Advice from Professor Neely: Don't Bring Up Politics at Christmas Dinner

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Thursday, December 20, 2018

SF STATE NEWS -- SF State Associate Professor of Political Science Francis Neely says that practicing tolerance and staying away from touchy subjects is key if you want to break bread without busting chops (or having yours busted).

“It’s just like you avoid bringing up that time your relative got so drunk,” Neely said. “There’s stuff you stay away from, and politics would be one of them.”

Neely, whose research delves into how political identities are formed and political information processed, says Americans for the most part have a common set of beliefs. But that common ground can be easy to forget when social media feels like a battleground.

“Clearly, we have differences, but we always have,” Neely said. “The stories about how much we have in common don’t get absorbed as much. So when I go to my relative who I disagree with politically, I try to remember that we’re all trying to do our best, we’re all trying to survive and do well. A lot of that comes from the same place.”