Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Whites' Opposition to "Busing": Self-Interest or Symbolic Politics?

David O. Sears, Carl P. Hensler and Leslie K. Speer
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 73, No. 2 (Jun., 1979), pp. 369-384
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1954885
Page Count: 16
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Whites' Opposition to "Busing": Self-Interest or Symbolic Politics?
Preview not available

Abstract

This article contrasts the "self-interest" and "symbolic politics" explanations for the formation of mass policy preferences and voting behavior. Self-interested attitudes are defined as those supporting policies that would maximize benefits and minimize costs to the individual's private material well-being. The "symbolic politics" model emphasizes pressures to make adulthood attitudes consistent with the residues of preadult socialization. We compare the two models in terms of their ability to account for whites' opposition to busing school children for racial integration of the public schools, and the role of the busing issue in presidential voting decisions, using the 1972 Center for Political Studies election study. Regression analysis shows strong effects of symbolic attitudes (racial intolerance and political conservatism) on opposition to busing, and of the busing issue on presidential voting decisions. Self-interest (e.g., having children susceptible to busing) had no significant effect upon either. It is concluded that self-interest is often overestimated as a determinant of public opinion and voting behavior because it is too rarely directly assessed empirically.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
369
    369
  • Thumbnail: Page 
370
    370
  • Thumbnail: Page 
371
    371
  • Thumbnail: Page 
372
    372
  • Thumbnail: Page 
373
    373
  • Thumbnail: Page 
374
    374
  • Thumbnail: Page 
375
    375
  • Thumbnail: Page 
376
    376
  • Thumbnail: Page 
377
    377
  • Thumbnail: Page 
378
    378
  • Thumbnail: Page 
379
    379
  • Thumbnail: Page 
380
    380
  • Thumbnail: Page 
381
    381
  • Thumbnail: Page 
382
    382
  • Thumbnail: Page 
383
    383
  • Thumbnail: Page 
384
    384