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Americans' Belief in Linked Fate: A Wide Reach but Limited Impact

37 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 12 Aug 2014

Claudine Gay

Harvard University - Department of Government

Jennifer L. Hochschild

Harvard University; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Ariel White

Harvard University

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

For decades, scholars have attributed Black Americans’ unified political and policy views, despite growing internal class and status differences, to a strong perception of linked fate. In recent years, the concept has been applied to other racial and ethnic groups and to gender, but not to social statuses such as class or religion. Without broad comparisons across groups and different statuses, however, one cannot determine the theoretical or empirical meaning of this canonical construct.

Using a new national survey, we examine views of linked fate by race or ethnicity, and also by gender, class, or religion. We find that a sense of linked fate is similar across racial groups, robust to experimental manipulation, and as strong for class as for racial or ethnic identity. It may reflect a tendency toward social connectedness more group-based identity or heuristic calculation. Furthermore, in this survey, a sense of linked fate is rarely associated with political views or political participation. We conclude that the enormously fruitful concept of racial linked fate is due for both conceptual and empirical re-examination.

Keywords: linked fate, race, political attitudes, class, gender, religion

Suggested Citation

Gay, Claudine and Hochschild, Jennifer L. and White, Ariel, Americans' Belief in Linked Fate: A Wide Reach but Limited Impact (2014). revision of APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1644497

Claudine Gay

Harvard University - Department of Government ( email )

1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jennifer Hochschild (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-0181 (Phone)
617-495-0438 (Fax)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Ariel White

Harvard University ( email )

No Address Available

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