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Multiculturalism in American Public Opinion

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 March 2001

JACK CITRIN
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley
DAVID O. SEARS
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, Univeristy of California, Los Angeles
CHRISTOPHER MUSTE
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, Louisiana State University
CARA WONG
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

Abstract

Multiculturalism has emerged to challenge liberalism as an ideological solution in coping with ethnic diversity in the United States. This article develops a definition of political multiculturalism which refers to conceptions of identity, community and public policy. It then analyses the 1994 General Social Survey and a 1994 survey of Los Angeles County to assess the contours of mass support and opposition to multiculturalism, testing hypotheses concerning the role of social background, liberalism–conservatism and racial hostility. The main conclusions are that ‘hard’ versions of multiculturalism are rejected in all ethnic groups, that a liberal political self-identification boosts support for multiculturalism, and that racial hostility is a consistent source of antagonism to the new ethnic agenda of multiculturalism. There is strong similarity in the results in both the national and Los Angeles samples.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
© 2001 Cambridge University Press

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