Remorse, Retribution, and Restoration: Changing Minds, if not Hearts, about Reparations
28 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 21 Aug 2011
Date Written: 2011
What considerations do white Americans bring to bear when forming opinions about reparations? We argue that, because reparations involve concessions, both real and symbolic, whites are likely to view them through the lens of group conflict. An effort to secure reparations for race riots that occurred in Tulsa, Oklahoma, however, may illustrate a way to interrupt this pattern of thinking and increase white support. Using evidence from a series of survey experiments, we demonstrate that whites, especially conservatives, are far more likely to support reparations when they can be framed as a matter of retributive, rather than restorative justice. This framing turns the pressures of individualism and responsibility, which often work against concessions toward blacks, on their head.
Keywords: Reparations, group conflict, survey experiment
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