Socioeconomic status and racial group interests among black Americans

Jason E. Shelton, George Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


This study assesses predictions from the dominant ideology thesis and theory of group interest concerning the relationship between socioeconomic status and racial solidarity across three domains of racial ideology. Findings from a local area sample (N = 184) in Cleveland, Ohio, provide considerable support for the theory of group interest . Racial solidarity indicators, such as the perception of discrimination, transcend individual socioeconomic status in constructing a group-based racial viewpoint. Conversely, traditional measures of class position, such as income and education, fail to induce attitudinal variation across the analyzed domains, namely causal attributions, racial politics, and attitudes toward interracial intimacy. In fact, the subjective social class measure, occupational prestige, tends to promote differences favorable to racial solidarity. These findings undermine the long-established conclusion that increased socioeconomic status exerts a conservatizing influence over racially/ethnically-specific attitudes. The implications shed light on the extent to which racial worldviews exist and directions for future research are mentioned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-204
Number of pages22
JournalSociological Spectrum
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Socioeconomic status and racial group interests among black Americans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this