-community), making it more personal than political. Looking at news about the Austrian gender quota law, this experiment confirms that politically motivated reasoning is much more prevalent among the high-status group (men) than the low-status group (women). What’s political for some, is personal to others. You can read about this study in more detail in this blog by Ming Boyer and Loes Aaldering here (written in Dutch) or in the open access research paper here (written in English).