Thursday, January 14, 2021

Federico Quoted in the New York Times

Headshot of Dr. Christopher Federico
On January 6th the nation watched as a mob incited by President Trump descended on the Capitol. To understand the motivations behind this event, the New York Times interviewed a wide range of experts for their piece "White Riot." Christopher Federico, PhD, professor in the Departments of Political Science and Psychology at the University of Minnesota describes the lack of educational and employment opportunities.

Since the 1980s Federico argues that the “differential rate of return on education and training [became] much higher.” This transition resulted in the replacement of “promises of broad-based economic security” to a job market in which one can only earn status and dignity through professional or market success. However, these avenues of success are not available to all, society only has room for so many lawyers and venture capitalists. This is especially true for those with lower levels of education.

Federico argues that a group consciousness can then form on the basis of education, so those with less education begin to feel a greater cultural divide from those with more education who are more socially liberal and cosmopolitan, “the sense of group conflict is deepened.”

Composed by Flora Pollack, communications assistant.