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8 - Group Empathy in the Era of Trump

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 March 2021

Cigdem V. Sirin
Affiliation:
University of Texas, El Paso
Nicholas A. Valentino
Affiliation:
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
José D. Villalobos
Affiliation:
University of Texas, El Paso
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Summary

Chapter 8 investigates the effects of group empathy on attitudes regarding a variety of policy changes that took place after Trump’s election. We examine how group empathy affects support for the Trump administration’s border wall and family separation policies, as well as its attempts to end the Obama-era DACA program. We also revisit Trump’s travel and immigration ban on several Muslim countries after he turned his controversial campaign promise into government policy via executive order. We further explore how group empathy influences opinions about some other group-related political issues such as hurricane relief for Puerto Rico, misappropriation of Native American names, symbols, and imagery in sports, as well as removal of Confederate statues and monuments. Finally, we examine the relationship between group empathy and support for contemporary social movements, namely Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, and LGBTQ rights. In all these tests, we find that group empathy is a powerful determinant of public reactions to the Trump administration’s policies above and beyond partisanship, ideology, and many other predispositions including racial resentment, even for issues concerning non-racial/ethnic marginalized outgroups.

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Chapter
Information
Seeing Us in Them
Social Divisions and the Politics of Group Empathy
, pp. 166 - 211
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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