Race, class, and the basis of group alignment: An analysis of support for redistributive policy among privileged blacks

Jason E. Shelton, George Wilson.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sociological research has not adequately assessed levels of support for redistributive policy among African Americans. This oversight is particularly notable considering the dispersion of blacks across the American class structure. This article seeks to fill this gap in our understanding by addressing two concerns: (a) whether blacks with higher versus lower socioeconomic status espouse disparate policy preferences and (b) whether a privileged class position matters in the same way in structuring black and white beliefs about the role of government. Results from pooled data from the 1996 through 2006 General Social Surveys indicate that blacks more strongly support government efforts to ameliorate inequality than whites. However, black policy preferences fluctuate after controlling for intraracial socioeconomic differences. Privileged blacks are less supportive of racially-neutral opportunity-enhancing and outcome-based policies; these same respondents espouse contrasting levels of support for racially- specific policies. The implications for these findings are discussed, as well as suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-408
Number of pages24
JournalSociological Perspectives
Volume52
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009

Keywords

  • African Americans
  • Class
  • Race
  • Redistributive policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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