Who are You?

Of the following characteristics, which did Americans say was the most important in describing themselves?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about the data?

  3. What is one question you have about the data?

  4. What is the big story this data tells?

  5. Why do you think that is?

  6. What is one consequence of this?

  7. We hear all the time about how politically divided the United States is, however in the data, political party ranked near the bottom of the list. How do you explain this?

  8. Is it easy to separate your political party from your occupation or social class?

  9. How different do you think this chart would have looked in 1950?

  10. American political culture is made up of all kinds of identities. According to the data in the chart above, Americans claim that family status is the most important identity in describing themselves. Do you think that is true,, and if so how do you think this impacts American politics?

  11. And if it is not true, what do you think is truly the most important American identity?

  12. Some people claim that when we talk about identity or group membership (race, class, gender), it divides and separates us. They would claim that we are all Americans and that is all that matters. Explain whether you agree or disagree with that claim.

Learning Extension

Read the NYTimes analysis of the data.

Action Extension

Take the NYTimes interactive identification sorter and share how your results compare to the nation, in class or online.

Visual Extension

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