The Impact of Political Polarization on Political Participation




Polk, Raychel

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American politics has become increasingly polarized throughout history at varying levels. Humans are naturally engineered to take caution of others they feel are competition, even if there are few differences amongst them physically or ideologically. If differences are inherent no matter which political party you are in, why do we criticize them rather than embrace them? To embrace them, we need an understanding of what political polarization is good for. To understand this, I conducted qualitative interviews of participants. I analyzed the ways in which their perceived political knowledge affected how politically involved they were and most importantly the level of dislike they had for the political party they deemed to be their opposer. The conclusion I found is that the greater your perceived political knowledge is, the more likely you are to be politically involved and politically polarized. However, your perceived political knowledge is not your actual level of political knowledge. Through a political examination, I compared their perceived and actual level of political knowledge to solidify its effect on political polarization and political participation.