NOVAFRICA Seminar: the Interplay between Political and Social Identities in the Formation of Social Ties

On Friday, March 3rd, at 1.30pm (Lisbon time), on Room B D 012 the NOVAFRICA Center welcomes Bruno Ferman from Sao Paulo School of Economics to present his work on “Rooting for the Same Team: On the Interplay between Political and Social Identities in the Formation of Social Ties”.

Bruno Ferman

We study the interplay between political and other social identities in the formation of
social ties in a setting of intense affective polarization. We created fictional accounts on
Twitter that signaled their political preference for one of the two leading candidates in
the Brazilian 2022 Presidential election, their preference for a Brazilian football club,
or both. We interpret preference for a football club as an affective dimension of identity. The bots randomly followed Twitter accounts with congruent and incongruent
identities across these two dimensions, and we computed the proportion of follow-backs
and blocks they received. Both dimensions of identity are relevant in forming ties, but
the effect of sharing a political identity is significantly greater. Moreover, affective
identity becomes substantially less relevant when information about political identity
is available, indicating that political identity can overshadow other dimensions of identity. Still, shared affective identity has a positive effect in fostering ties even among
politically opposite individuals. This result suggests that shared identities such as
preference for a football club have the potential to reduce politically induced societal
divides, despite the evidence that affective polarization may diminish this effect.

Find more about this seminar here.