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Cultural Ties and Political Convictions

Sun, August 12, 12:30 to 1:30pm, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Floor: Level 5, Salon G

Abstract

American communities are increasingly fragmenting along lines of lifestyle preferences, values, and consumption. Similar dynamics are evident in politics as well; cultural wars over moral and postmaterialist issues are the ‘hot-button’ issues drawing the attention of partisans on both sides of the aisle. This study examines the ideological consequences of this increasing overlap between political and cultural identities. Specifically, it examines how alignment in political and leisure domains – whether there is coherence or not – shapes the moral conviction Americans feel on important political issues. Using 2012 data from the Measuring Morality study, the analysis focuses on the example of sports and its relationship to political ideology. Results suggest that while strongly identifying with your favorite sports team increases the moral conviction of conservatives, for liberals the effect is wholly reversed. Understanding American sports culture as a more conservative space, the paper argues that while conservative sports fans experience greater alignment in cultural and political identities, liberal sports fans are more cross-pressured in this regard. Overall, the paper advances a novel understanding of the political consequences of cultural capital.

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