identity politics


plural in form but singular or plural in construction
: politics in which groups of people having a particular racial, religious, ethnic, social, or cultural identity tend to promote their own specific interests or concerns without regard to the interests or concerns of any larger political group
Although the UCLA center's standards promoted rigorous history, they set off a major culture war because of their relentless emphasis on identity politics.Diane Ravitch
Identity politics is contemporary shorthand for a group's assertion that it is a meaningful group; that it differs significantly from other groups; that its members share a history of injustice and grievance; and that its psychological and political mission is to explore, act out, act on and act up its group identity.Catharine R. Stimpson
A number of critics have viewed her work through a lens of identity politics, taking her to be some sort of oracle of Muslim womanhood.Lauren Collins

Examples of identity politics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Overemphasis On Identity Some proponents emphasize identity politics over common ground. Jonathan H. Westover, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 The right’s suspicion of identity politics has also made conversations about diversity difficult. Emma Green, The New Yorker, 11 Mar. 2024 Americans didn’t need AI’s help to fight over the divisive issue of identity politics. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 28 Feb. 2024 In it, Cedillo and De León not only gripe about the lack of Latino political power in Los Angeles but also openly express fear that a new generation of Latinos, who don’t subscribe to the identity politics of the past, is ready to take them on. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 27 Feb. 2024 These factors, including the BJP’s explosive brand of identity politics, may well prove to be a winning proposition in this year’s elections. Vasuki Shastry, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2024 When Cohen’s book first appeared, it was read as a comic allegory about identity politics. Gideon Lewis-Kraus, The New Yorker, 15 Feb. 2024 Given the identity politics involved in sidelining Harris, the idea that the Democrats would ever be able to ditch Biden and somehow swap in California governor Gavin Newsom or somebody else was pure fantasy. Philip Klein, National Review, 9 Feb. 2024 Alas, Marvel is too concerned with identity politics to make the right storytelling decisions. David Zimmermann, National Review, 27 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'identity politics.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1970, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of identity politics was in 1970

Dictionary Entries Near identity politics

Cite this Entry

“Identity politics.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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