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The Political Implications of Economic Stratification in the Black Community

Wayne Parent and Paul Stekler
The Western Political Quarterly
Vol. 38, No. 4 (Dec., 1985), pp. 521-538
DOI: 10.2307/448610
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/448610
Page Count: 18
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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.
The Political Implications of Economic Stratification in the Black Community
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Abstract

Given the indications of growing economic polarization among blacks and a differentiation of a middle class black life experience since the early sixties, the potential for significant attitudinal and voting behavior cleavages between middle and lower income blacks is examined. Using NES surveys from 1968 to 1980 and the ABC/Washington Post 1981 Race Relations Survey, no differences were found on national political identification or presidential voting behavior, but significant differences between middle and lower income blacks were found in group identification, in perceptions of civil rights progress and in attitudes abut governmental policy toward the minority poor. Middle income blacks tended to identify more with "blacks" and be more concerned with black progress, while lower income blacks tended to identify more with "poor" interests. With more black vs. black elections in the future, these cleavages may form the ideological basis of electoral splits in the black community.

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