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  • Racial Attitudes: Summary of updates | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    treatment for blacks in hiring and promotion Levels of support for these two kinds of affirmative action vary substantially across issue area And there is little sign of a clear trend in one direction or the other But generally speaking support is much lower and sometimes dramatically so for these affirmative policies than for either the principles or the implementation questions already reviewed Turning first to questions about government expenditures the pattern is one of general support for the status quo and there has been no discernible change over the past 30 or so years For example during the last 6 years roughly one out of every two whites believed the current level of spending to improve the conditions of blacks is about right This reflects essentially no change A related question from ISR shows a similar pattern though there is some decrease in support for increasing spending and a corresponding rise in the belief that funding should be decreased Figure 3 Trend in Whites Government Expenditures Attitudes A slightly different version of the question asks if the government should help blacks or if instead there should be no special treatment On this question there has been some decline in whites reporting that the government should help but it has been slight and slow see Figure 3 for trends for all four government expenditure questions Equally unchanging and even more unpopular are policies that involve preferential treatment of blacks Questions that appeared in the 1997 edition of the book about preferences in admission to colleges a policy that has come under direct attack over the past decade have unfortunately not been replicated in recent years However an ISR question asking respondents if because of past discrimination blacks should be given preference in hiring and promotion reveals a clear pattern there is scant support among whites for this policy and this remains essentially unchanged over time see Figure 4 Also shown in Figure 4 are the trends for new data available from NORC These data tell a similar story basically stable and low levels of support It is worth noting that although in general higher levels of respondent education result in more liberal racial attitudes this does not hold for questions on preferences in hiring and promotion e g Schuman et al 1997 For example the NORC question on this topic shows that although all levels of education show substantial opposition to this policy it is the least educated who report the highest levels of support Specifically from 1994 to 2004 about 16 percent of those with less than a high school degree either favored or strongly favored preferences among those with some college or more the number drops to just about 1 in 10 throughout this time period Figure 4 Trend in Whites Attitudes Toward Preferences in Hiring and Promotion One last insight into white attitudes toward affirmative action comes from a question that only recently became available as a time series The data already reported show that affirmative action

    Original URL path: http://igpa.uillinois.edu/programs/racial-attitudes/detailed2 (2016-02-17)
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  • Racial Attitudes: Summary of updates | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    policies Steeh and Krysan 1996 Bobo and Kluegel 1993 Bobo and Smith 1994 On the one hand Steeh and Krysan 1996 report when the wording of the question starkly contrasts abilities with preferential treatment based on race fewer than 10 percent of whites favored a race based policy survey data available between the late 1970s and early 1990s On the other hand when survey questions ask about affirmative action but specifically clarify that it would not include rigid quotas support is far higher Indeed in 1988 the last year for which data are available 73 percent of whites favored affirmative action when phrased in this manner These contrasting figures give a hint of the complexity of attitudes toward affirmative action a complexity that is missed because the survey questions that are asked regularly in national surveys ask only about a few specific kinds of policies or about very general issues of government spending Explanations for Inequality Perceptions of Discrimination and Stereotypes Tables 3 4A 3 4A Supplement 3 4B 3 4B Supplement Explaining Racial Inequality In the past few decades there has been increasing interest in understanding how people explain current racial inequality This is in part because it is a useful predictor of levels of support or opposition to the kinds of race targeted policies just described e g Bobo and Kluegel 1993 Bobo Kluegel and Smith 1997 Hughes 1997 Kinder and Sanders 1996 In short whites who perceive the causes of inequality to include structural factors such as discrimination are more likely to support race based policies In addition numerous scholars have argued that the very nature of racial prejudice has shifted from one based on perceptions of biological racial differences and strict segregation that were characteristic of the Jim Crow era to one that is more contemporary and in which popular beliefs include a denial of the existence of race based discrimination persistent negative racial stereotypes that typically involve the sense that blacks violate cherished American values and a belief in cultural rather than biological differences between racial groups This constellation of beliefs is the cornerstone of a new contemporary racial ideology which has been variously labeled colorblind racism symbolic racism modern racism racial resentment and laissez faire racism Bobo Kluegel and Smith 1997 Kinder and Sanders 1996 Henry and Sears 2002 McConahay 1986 Bonilla Silva and Forman 2000 Beginning in the mid 1970s survey researchers began to ask questions that tap into some of the key dimensions of this new ideology The trends that were beginning to emerge in the late 1990s on questions of this type persist with the addition of data from the first few years of the new century For example beginning in 1977 NORC asked respondents whether they thought each of four different reasons could explain why blacks on average have worse jobs income and housing than whites Updating the results reported in the 2 nd edition of the book we see that the trend that began at the end of the

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  • Racial Attitudes: Summary of updates | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    levels in 1977 were so much smaller to begin with In 2004 there remains an education difference 4 percent of those with some college endorsed this belief while about 12 percent of those with less education did Lack of access to education as an explanation for inequality declined in the overall time trends as reported in Figure 5 The pattern for this question follows a similar pattern to the discrimination explanation with respect to its relationship to levels of education In the most recent survey there were no differences between those with more and less education all three groups showed declines in endorsing a lack of access to education as a reason in comparison to their 1977 levels However the decline was steeper for those with some college where it dropped from 62 percent to just 42 percent in 2004 Those with less than a high school education declined from 44 percent to 38 percent over this same time period and those with a high school degree dropped from 46 percent to 36 percent In short the pace of change has been slightly different across education levels and has lead to a convergence across education levels Finally endorsing the belief that blacks have less motivation has as noted above shown declining support over the past several decades though it has and continues to be the modal response Here there are few differences by region or education all groups have shown about the same levels of declines But education and region continue to be significantly related to this response those with more education and those outside the south are somewhat less likely to select it than the less educated and the southerners Of the four explanations for inequality only this question on motivation shows a cohort difference Whites from the pre Civil Rights cohort are consistently more likely to endorse this reason than younger cohorts To some extent then the overall declines in selecting this reason are driven in part by increasing levels of education and cohort replacement as the oldest generations who most strongly held this view are replaced by younger and more educated cohorts Perceptions of Discrimination The slow but steady decline among whites for the discrimination explanation of inequality is of significance given its central role in shaping public opinion about racial policies If whites do not perceive blacks as facing discrimination then racial policies that are predicated on the notion that blacks continue to experience discrimination will likely fail in the court of public opinion A series of new questions provided by the Gallup Poll tap white perceptions of discrimination in general as opposed to its role in explaining racial inequality Results from 1997 to 2004 show both little change over time and relatively low levels of recognition that blacks are treated less fairly than whites in a range of venues including on the job in neighborhood shops downtown in restaurants and by the police The percentage of whites who acknowledge discrimination against African Americans in public

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  • Racial Attitudes: Summary of updates | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    statistically significant regional differences On the one hand these results about the declining use of stereotypes may provide some reason for optimism Whites are less willing in a survey interview to draw sharp distinctions between racial groups on the traits of intelligence and laziness However caution is advised against making too much of these findings First social desirability pressures may be particularly at work on these kinds of items It is increasingly socially unacceptable to admit to believing in racial differences of this type and thus surveys may under estimate levels of stereotype endorsement Indeed evidence from laboratory studies of unconscious stereotyping suggests that stereotypes continue to shape how whites think about race and racial groups Fazio et al 1995 McConnell and Leibold 2001 Second qualitative studies on racial attitudes suggest that the traits being measured by NORC may not be tapping those most prevalent in the contemporary racial climate e g Waters 1999 Lamont 2000 In other words the intelligence question though still revealing that 1 in 4 whites agrees that blacks as a group are less intelligent than whites may tap a sentiment that is particularly prone to social desirability pressures because of the changing racial ideology away from an endorsement of innate differences such as intelligence and towards more cultural deficiencies There are hints of support for the idea that the traits being measured need updating In the most recent NORC data 2004 an additional trait was included in the stereotyping questions commitment to families The results showed that more than four out of ten whites endorsed the belief that blacks had weaker commitment to their families than whites did Stereotyping behavior among whites may not have changed but the content of those stereotypes and the ones that are acceptable to admit to may have changed Social Distance Tables 3 1B 3 3 Supplement Showing almost as much change over time as principles of racial equality are questions about the degree to which whites are willing to accept blacks into a range of social spheres Few questions continue to be included in surveys on this topic largely because few whites object to minimal levels of integration which were the focus of earlier questions In other words whites by the late 1990s were almost universally accepting of a few black neighbors or classmates Where whites continue to report discomfort is when the numbers of blacks are greater than a few and where the sphere is more intimate such as marriage For example beginning in 1990 NORC began asking whites how they would feel living in a neighborhood where half of the neighbors were black Between 1990 and 2004 the percentage of whites who opposed or strongly opposed living in such a neighborhood dropped from 48 percent to 24 percent To be sure attitudes as is typically the case over state actual behaviors patterns of residential segregation demonstrate that few whites actually live in such neighborhoods and studies of the housing choices whites make reveal that whites are very

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  • Racial Attitudes: Summary of updates | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    2004 compared to 56 percent in 1990 Finally one additional social distance question now has sufficient trend data to warrant reporting Whites were simply asked how close they feel to whites and then how close they feel to blacks We calculate a difference score to identify the degree to which whites feel closer to other whites than they feel to blacks Using this abstract question about closeness related to but not completely the same as willingness to share social space we see that there has been little change over time whites continue to feel closer to whites than they do to blacks with just about one half in 2006 reporting a difference in their ratings of whites and blacks Miscellaneous Questions Table 3 6 Related to the question of closeness there is a longer time series in which whites are asked to evaluate their feelings toward whites and blacks on what is called a feeling thermometer where 0 is cold and 100 is warm This question too is quite remarkable in its lack of change whites on average report consistently cooler feelings toward blacks than toward whites Though the means have fluctuated over time in 2004 whites feelings were about 5 degrees cooler toward African Americans than whites Similarly there has been the continuation of slight declines in the percentage of whites agreeing that blacks shouldn t push themselves where they re not wanted in 2002 38 percent of whites agreed or strongly agree with this sentiment This reflects a considerable drop from the mid 1960s when the vast majority of whites agreed with this sentiment 78 percent and is caused by a slow but steady decline ever since that high point General Summary of White Racial Attitudes Over the years since the 1997 edition of Racial Attitudes in America was published the survey record on trends in racial attitudes shows improvement stagnation or declines depending on the dimension of racial attitudes on which one focuses The principle implementation gap largely persists though two of the implementation questions that continue to be included on surveys show an interesting disengagement with the issue that is increasing percentages of respondents opt not to answer the question instead saying they have no interest in the issue On questions of government expenditures and preferential treatment whites are stagnant there is little change in levels of support and in general there is rather lukewarm support if not outright opposition to the kinds of policies and programs presented by these survey questions Questions of social distance and stereotyping show perhaps the clearest signs of improvement fewer and fewer white Americans readily endorse statements that blacks are less intelligent and hardworking than whites and fewer verbally object to increasing levels of inter racial mixing in neighborhoods and in marriage partners These trends must be interpreted with caution for they may reflect at least to some extent changes in social norms about what kinds of answers ought to be reported on surveys rather than changes in actual levels

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  • Racial Attitudes: Summary of updates | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    government expenditures there has been virtually no change in African American attitudes see figure 7 The modal response is that the government is not doing enough In 2006 81 of African Americans indicated that the government was spending too little to improve the conditions of blacks This has barely changed since the question was first asked in 1973 Two questions that ask if the government should help blacks also show little trend over time For example an ISR question shows that just about 1 out of 2 African Americans in 2004 thought the government should help blacks as opposed to blacks helping themselves This is substantially higher than the levels for white respondents and shows no change over time Only for a NORC question that places government assistance in the context of overcoming the effects of discrimination is there a trend towards less government involvement From 1975 to 2006 the percentage who indicated that the government should help blacks dropped from 67 percent to 44 percent Figure 7 Trend in Blacks Government Expenditures Attitudes One of the most substantial racial differences in race related attitudes in the contemporary era is the question of attitudes toward preferential treatment based on race For the most part such policies enjoy widespread opposition among whites an opposition that has generally shown little change Support among African Americans for preferences in hiring and promotion is by no means universal However African Americans consistently report high levels of support and there has been rather little change in these levels There is however some sign of a weakening of this support in recent years especially in a NORC question for which there are trend data from 1994 to 2006 see figure 8 Figure 8 Trend in Black Attitudes Towards Preferences in Hiring and Promotion Explanations of Inequality and Perceptions of Discrimination Tables 5 4A 5 4A Supplement 5 4B 5 4B Supplement Explanations for Racial Inequality From 1985 to 1994 just about 80 percent of African Americans agreed that discrimination was a cause of racial inequality What appeared to be a decline in endorsing this explanation as of 1996 appears to have held up That is although there have been some fluctuations with an unexplainable dip in 2002 the number has remained at the lower level in 2006 it was 58 percent Nevertheless despite this downturn discrimination remains African Americans most frequently endorsed explanation for racial inequality see figure 9 Small sample sizes make it very difficult to identify the groups who are driving this reduction in recognition of discrimination as a cause of racial inequality For the most part throughout the time period for which data are available southern blacks have been less likely to acknowledge discrimination than non southerner blacks in 2002 41 percent of southerners endorsed this explanation compared to 59 percent of non southerners However both regions of the country showed declines in the levels of endorsement across the time period Figure 9 Trends in Blacks Explanations for Inequality NORC Similarly there are

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  • Racial Attitudes: Summary of updates | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    questions related to implementation affirmative action and explanations of inequality the black white gap persists African Americans are more likely than whites to support race targeted policies e g implementation of equality government expenditures and preferential treatment And they are also to a much greater extent likely to perceive that African Americans face substantial structural barriers in American society Despite this racial gap it is also the case that in recent years there is some evidence that this gap has narrowed a narrowing caused by African American respondents becoming less likely to perceive discrimination and more likely to oppose some kinds of racial policies In other words African American attitudes are moving in a direction that brings them slightly closer to white attitudes Methodological limitations of these national survey data make it difficult to know how to interpret this somewhat conservative turn First because of small sample sizes in any given year of the survey it is unfortunately not possible to tell whether there are subgroups in the African American population that are more likely to have shifted attitudes than others Second and perhaps more importantly there is the persistent challenge of race of interviewer effects We know that African American respondents interviewed by white interviewers for some though not all racial questions tend to give different answers e g Davis 1997 Krysan and Couper 2003 Typically the effects run towards more conservative responses when an interviewer is white Beginning in 1988 the ISR surveys have provided information on race of interviewer which allows us to determine what percentage of African American respondents were interviewed by white interviewers There have been slight variations over the past several decades in these levels but African American respondents across all years are overwhelmingly likely to be interviewed by white interviewers with a range of 83 percent to 99 percent On the one hand given the persistently low race matching of interviewer and respondent one might conclude that any changes over time in actual responses could not be explained by race of interviewer since the racial mis matching between respondent and interviewer has been essentially unchanged However this pattern taken together with the trends we observed for the attitudes of white respondents on these kinds of questions e g a declining recognition of discrimination raises a concern That is the racial climate vis a vis whites attitudes in which African Americans are answering these questions has changed in a direction of being less sympathetic on these particular issues It is possible that the effect of being interviewed by a white interviewer has become greater over time so that even a stable level of non matching of interviewer and respondent may have a different impact in the contemporary racial climate where whites are decreasingly sympathetic to the idea that discrimination persists The conservative trend in African American attitudes then could be a result of the greater consequences of race mis matching rather than being entirely due to a more conservative turn among African American respondents

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  • Special Publications | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    recover The state still has 198 000 fewer jobs than it did at the beginning of the recession in December 2007 Content Taxonomy Analysis Library Special Publications IGPA Categories Illinois Economic Review Read more about Illinois Economic Review from REAL shows continued job growth in state IGPA Director Robert Rich to retire from University of Illinois After serving as a renowned scholar and leader at the University of Illinois for more than 25 years Dr Robert F Rich will retire from the University at the end of August Rich served as director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs IGPA from 1986 to 1997 and began his second tenure as director in 2005 Library Special Publications Content Taxonomy News Read more about IGPA Director Robert Rich to retire from University of Illinois Forty outstanding Illinoisans selected as Edgar Fellows Forty emerging leaders who reflect the diversity of Illinois have been selected for an initiative designed to promote responsible and responsive leadership throughout the Land of Lincoln in the years ahead They will meet at the University of Illinois campus in Urbana Champaign Aug 19 22 Library Special Publications Content Taxonomy News Read more about Forty outstanding Illinoisans selected as Edgar Fellows New in the Pensions section Analysis of Quinn Proposal IGPA s Fiscal Futures Project has completed an analysis of the proposals for reforming the public pension system in Illinois that have been put forth by Gov Pat Quinn The new analysis is now part of our Pensions page May 20 2012 Content Taxonomy Analysis Library Special Publications IGPA Categories Pensions Read more about New in the Pensions section Analysis of Quinn Proposal IGPA demographer co authors Brookings Institution study on immigrants contributions June 9 2011 A new study from the Brookings Institution co authored by IGPA demographer Matthew

    Original URL path: http://igpa.uillinois.edu/category/library/special-publications (2016-02-17)
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