TITLE

"Black" versus "African American": Are Whites' Political Attitudes Influenced by the Choice of Racial Labels?

AUTHOR(S)
Zilber, Jeremy; Niven, David
PUB. DATE
September 1995
SOURCE
Social Science Quarterly (University of Texas Press);Sep95, Vol. 76 Issue 3, p655
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article tests the hypothesis that whites react differently to the labels black and African American. It emphasizes people's different political perceptions of candidates when exposed to their use of different racial labels; historical coalition between African Americans and liberal whites; gap in liberal whites' perception between the African American agenda and their own. The hypothesis is tested using a simple experimental design. Subjects read a political statement that made frequent reference to either blacks or African Americans, and then responded to a battery of questions designed to gauge their reaction to the racial labels. White citizens were found to have more positive evaluations of candidates who supported a "black" agenda than those who support an "African American" one. This effect is most visible among liberals, who appear to be particularly sensitive to the choice of racial labels. These findings apply most directly to African American candidates, who must weigh the social benefits of the term African American against the potential political costs.
ACCESSION #
9510135644

 

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