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Andrew Ferguson on Identity Politics and American Culture

The Atlantic Staff Writer shares his perspective on the state of American culture. Click "Show more" to view all chapters. For more conversations, visit
Chapter 1 (0:15 - 29:14): Identity Politics and American Culture
Chapter 2 (29:14 - 51:38): The Decline of the Academy
What is “identity politics”? How has it changed American culture? What are its political ramifications? In this Conversation, the author and Atlantic Staff Writer Andrew Ferguson shares his perspective on identity politics and the condition of American culture today. Ferguson argues that the weakening of civic education in America created a void that identity politics has filled. Instead of attempting to think for themselves, many of our best and brightest students are attracted to championing identity groups (e.g. on the basis of race, gender, or class). According to Ferguson, this has made our civic life more contentious and has weakened our culture and institutions. Kristol and Ferguson also discuss the effects of identity politics in higher education—and consider alternative ways of fostering civic and liberal education.

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