"Perception and Prejudice" by Jon Hurwitz

Perception and Prejudice Race and Politics in the United States Jon Hurwitz, Mark Peffley

Publication date:
11 Aug 1998
Yale University Press
272 pages: 235 x 156mm
18 b-w illus.
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Based on one of the most extensive scientific surveys of race ever conducted, this book investigates the relationship between racial perceptions and policy choices in America. The contributors—leading scholars in the fields of public opinion, race relations, and political behavior—clarify and explore images of African-Americans that white Americans hold and the complex ways that racial stereotypes shape modern political debates about such issues as affirmative action, housing, welfare, and crime.

The authors make use of the largest national study of public opinion on racial issues in more than a generation—the Race and Politics Study (RPS) conducted by the Survey Research Center at the University of California. The RPS employed methodological improvements made possible by Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing, a technique that enables analysts to combine the internal validity of laboratory experiments with the external validity of probability sampling. Taking full advantage of these research methods, the authors offer highly nuanced analyses of subjects ranging from the sources of racial stereotypes to the racial policy preferences of Democrats and Republicans to the reasons for resistance to affirmative action. Their findings indicate that while crude and explicit forms of racial prejudice may have declined in recent decades, racial stereotypes persist among many whites and exert a powerful influence on the ways they view certain public policies.

Jon Hurwitz is professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh. Mark Peffley is professor of political science at the University of Kentucky.

"This book answers questions that have not been well answered in prior research and provides nuanced understandings of important areas of racial attitudes and beliefs."?James R. Kluegel, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"This collection of essays shows why an eclectic mix of experimental, quasi-experimented, and quantitative analysis is becoming the dominant methodological paradigm in public opinion research."?Donald P. Green, Professor of Political Science, Yale University