Perceptions of Prejudice in the Current Environment Related to a Surge in Political Polarization and Partisanship

Thumbnail Image


Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Over the last few decades, there appears to have been a surge in political polarization and partisanship that has divided the American public and likely resulted in increased levels of prejudice between members of the two major political parties. This thesis sought to explore the public’s overall perception of prejudice to determine if there has been any observed change in recent years, and to gather information on whether perceptions regarding the prevalence of certain types of prejudice differ based on individuals’ political ideology. 202 participants filled out a survey which consisted of demographic information, questions related to prejudice, and possible solutions to the issue. The results of this study revealed that participants agreed that levels of prejudice have increased, and that a recent surge in both polarization and partisanship has contributed to increased levels of prejudice between the two major political parties within the United States. Findings also suggest that respondents believe prejudice based on race and political affiliation are more prevalent than other types of prejudice, though this perception was influenced by political ideology. Effective solutions to the issue, limitations of the study, and future directions are discussed.



political polarization, partisanship, prejudice, political ideology, party affiliation