Identity Politics: Identity politics is a political method in which people of a certain gender, religion, race, socioeconomic background, social class, environment, or other distinguishing factors establish political agendas based on their identities. Allies from outside the individual identity groups frequently assist such groups.
Multiculturalism, women’s movements, civil rights, lesbian and homosexual movements, and regional separatist movements are all examples of phenomena described by the word.
Many current proponents of identity politics employ an intersectional approach, which takes into account the different oppressive systems that may interact with their lives and derive from their various identities.
According to many supporters of identity politics, it focuses on the lived experiences of those who are subjected to systemic oppression; the goal is to better understand the interplay of racial, economic, sex-based, and gender-based oppression (among other things) and to ensure that no one group is disproportionately affected by current and future political actions.
People of a specific race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, economic class, disability status, education, religion, language, profession, political party, veteran status, recovery status, and geographic location are described in such contemporary applications of identity politics.
These identification identities are not mutually exclusive, but when characterizing hyper-specific groupings, they are frequently combined into one. Women who are African-American, homosexual, and female, for example, form a hyper-specific identity class.
Intersectional thinkers like Kimberlé Crenshaw criticize narrower forms of identity politics that overemphasize inter-group differences while ignoring intra-group inequalities and oppression.
Identity politics has been criticized for being particularist, in contrast to liberal viewpoints’ universalism, or for diverting attention away from non-identity-based oppression and exploitation.
According to a socialist critique of identity politics, such as Nancy Fraser’s, political mobilization based on identitarian affirmation results in superficial redistribution clarify that does not challenge the established quo.
Rather than affirmation, Fraser claimed, identitarian deconstruction is more conducive to a socialist politics of economic redistribution. Other critics, such as Kurzweil, Rapport, and Spiegel, argue that identity politics frequently results in the repetition and reification of essentialist concepts of identity, which are intrinsically false.
White Identity Politics
According to political scholars Jeffrey Kaplan and Leonard Weinberg, a “Euro-American radical right” would push a trans-national white identity politics by the late twentieth century, invoking populist grievance narratives and encouraging hatred toward non-white peoples and multiculturalism.
In the United States, mainstream media has portrayed Donald Trump‘s election as an indication of the Republican Party‘s and political landscape’s expanding and widespread use of white identity politics. Since the mid-2010s, journalists Michael Scherer and David Smith have been following its progress.
President Trump, according to Ron Brownstein, employs “White Identity Politics” to buttress his base, which will hinder his capacity to reach out to non-White American voters in the 2020 presidential election.
“Trump’s style of white identity politics may be less effective in the 2020 election campaign,” according to a four-year Reuters and Ipsos investigation. Alternatively, David Smith has suggested that “Trump’s embrace of white identity politics may work to his advantage” in 2020, based on the same poll.
During the Democratic primaries, presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg publicly warned that the president and his administration were engaging in “white identity politics,” which he described as the most toxic type of identity politics.
Given that Trump still has significant support from liberal and moderate Republicans – who are more favorable toward immigration and the legalization of undocumented immigrants – columnist Reihan Salam writes that he is not convinced that Trump uses “white identity politics,” but believes that it will become a bigger issue as whites become a minority and assert their rights like other minority groups.
Salam also claims that a rise in “white identity” politics is unlikely, given the high rates of intermarriage and the historical example of an Anglo-Protestant cultural majority accepting a more inclusive white cultural majority that included Jews, Poles, Arabs, and Irish.
Women’s Identity Politics in the United States
Identity politics weakens women‘s social movements and undermines their influence on public policy, or has the opposite effect, according to social movement scholars and democratic theorists.
When marginalized groups organize around an intersectional social site, according to S. Laurel Weldon, information about the social group is developed, sentiments of connection among group members are increased, and the movement’s agenda becomes more representative.
Weldon claims that mobilizing women by race boosts these movements and improves government responsiveness to both violence against women of color and violence against women in general in the United States.
Asian-American Identity Politics
According to Jane Junn and Natalie Masuoka, the political prospects for an Asian American vote in the United States are based on the notion that individuals generically defined as Asian share a sense of racial identification, and that this group consciousness has political implications.
The idea of a monolithic Asian American bloc, however, has been challenged because populations are diverse in terms of national origin and language—no single group is dominant—and scholars suggest that these many diverse groups prefer their distinct national origin groups over any pan-ethnic racial identity.
More than six national origin groups are classed as Asian American, according to the 2000 Consensus, including Chinese (23 percent), Filipino (18 percent), Asian Indian (17 percent), Vietnamese (11 percent), Korean (11 percent), and Japanese (8 percent), as well as an “other Asian” category (12 percent ). Furthermore, the definitions of racial categories used in the United States are distinctly American constructs that Asian American immigrants may not follow after they arrive.
In comparison to blacks, Asian American identity is more latent, and racial group awareness is more vulnerable to the surrounding context, according to Jun and Masuoka.
Hispanic/Latino Identity Politics
The majority of Latinos in the United States, according to Leonie Huddy, Lilliana Mason, and S. Nechama Horwitz, identify with the Democratic Party.
Latinos’ Democratic preferences can be explained by two factors: ideological policy preferences and an expressive identity based on defending Latino identity and status, with strong support for the latter explanation based on an analysis of the 2012 Latino Immigrant National Election Study and the 2012 American National Election Study, which focused on Latino immigrants and citizens, respectively.
When faced with widespread discrimination against Latinos and Republican antagonism, a high partisanship preference grew even stronger, resulting in increasing Latino political campaign activity.