“These Aren’t Even Your Fries!”

Conservatives in the United States often hold traditional views on marriage and family. They believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman, and that the family unit is the foundation of society. These views are often tied to a strong sense of social identity, which can be defined as the part of an individual’s self-concept derived from their perceived membership in a relevant social group.

However, with the increasing acceptance and legalization of same-sex marriage, many conservatives feel that their traditional views are under attack. This can lead to feelings of relative deprivation, which is the perception that one’s own group is not receiving its fair share of resources or benefits compared to other groups. In this case, conservatives may feel that their traditional view of marriage is being disregarded and marginalized, leading to a sense of deprivation.

This sense of relative deprivation can be further compounded by the political exploitation of these feelings by politicians who use issues like marriage equality to appeal to conservative voters. By framing the issue in terms of social identity and traditional values, politicians can create a sense of shared grievance and mobilize voters around a common cause.

This exploitation of relative deprivation and social identity can have detrimental effects on society. It can lead to increased polarization, with individuals and groups becoming more entrenched in their own views and less willing to compromise or work together. It can also contribute to feelings of resentment and hostility towards other groups, leading to a breakdown in social cohesion and an increase in social conflict.

However, it is important to note that not all conservatives hold these views on marriage equality or other social issues. There are many conservatives who support marriage equality and other progressive social policies, and who reject the idea that their social identity and traditional values are under attack. It is important to recognize and acknowledge the diversity of viewpoints within any political or social group.

In conclusion, the issues of relative deprivation and social identity are complex and multifaceted, and their effects on conservatives in the U.S. with regards to issues like marriage equality are significant. By understanding these issues and their implications, we can work towards a more inclusive and harmonious society that values diversity and cooperation over division and conflict.