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Soc Sci Res. 2013 May;42(3):742-54. doi: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2012.12.007. Epub 2012 Dec 19.

When white people report racial discrimination: The role of region, religion, and politics.

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  • 1Comparative Sociology Group, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Calle Madrid 126, 28903 Getafe, Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:


Scholarly interest in the correlates and consequences of perceived discrimination has grown exponentially in recent years, yet, despite increased legal and media attention to claims of "anti-white bias," empirical studies predicting reports of racial discrimination by white Americans remain limited. Using data from the 2006 Portraits of American Life Study, we find that evangelical Protestantism increases the odds that whites will report experiencing racial discrimination, even after controlling for racial context and an array of social and psychological characteristics. However, this effect is limited to the South. Outside the South, political affiliation trumps religion, yielding distinct regional profiles of discrimination reporters. These findings suggest that institutions may function as regional "carriers" for whites inclined to report racial discrimination.

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