Do Racial Attitudes Matter? A Look at Attitudes Toward Latinos, Immigrants, and African-Americans and Their Effect on Public Policy
30 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2011 Last revised: 19 Apr 2011
Date Written: April 16, 2011
Extant literature on racial attitudes and public policy tends to focus upon white racial attitudes toward African-Americans and how these attitudes mediate public policy. We argue that with our increasingly diverse country it is critical to examine different groups in order to get a comprehensive view of how racial attitudes mediate public policy. Using the 2008 Collaborative Multi-Racial Post Election Survey (CMPS), we test whether racial stereotypes toward Latinos, African-Americans, and immigrants mediate the electorate’s attitudes toward critical national public policies. Furthermore, we test various racial attitudes hypotheses (symbolic racism, group competition, racial context, and immigrant attitudes) in relation to one another, and in relation to various public policies. We find that racial attitudes are significant predictors of public policy, but they are complex in nature and vary by policy.
Keywords: race, ethnicity, immigrant, public policy, public opinion
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