You are not currently logged in.
Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis 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.
Reconsidering the Environmental Determinants of White Racial Attitudes
J. Eric Oliver and Tali Mendelberg
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 44, No. 3 (Jul., 2000), pp. 574-589
Published by: Midwest Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2669265
Page Count: 16
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.
Preview not available
Most research on the environmental determinants of whites' racial attitudes focuses on the "threat" hypothesis, i.e., that white racism increases with the competition posed by a larger black population. We argue that in the segregated United States, contextual effects are more complicated than this, involving both race and socio-economic status. Cross-level data on individual racial attitudes and the environment's racial and education composition, constructed from the 1991 Race and Politics Survey and the 1990 Census, support this assertion. Living amongst more uneducated whites has a greater impact on whites' racial attitudes than does living amongst more blacks. Further analysis shows that the sources of this effect come less from interracial competition and more from a psychological response of out-group hostility generated by low status contexts. We also find that whites' views on racially targeted policies are shaped by racial contexts but only where the contextual parameter coincides with the policy outcome. Our findings suggest specific limitations to the threat thesis and highlight other ways that social contexts shape racial attitudes.
American Journal of Political Science © 2000 Midwest Political Science Association