"color coding" and support for social policy spending: Assessing the parameters among whites

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10 Scopus citations


This study uses data from the 1996 through 2002 General Social Survey to examine whether one variant of modern racial prejudice-"color coding"-explains support for several ostensibly nonracial government spending policies regarding crime, urban problems, and drug addiction (welfare and race spending are used as baseline measures). Findings indicate that color coding does not extend appreciably beyond its established focus of welfare and race and operates along a continuum with welfare and race at one end (heavily influenced by prejudice), addiction spending and urban spending at the other end (not influenced by prejudice), and crime spending situated in the middle (moderately influenced by prejudice). Possible causes of the continuum, as well as emerging aspects of the color coding phenomenon-specifically, its possible bidirectional effects and its subordination to political party affiliation in explanatory value-are discussed. Directions for future research that would shed additional light on the color coding phenomenon are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-189
Number of pages16
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011


  • color coding
  • racial prejudice
  • spending policy attitudes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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