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How do White Americans evaluate the politics of belonging in the United States across different ethnoreligious identity categories? This paper examines this question through two competing frameworks. On the one hand, given the salience of anti-Muslim attitudes in the United States, we consider whether White Americans penalize Muslim immigrants to the United States regardless of their ethnoracial background. On the other hand, Muslim identity is often conflated by the general public with Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) ethnoracial identity. We argue MENA-Muslim identity should be understood through the lens of intersectionality. In this case, White Americans may penalize MENA-Muslims immigrants to the United States more than Muslims from other ethnoracial groups. We test these two frameworks through a conjoint experimental design wherein respondents are asked to evaluate immigrants and indicate to whom the United States should give a green card—signaling legal belonging—and how likely the immigrant is to assimilate into America—signaling cultural belonging. Although White Americans believe White Muslims may assimilate better to the United States relative to MENA-Muslims, race does not moderate how White Americans evaluate who should be allowed to belong in the United States.
This introductory chapter provides an overview of the key issues that are addressed in the book as a whole. It addesses two key questions that are at the heart of the book. First, what is the current state of racial and ethnic politics in Britain today? Second, how can we locate the forms of racialised politics that have become entrenched in our everyday political institutions within a wider historical frame that traces their development up to the current conjuncture? Addressing these questions against the background of recent trends in British society allows us to explore both the processes that are helping to shape the current conjuncture as well as locating the present in the wider frame of the period from 1945 onwards and likely trends in the future.
Research finds that social media platforms’ peer-to-peer structures shape the public discourse and increase citizens’ likelihood of exposure to unregulated, false, and prejudicial content. Here, we test whether self-reported reliance on social media as a primary news source is linked to racialised policy support, taking the case of United States Muslims, a publicly visible but understudied group about whom significant false and prejudicial content is abundant on these platforms. Drawing on three original surveys and the Nationscape dataset, we find a strong and consistent association between reliance on social media and support for a range of anti-Muslim policies. Importantly, reliance on social media is linked to policy attitudes across the partisan divide and for individuals who reported holding positive or negative feelings towards Muslims. These findings highlight the need for further investigation into the political ramification of information presented on contemporary social media outlets, particularly information related to stigmatised groups.
Understanding the legacy of settler colonialism requires understanding the nature and scope of anti-Indigenous attitudes. But what, exactly, are the political consequences of anti-Indigenous attitudes? Answering this question requires recognizing that attitudes toward Indigenous peoples are distinct from White racial attitudes toward other disempowered groups. In this paper, I introduce a novel measure of Indigenous resentment. I then show that Indigenous resentment is an important predictor of policy attitudes using data collected from an original survey of White settlers. I estimate the effect of both Indigenous resentment and negative affect on policy attitudes—opposition to welfare and support for pipeline developments—to make the case that Indigenous resentment is a better measure of anti-Indigenous attitudes than affective prejudice, and that Indigenous resentment is an important omitted variable in the study of public opinion in settler societies.
Chapter 2 develops our theory, highlighting how land use regulations and participatory inequalities come together to constrain the supply of new housing. We use a detailed case study of a Catholic Church redevelopment project to illustrate how neighbors opposed to development are able to delay development and reduce what gets built by participating in the planning and permitting process.
Chapter 1 uses several illustrative case studies to introduce the central argument of this book: that land use institutions ostensibly designed to empower underrepresented neighborhood groups actually amplify the power of neighborhood defenders to stop and delay the construction of new housing. We then situate this argument in the broader context of rising national housing costs, and the negative social, economic, and environmental consequences of the nationwide housing crunch.
Chapter 6 then explores how these individuals stymy housing development using a mix of quantitative analysis of meeting minutes, in-depth case studies, and dozens of interviews with government officials, developers, and community activists. We analyze the wide range of concerns raised by meeting attendees and how commenters use in-depth knowledge of local zoning regulations to raise objections to special permits and variances.
Chapter 7 investigates potential policy solutions and the challenges facing building an affordable housing coalition. It uses a mix of elite survey data, interviews, and archival analysis to explore how gentrification has made prospects for reform more challenging, exploring the state-level politics surrounding SB 827 in California and Chapter 40B in Massachusetts. It concludes by outlining: (1) prospects for successful housing reform and (2) how the insights derived from housing politics might apply to other salient policy arenas, such as environmental and immigration policy.
Chapters 5 and 6 turn to members of the public. In Chapter 5, we combine a novel data set of all citizen participants in planning and zoning board meetings in the greater Boston area with the state voter file to describe the demographic and attitudinal attributes of meeting attendees. We demonstrate that these individuals are overwhelmingly opposed to new housing and demographically unrepresentative of their broader communities across a number of important domains.
Since the collapse of the housing market in 2008, demand for housing has consistently outpaced supply in many US communities. The failure to construct sufficient housing - especially affordable housing - in desirable communities and neighborhoods comes with significant social, economic, and environmental costs. This book examines how local participatory land use institutions amplify the power of entrenched interests and privileged homeowners. The book draws on sweeping data to examine the dominance of land use politics by 'neighborhood defenders' - individuals who oppose new housing projects far more strongly than their broader communities and who are likely to be privileged on a variety of dimensions. Neighborhood defenders participate disproportionately and take advantage of land use regulations to restrict the construction of multifamily housing. The result is diminished housing stock and higher housing costs, with participatory institutions perversely reproducing inequality.
Perceived discrimination (PD) is reliably and strongly associated with partisan identity (PID) among US immigrant minorities such as Latinos and Asian Americans. Yet whether PD causes PID remains unclear, since it is possible that partisanship influences perceptions of discrimination or that other factors drive the observed association. Here, we assess the causal influence of group-level PD on PID using five experiments with Latino and Asian American adults. These experiments varied in important ways: they took place inside and outside the lab, occurred prior to and during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and tested different manifestations of PD and partisan attitudes (total n = 2,528). These efforts point to a simple but unexpected conclusion: our experiments and operationalizations do not support the claim that group-targeted PD directly causes PID. These results have important implications for understanding partisanship among immigrants and their co-ethnics and the political incorporation of Latinos and Asian Americans.
While popular narratives regarding the destiny of demographics assume Latino interstate migrants will alter destination state politics as Latinos disperse across the states, no studies directly assess the empirical validity of the underlying assumption of migrant's political preferences. Moreover, established theories of domestic migrant preferences suggest a variety of potential individual-level behaviors that often diverge from the underlying assumption of a uniform introduction of more liberal voters. Employing data from the 2016 Collaborative Multiracial Post-Election Survey, this study presents an analysis on Latino interstate migrant voting behavior, while also overcoming a variety of data limitations in existing studies. Countering some previous findings that homophily, adaptation, or even a static liberal orientation describes migrant voting behavior, the results suggest that Latino interstate migrant preferences vary by the political context of their previous state of residence. The results imply that the destiny of demographics will be conditioned, to some extent, by the migratory patterns of Latinos and the dyad of departure and destination states. When Latinos leave liberal (conservative) states, they bring more liberal (conservative) policies. In short, Latinos seem to pack their politics when moving across state lines.
While a number of studies demonstrate that black candidates have the ability to increase black political participation, a growing literature is investigating why descriptive representation matters. This paper contributes to this discussion by exploring whether perceptions of candidate traits play a mediating role between the presence of an African American candidate on the ballot and increases in black political activity. I test this trait hypothesis using data from the 1992–2012 American National Election Study, a survey experiment, and statistical mediation analysis. The results indicate that perceptions of black candidates as being better leaders, more empathetic, knowledgeable, intelligent, honest, and moral explain a substantial amount of why descriptive representation increases black political participation across a range of different political activities. In the conclusion, I discuss the importance of the psychological link between blacks and their co-racial representatives in inspiring higher levels of political participation.
Charter schools enjoy support among Republican and Democratic lawmakers in states and Congress, but little research has examined their support among the electorate. We take advantage of Washington's 2012 charter school ballot initiative—the first voter-approved charter initiative in the United States—to shed light on the politics of school choice at the mass level. Because in-depth, individual-level voter data are often unavailable in state-level elections, we leverage extensive precinct- and district-level data to examine patterns of support and opposition toward the charter school initiative, focusing on how partisanship, ideology, and demographic factors serve to unify or divide voters. Our analysis reveals that the coalition of supporters cut across usual partisan and demographic cleavages, producing somewhat strange bedfellows. This finding has important implications for the strategies advocacy groups may consider as they seek to expand or limit school choice programs via ballot initiatives as opposed to the statehouse, and provides suggestive evidence regarding the evolving shapers of voter support for school choice and ballot initiatives more generally.
In 2010, the Alabama GOP took control of the state legislature for the first time since Reconstruction. The next year, in a sharply partisan vote, the legislature passed, and Governor Robert Bentley (R) signed into law, the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, also known as House Bill 56, the harshest immigration law in the country. This punitive state law was the impetus for Black elites in Birmingham to frame the immigration debate as a matter of civil rights and thus to see the issue in a new light. When Alabama Republicans moved to the Right on immigration, Black leaders in Birmingham moved Left. In this study, backed up by an event analysis of local newspapers, an analysis of interviews with members of the Black elite in Birmingham in 2013, who were previously interviewed in 2007, helps to substantiate this claim. In the summer of 2007, against the backdrop of an immigration debate in Washington, our Black elite study participants largely told us they had no stake in immigration. By 2013, many were willing to fight for immigrant rights at the highest level.
A succession of policies aimed at inclusion and accommodation of
racial and ethnic groups in the United States is tied together by scholars
who assert that the last forty years witnessed a broad “Minority
Rights Revolution.” Nevertheless, subnational policies addressing
racial, ethnic, and cultural minorities vary greatly and hardly resemble a
uniform orientation; this variation provides compelling reasons as well as
an analytical opportunity to explore the relationship between policies
considered part of the minority rights transformation. Using state civil
rights policies from the 1960s as a proxy, we find that an egalitarian
tradition within states consistently explains the variation in
contemporary multicultural policies and policies regarding immigrant
access to social welfare benefits.This
research was funded in part by a grant from the Center to Advance Research
and Teaching in the Social Sciences at the University of Colorado. The
authors would like to thank Andrew Thangasamy for his research
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