James E. Campbell is a UB Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. His new book is Polarized: Making Sense of a Divided America.
From Campbell's Q&A at the publisher's website:
How can Americans be ideologically polarized when research indicates that they are not very politically sophisticated or informed?Learn more about Polarized at the Princeton University Press website.
JC: There is no doubt that most Americans are not highly informed about politics or very sophisticated in their political thinking. This does not mean, however, that they cannot be ideological in the sense that they have some fundamental perspectives or values they apply to politics. Pretty much everybody has a sense about what they think is politically right or wrong and that is, at its core, what ideology is about. Unfortunately early studies of political thinking labeled the highest level of political conceptualization as ideological. But ideologies can be based on vastly different levels of political thought, from philosophies to gut instincts. If nothing else, knee-jerk liberals and wing-nut conservatives are...[read on]
The Page 99 Test: Polarized.