Race, Ideology, and the Tea Party: A Longitudinal Study

Knowles ED, Lowery BS, Shulman, EP, Schaumberg BL (2013) Race, Ideology, and the Tea Party: A Longitudinal Study. PLoS ONE. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005102

37 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2013

See all articles by Eric D. Knowles

Eric D. Knowles

New York University (NYU)

Brian S. Lowery

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Elizabeth P. Shulman

University of California, Irvine; University of California, Irvine - School of Social Ecology

Rebecca Schaumberg

Independent

Date Written: June 2, 2013

Abstract

The Tea Party movement, which rose to prominence in the United States after the election of President Barack Obama, provides an ideal context in which to examine the roles of racial concerns and ideology in politics. A three-wave longitudinal study tracked changes in White Americans’ self-identification with the Tea Party, racial concerns (prejudice and racial identification), and ideologies (libertarianism and social conservatism) over nine months. Latent Growth Modeling (LGM) was used to evaluate potential causal relationships between Tea Party identification and these factors. Across time points, racial prejudice was indirectly associated with movement identification through Whites’ assertions of national decline. Although initial levels of White identity did not predict change in Tea Party identification, initial levels of Tea Party identification predicted increases in White identity over the study period. Across the three assessments, support for the Tea Party fell among libertarians, but rose among social conservatives. Results are discussed in terms of legitimation theories of prejudice, the “racializing” power of political judgments, and the ideological dynamics of the Tea Party.

Keywords: Tea Party, race, prejudice, identity, ideology, political psychology

Suggested Citation

Knowles, Eric D. and Lowery, Brian S. and Shulman, Elizabeth P. and Shulman, Elizabeth P. and Schaumberg, Rebecca, Race, Ideology, and the Tea Party: A Longitudinal Study (June 2, 2013). Knowles ED, Lowery BS, Shulman, EP, Schaumberg BL (2013) Race, Ideology, and the Tea Party: A Longitudinal Study. PLoS ONE. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005102, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2276711

Eric D. Knowles (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) ( email )

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
20 Cooper Square 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-711
United States

Brian S. Lowery

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Elizabeth P. Shulman

University of California, Irvine ( email )

4201 Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-7085
United States

University of California, Irvine - School of Social Ecology ( email )

226B Social Ecology 1
Irvine, CA 92697
United States

Rebecca Schaumberg

Independent

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