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Is Politics Really Tearing America Apart?


In late 2018, the Associated Press concluded, “Americans are more divided than ever, gridlocked over social issues, race, gender and the economy.” And Americans tell pollsters they feel more divided, and worried about greater social conflict in the future. But many scholars argue that Americans were far more divided in earlier times, and indicators of broader social conflict—like crime and violence—are at near-record lows. What are the real divisions in America? And who are they between? UCLA Anderson economist Romain Wacziarg, University of Arizona political scientist Samara Klar, and UCLA Anderson behavioral economist M. Keith Chen visit Zócalo to examine whether America is as divided as we think.

Moderated by Madeleine Brand, Host, KCRW’s “Press Play”