Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date


Faculty Advisor(s)

Ann Gordon


The face of the United States is changing. In a nation where the majority of the population belongs to a minority group, defining the national American identify has become a complex task. This essay focuses on the correlation between the degree of attachment to the American identity and how it plays a large role in dictating party affiliation. Political culture (defined here as the shared beliefs and values as to how citizens and the government relate to one another) in the United States is extremely varied throughout the nation due to demographic diversity. A person’s identity is socially and politically constructed. Various factors, such as ethnicity, gender, ideology, values, and socio-economic status, play a vital role in molding individual identity. As a result of these factors, some individuals have a stronger sense of attachment to the American identify than others. American identity is determined by race, gender, religion, and ideals. A stronger attachment to the American identity tends to correlate with an affiliation with the Republican Party whereas a weaker attachment to the American identity tends to correlate with an affiliation with the Democratic Party. The goal of political parties is to identify with the masses in order to gain their support. By looking at empirical research, such as self identified party affiliation, voting behavior, and political participation, trends between American identity and party affiliation become more evident.


Presented at the Fall 2014 Undergraduate Student Research Day at Chapman University.