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Racializing Gender: Public Opinion at the Intersection

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 March 2015

Erin C. Cassese
West Virginia University
Tiffany D. Barnes
University of Kentucky
Regina P. Branton
University of North Texas


Efforts to understand the political implications of categorical prejudices—like racism and sexism—are complicated by the intersectional nature of social groups. Evaluating attitudes toward members of a single social category (e.g., African-Americans) in isolation can produce misleading conclusions, as racial cues commonly coincide with gender cues and create meaningful subgroups (McConnaughy and White 2014). The idea that different subgroups of women experience distinctive forms of discrimination is reflected in the concept of “double jeopardy.” Double jeopardy suggests that black and Hispanic women experience discrimination differently from white women or men of color because they simultaneously belong to a low-status gender group and a low-status racial/ethnic group (King 1988; Levin et al. 2002; cf. Sidanius and Veniegas 2000). As a result, women who are racial or ethnic minorities face a cumulative discrimination that extends beyond racism or sexism alone (King 1988; Purdie-Vaughns and Eibach 2008).

Research Article
Copyright © The Women and Politics Research Section of the American Political Science Association 2015 

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