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Are Americans Ambivalent Towards Racial Policies?

Alvarez, R. Michael and Brehm, John (1997) Are Americans Ambivalent Towards Racial Policies? American Journal of Political Science, 41 (2). pp. 345-374. ISSN 0092-5853.

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Theory: The variability in individual respondent's considerations over racial policy may be due to uncertainty or to ambivalence. Ambivalence is distinct from uncertainty in that it stems from incommensurable choices, and cannot be altered with additional information. Methods: Using a heteroskedastic probit technique, we consider six separate core beliefs potentially relevant towards racial policy choice (modem racism, antiblack stereotyping, authoritarianism, individualism, and anti-Semitism) for four different policy choices. We evaluate two separate models for the source of individual variance: conflicting values and direct effects of values. Results: Our analysis indicates that modem racism trumps rival explanatory variables in explanations of racial policy choice, and that variability in attitudes toward racial policy is due to uncertainty, and not to ambivalence.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ItemEarlier version published as Social Science Working Paper 935
Alvarez, R. Michael0000-0002-8113-4451
Additional Information:© 1997 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. Manuscript submitted 18 July 1995. Final manuscript received 14 November 1995. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, April 6-8, 1995, Chicago, IL. We appreciate the comments of Morgan Kousser, Lynn Sanders, Paul Sniderman, Laura Stoker, and the Duke-UNC Political Psychology Group. We thank Paul Sniderman, Philip E. Tetlock, and Thomas Piazza for use of their 1991 Race and Politics Survey. Alvarez thanks the John M. Olin Foundation for support of his research. Editor's note: The paper received the John Sprague Award from the Midwest Political Science Association in 1996.
Subject Keywords:Racism, Racial policies, Statistical variance, Stereotypes, Egalitarianism, Individualism, Authoritarianism, Antisemitism, Statistical models, Taxes
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171107-081529537
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Official Citation:Alvarez, R. Michael, and John Brehm. “Are Americans Ambivalent Towards Racial Policies?” American Journal of Political Science, vol. 41, no. 2, 1997, pp. 345–374. JSTOR, JSTOR,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:83018
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:07 Nov 2017 18:52
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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