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10 March 2006

Place & Politics: Understanding the Effects of Racial Context

Cara Wong presented her research, "Place & Politics: Understanding the Effects of Racial Context" at the Center for American Politics Workshop this afternoon. Her research addressed the following questions: 1) by what mechanism does the racial context (defined as percent black) affect political attitudes and 2) Do people perceive the racial context of their neighborhoods accurately? Wong uses data from the 2000 GSS and from an original pilot study to answer these questions. Her findings from both the GSS and the pilot study indicate tht people misperceive the racial composition of the country and of their local communities. Interestingly enough, however, these misperceptions have no effect on negative stereotypes of blacks in models that control for standard demographic characteristics such as age and education. Objective measures of racial context from the census do predict stereotypes of blacks, such that people in more diverse communities view blacks more negatively.

The audience responded positively to Wong's research. Most comments pointed to alternative data sources and surveys that Wong could use to measure the effects of racial context. Also, audience members pointed out the endogeneity of racial attitudes and place of residence (such that people with negative attitudes toward blacks might choose to live in areas with fewer blacks) and discussed ways that Wong might overcome this problem.

Posted by Traci Burch at March 10, 2006 3:37 PM

Comments

Could anyone who attended the talk elaborate on the below RE: Wong's talk (i.e. the exact ways in which the author might overcome the below-mentioned problems):

"audience members pointed out the endogeneity of racial attitudes and place of residence (such that people with negative attitudes toward blacks might choose to live in areas with fewer blacks) and discussed ways that Wong might overcome this problem".

Posted by: JB at March 14, 2006 11:44 AM

Is it possible to provide a link to download this paper?

Posted by: Jason McDaniel at March 14, 2006 4:04 PM

I missed the talk, but here's a link to Wong's working papers.

Posted by: Barry Burden at March 15, 2006 10:34 AM