Through participant-observation and interviews, I explore the conservative social identity of College Republicans at a midsize, midtier public university in the United States. Using the concepts of repertoires and frames, I analyze how individuals make claims to political social identities. Specifically, I show that symbolic appeals to the free market were an essential aspect of the conservative repertoire at my field site. Furthermore, the shifting and contradictory frames used by the College Republicans in this study demonstrate that their discursive political practices were not primarily about policy preferences; they were about affirming a conservative social identity. Understanding how stated policy preferences and identity intertwine in everyday political talk has important implications for American democracy.
Kidder, Jeffrey L., "College Republicans and Conservative Social Identity" (2015). Faculty Peer-Reviewed Publications. 1040.
Department of Sociology