Civic Talk: Ideological Bubbles

Civic Talk is an ongoing blog series from Generation Citizen where we offer our perspectives on political, cultural, and global news through the lens of civic action and education, and share the articles and resources that have helped to shape our understanding.

Our latest report,“Education Paves the Road to Sustained Democracy,” highlights that meaningful interactions between those who disagree are rare. People increasingly live within ideological bubbles, and interacting primarily with others who agree with one’s own political positions tends to harden those views.

As the United States remains divided in the wake of President Trump’s accession to office, meaningful interactions between those who disagree are vital – to foster deliberative discourse, meaningful policy debate, and community collaboration and cohesion. Yet, it is clear there is not just a lack of opportunity, but there is a lack of ability, to engage with differing perspectives and opinions. Civic education, where students critically analyze and examine all sides of an issue, and participate in consensus building processes and simulated debate, will equip our population with the ability, and motivation, to engage in conversations with people who disagree with them.

These articles, which include news, feature, and opinion pieces, have helped shape our understanding of the “ideological bubble” conversation:
  1. The Failure of Facebook Democracy, The New Yorker
  2. Why We Should Rid Ourselves Of Bubbles, The Federalist
  3. Civility in Debate Should Be the Norm, Montana Standard
  4. Ways to Burst Your Filter Bubble, Bloomberg
  5. Empathy, Respect for One Another Critical to Ease Political Polarization, Stanford Sociologist Says, Stanford