Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Nancy Neiman

Reader 2

Thomas Kim

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Social media is widely considered one of the most helpful tools in ensuring connectivity and community despite physical proximity to one another. Online media networks have a profound impact on how we perceive the world and each other, conveniently providing individuals with updates regarding their social circles, personal interests, and—more recently—political affiliations. Further understanding the theories which explain ingroup behaviors—such as social identity politics and identity ownership—paint a clearer image of recent political phenomenon occurring within the United States. As more online personalities create political content, there has been a newfound increase in the adoption of partisanship as a social identity, creating a social and political divide between both Democratic and Republican parties within the United States. In recent years, media sites—namely Facebook—have curated algorithms which encourage these unique ingroup behaviors. Through investigating the recent progression in the growing divide between both partisan groups alongside trends in implications it has on Facebook revenues and user activity, this research illustrates the extent in which profit-incentivized algorithms encourage partisanship as a social identity amongst American conservatives.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.