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Soc Sci Res. 2008 Dec;37(4):1130-46.

Individual threat, group threat, and racial policy: exploring the relationship between threat and racial attitudes.

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  • Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership, United States Military Academy at West Point, 601 Cullum Road, West Point, NY 10996, USA. jer33@cornell.edu


Racial threat scholars have long argued that racial prejudice is motivated by threat. This literature identifies two types of threat: individual threat and group threat; however, actual arguments tend to focus on only one of the two types of threat. Consequently, there has been no assessment of whether both threats are simultaneously associated with prejudice. This paper uses data from the 1994 General Social Survey (GSS) to examine the relationship between perceptions of individual threat, perceptions of group threat, and opposition to policies aiding blacks. Results from multinomial logits demonstrate that both threats are associated with opposition to race-equalizing policies, suggesting that single-threat theories should be reevaluated and that studies incorporating racial threat should include both types of threat.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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