The study of the politics of identity is a cross-cutting research area that draws faculty from a number of other areas of the discipline. Faculty and students interested in identity examine it as both cause and effect, studying the ways in which race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and other politically relevant factors shape political behavior and attitudes. We also explore the ways in which identities are constituted, and what this means for politics.
Graduate students interested in preparing a field paper on identity politics may do so by petition. Pre-approval from the student's faculty advisor and graduate advisor is required for any four courses to be counted as a qualifying field. Suggested courses offered by the department include the following:
PS 237 Social Movements and Collective Action
PS 250 Political Socialization
PS 281 Comparative Ethnic Politics
PS 252 Public Opinion and Participation
PS 263 Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in American Politics
Students are also encouraged to consider relevant graduate-level courses offered by other UCSB departments such as Sociology, History, Psychology, Women's Studies, Chicano/Chicana Studies, and Black Studies.
The Identity Research Focus Group explores the diverse dimensions of identity, how it is studied and its implications. The group brings together scholars and graduate students from a wide array of disciplines in order to share their research, to discuss how they understand and conduct research on identity, and bring outstanding scholars studying identity to speak and share their ideas and research.
The co-conveners of the Identity RFG are Professor Cynthia Kaplan and Professor Adrienne Edgar.