It can sometimes feels as if there are more things that divide communities than unite them. A new report focusing on what brings Texans together is called “The Threads of Texas.”
Christiana Lang is a senior associate at More In Common – U.S., the nonprofit group behind the research. Lang told Texas Standard that “The Threads of Texas” is her group’s first statewide study project. She says researchers wanted to focus on inflection points related to demographics, the economy and social change in the state. The survey included conversations with over 4,000 adults in Texas, and was conducted in English and Spanish.
The study focuses on seven “threads.” They represent groups of Texans that are both separate and “woven” together. More in Common gave these groups names like “Lone Star Progressives,” “Rising Mavericks” and “Reverent Texans.”
“Demographics, including political party, were not in play at all, in finding these seven threads,” Lang said. “Actually, we found these threads based on answers that Texans gave, in terms of their core beliefs, identity, how they felt about change, attitudes toward Texas, as well as political engagement – rather than affiliation.”
For example, Reverent Texans are characterized by a focus on faith and patriotism, Lang says.
“They do lean more conservative, but that’s not their primary adjective, for example,” she said.
Lang says the study found that Texans are optimistic about the future – more so than people nationwide.
“Some Texans do feel worried about being ‘left behind,'” Lang said. “Some are concerned about what the future will look like, and that concern could be, for some groups, like Lone Star Progressives, for example, about justice and equality. Others might be worried about whether their version of tradition will be sustained.”
Lang says she hopes Texans can use the threads her survey identified to work together on common problems.