Project Definitions of Political Affiliations

When we invited people to our project, we presented them with 9 potential political affiliations as a way for them to identify themselves before we began our interview. We decided, though, that given the rest of the project, it made more sense to have people define their political affiliation using their own words. Of the 18 people represented here, not one used the the exact same phrase to identify their affiliation, as you will see. Below are the definitions we offered to interviewees; click here to see how they described themselves in their own words.

Revolutionary

Tends toward deep and longstanding unhappiness with the way things are in the nation and/or world and sees the current system as trapped by tradition. Advocates a complete overthrow of the existing political/economic/social system. 

Progressive

Tends to be unhappy with social and economic injustices in the nation and/or world and wants laws and policies that create economic and social equality. 

Liberal

Tends to be concerned about problems facing the nation and/or world. Often sees government and regulation as useful for preventing people from taking advantage of one another and for supporting people who are struggling. 

Tropical Leaves

Moderate

Tends to focus on issues and concerns as they arise and considers the pros and cons of multiple positions in regards to the situation. 

Cinnamon Sticks

Apathetic

Tends to see politics as unhelpful and/or uninteresting and instead focuses on other concerns. 

Reactionary

Tends toward deep and longstanding unhappiness with the way things are in the nation and/or world and sees the current system as abandoning important values of our past. Advocates a complete return to an earlier political/economic/social system. 

Libertarian

Tends to be unhappy with government interference in both social and economic affairs. Often argues human beings should be responsible for their own happiness and for one another without relying on laws. 

Conservative

Tends to be concerned about problems facing the nation and/or world. Often sees institutions like religion and family as most important for preventing people from taking advantage of one another and for supporting people who are struggling. 

Bath Salts and Soap

Abstaining

Tends to be frustrated with the existing political system and tends to feel unheard in current political debates. Often has strong feelings about what can and should be done to improve world and/or national affairs, but has decided not to participate in the system.