What is Identity Politics?

A clear definition of identity politics is a political focus on the interests and perspectives of a group toward a certain person. Individuals practice identity politics when they vote against someone based on their color, religion, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and other factors that lead voters to express an absolute no or yes to a candidate’s policies or ideas. Between 1890 and 1960, people started being identified as either homosexuals or heterosexual (Kuper, Nussbaum, & Mustanski, 2012). However, before they could be acknowledged in that context, they were referred to an unstable pervert alien and a sexually solid citizen, a homo margin and a hetero center, a lascivious outlaw and a sensual insider, a homo minority, and a hetero majority. In essence, the terminology heterosexuality affirmed the ideal of the erotically correct view that the heterosexuals were superior over homosexuals.

Ethnic groups have also ensured that political identity flourishes in the current world. The concept of this identity continues because ethnic groups are made of people from the same human social collectivity, a named identity group based on shared qualities of social behavior, feelings, and thoughts. In fact, records serve as evidence and reminder of the events that happened to a group, thus calling for the need for solidarity and group identity (Kuper, Nussbaum, & Mustanski, 2012). However, although ethnicity in the recent years has become modernized, it has not changed at all, especially because those in the political arena are using ethnicity on a different level with claims that it is legitimate for people to vote and be represented by individuals they identify with.

From the above approaches, the American culture can be termed as diverse. However, this diversity does not embrace all the people, especially those that are different from society’s expectation and are referred to as the minorities. Moreover, the political platform that should ensure that all the people are represented despite their differences has been misused because the few people at the top take advantage of the plight of the minority they claim to represent.



Kuper, L. E., Nussbaum, R., & Mustanski, B. (2012). Exploring the diversity of gender and sexual orientation identities in an online sample of transgender individuals. Journal of sex research, 49(2-3), 244-254.

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