AMERICAN POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY WORKSHOP
Abstract: Many partisans hold at least one social identity more typically associated with individuals in the opposing party. In political environments where one’s partisanship and identity have competing implications for political behavior, individuals may face tension as they negotiate between their cross-pressured attachments. In this project, I examine how Republicans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) negotiate the potential conflict between their partisanship and social identity as LGBT when communicating about political issues related to LGBT people and their rights. In particular, I assess how individuals associated with the Log Cabin Republicans, a national organization of LGBT Republicans, respond to political events in their Twitter communications. I compare the communications of Log Cabin Republican Twitter users to users associated with other LGBT-focused and non-LGBT-focused conservative and liberal organizations. My findings point to the ability of cross-pressured partisans to reconstruct their partisan and social identities in ways that achieve psychological consistency between two seemingly competing group attachments.
Katie McCabe is a Postgraduate Associate in The Policy Lab at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University. She studies public opinion, political psychology, and policy feedback. Her research focuses on how individuals’ beliefs, social identities, and personal experiences shape and complicate their political behavior.