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A Schema-Based Approach to Modeling an African-American Racial Belief System

Richard L. Allen, Michael C. Dawson and Ronald E. Brown
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 83, No. 2 (Jun., 1989), pp. 421-441
DOI: 10.2307/1962398
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1962398
Page Count: 21
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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.
A Schema-Based Approach to Modeling an African-American Racial Belief System
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Abstract

We use a cognitive schema-based approach to model an African-American racial belief system, showing the content of racial belief systems in a national sample to be associated with the individual's degree of socioeconomic status, religiosity, and exposure to black media. We find that African-Americans with a higher socioeconomic status are less supportive of black political autonomy and that they feel themselves more distant from black masses and black elites than do those of lower socioeconomic status. Religiosity, while unrelated to black autonomy, strengthens closeness of black masses and black elites. Black television--and, to a much lesser degree, black print media--had a consistent impact on the racial belief system. We conclude by discussing the complexity of the African-American racial belief system and potential directions for future work.

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