Research on essentialist beliefs has largely focused on a few identities associated with biological traits that have socially constructed significance and meanings placed on them (e.g., skin color for race or voice pitch for gender). Identities that are more choice-based (e.g., religion or politics) or otherwise non-physical (e.g., nationality) have been underrepresented in research on essentialism. The concept of essentialism is important because the action of regarding natural biological factors as immutable and determinant has been found to lead to racial and political discrimination. The current study surveyed participants on their national, religious, and political beliefs to investigate the relationships between social identities and attitudes about essentialism. The results of the study demonstrated that national, political, and religious essentialist beliefs positively correlate with each other, and that national, political, and religious identity centralities also positively correlate with each other, broadening the general understanding of these identities.
Deree, T. (2023). Intercorrelations between essentialist beliefs and religious, political, and national identities. James Madison Undergraduate Research Journal, 10(1), 18-29. http://commons.lib.jmu.edu/jmurj/vol10/iss1/2