Lilliana Mason, a political scientist and assistant professor at the University of Maryland, has recently published a book titled “Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity.” In this book, Mason explores how politics has become a defining aspect of identity for many Americans, leading to increased polarization and hostility among different political groups.
The book starts by examining the history of political parties in the United States and how they have evolved over time. Mason argues that the current two-party system has become more polarized, with Democrats and Republicans representing two very distinct ideological positions. This has led to a situation where individuals increasingly identify with a political party as a way of defining their own identity.
Mason then explores how this trend has led to increased hostility between different political groups. She argues that the psychological process of identity formation leads individuals to perceive those who hold different political views as a threat to their own identity. This, in turn, leads to a breakdown in civil discourse and an increase in uncivil behavior, such as name-calling and even violence.
Finally, Mason suggests ways in which we can work to reduce this polarization and improve our political discourse. She argues that we need to find ways to create common ground and focus on shared values, rather than simply attacking those with whom we disagree. She also suggests that we need to be more aware of the psychological processes that drive identity formation and work to overcome the tendency to see those who hold different political views as a threat.
Overall, “Uncivil Agreement” is an insightful and thought-provoking analysis of the current state of American politics. Mason`s work highlights the dangers of political polarization and provides valuable suggestions for how we can work to improve our political discourse and reduce hostility between different political groups. For anyone interested in understanding the roots of our current political climate, this book is a must-read.