Wednesday, September 25, 2002

I am at the monent working on a new paper about Leftist racism. Below is an excerpt hot off my wordprocessor:

It would seem to follow from the view of racism as being innate and universal that both Left-leaning and Right-leaning people in the general population would be equally likely to be characterized by support for racial discrimination. And survey research conducted among the general population in Australia, Britain and the USA does indeed show that the correlations between overall ideology and racist attitudes are negligible (Ray, 1984; Ray & Furnham, 1984; Ray & Lovejoy, 1986; Raden, 1989, Table 2). Most research on the question has however been conducted among college students (e.g. Adorno et al, 1950; Duckitt, 1993) and, among students, those with racist views are highly likely to be conservative.

A paper by Sniderman, Brody & Kuklinski (1984) is therefore interesting and unusual in that it relied on U.S. general population sampling and separated people out in terms of educational level. These authors did indeed find some overall association between racist and conservative attitudes but found it only among well-educated respondents. Among those with only a basic education there was no association between ideology and racism to be found at all. Racists were equally likely to be of the Left or the Right. This is consistent with the view that any association between the two variable is produced in the educational system by teachers (both secondary and tertiary) who tend to be both liberal and anti-racist. People who acculturate best to the educational system will therefore show both liberal and anti-racist views and this will produce an overall association between the variables.

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