Jasper Johns, Flag (detail), 1954-55 (MoMA)

Photo courtesy Steven Zucker via flickr

About us

Who counts as a “real” American? What is required of a “good” citizen? Is American democracy flourishing or floundering? In today’s deeply polarized America, the answers to these questions depend on who you ask, but the ways that people answer them matter for us all. The Meanings of Democracy Lab, founded and directed by sociologist Dr. Ruth Braunstein, engages students and partners in collaborative research and discussion about the contested moral and cultural foundations of American democratic life. Current projects focus on the moral meanings of taxpaying and on battles over American identity and history.

Contact us

If you are interested in participating in or collaborating with the Meanings of Democracy Lab, please contact
Dr. Ruth Braunstein at ruth.braunstein@uconn.edu.

What’s New

  • Work with us in Fall 2023!
    Are you interested in working with the Meanings of Democracy Lab? During Fall 2023, we are seeking Research Assistants to work on two different projects:  Mapping the Pluralist Resistance to Christian Nationalism: – RAs on this team will assist Dr. Braunstein with the development of a database of groups and leaders working to combat Christian […]
  • New research on public funding of abortion
    In a research note published in the March 2022 issue of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, lab director Ruth Braunstein, along with coauthors Andrew Whitehead and Ryan Burge review national public opinion data on public funding of abortion: Abstract: An abundance of research examines Americans’ attitudes toward abortion legality and morality with […]
  • Introducing our Fall 2022 Team
    This Fall, the Meanings of Democracy Lab welcomes a new cohort of Undergraduate Research Assistants! Gloria Dickson  Harrison Hua  Brianna Monte The team brings a diverse mix of research skills and interests, and will be sharing the results of their work together throughout the semester through the Lab’s website and social media channels, so stay […]