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The New Racism

Paul M. Sniderman, Thomas Piazza, Philip E. Tetlock and Ann Kendrick
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 35, No. 2 (May, 1991), pp. 423-447
DOI: 10.2307/2111369
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2111369
Page Count: 25
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The New Racism
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Abstract

This study combines the methodological advantages of a fully experimental design and a genuinely representative survey sample to explore the nature and workings of contemporary racial prejudice. The correlational results both replicate and extend the findings of earlier work. Political conservatism, for example, was found once again to be correlated with opposition to policies to assist blacks and with support for negative images of blacks as lazy and irresponsible. The experimental results, however, pose fundamental challenges to symbolic and modern racism theories, which contend that there is a new kind of racism in America that takes the form of racial prejudice plus traditional, conservative values. The experimental results demonstrate, on the one hand, that conservatives are not more likely to refuse government help to blacks who have violated traditional values; on the other hand, the results demonstrate that conservatives are more likely to favor government help for blacks who have acted in accord with traditional values. The experimental results, moreover, identify a key condition for the expression of discrimination--a focus on group rather than individual claimants--and demonstrate that discrimination is not encouraged by a particular ideological outlook, conservative or liberal, but rather is most common in the absence of any ideological stance.

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