Document Type



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.



Publication Date


Original Citation

Jeffrey Lowell Kidder; College Republicans and Conservative Social Identity; Sociological Perspectives 0731121415583104, first published on May 5, 2015 doi:10.1177/0731121415583104

Legacy Department

Department of Sociology




Sociological Perspectives



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.