Identity Politics and the Religious Right: Hiding Hate in the Landscape
Abstract:Identity theory has had important theoretical implications for analysis of political action, but has tended mostly to examine identity formation and political action on the left. Any theory concerned with eradicating oppression must also analyze identity formation and political action of groups on the right whose politics are often based on exclusion and hate. Thus the empirical part of this paper focuses on the religious right, specifically Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia. The potency of the religious right lies in an identity politics which simultaneously asserts that fundamentalists are essentially different from those “of the world” but should nonetheless equate themselves politically with economic conservatives. This allows Liberty to borrow freely from the symbols and trappings of economic conservatism while blurring the hate and antagonistic othering inherent in essentialist notions of fundamentalist identity.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of Kentucky
Publication date: 1997-07-01