As the United States moves from being a predominantly biracial to a multiracial society, racial attitudes continue to become more diverse and more complex. Scholars need to address these changes not only in terms of black and white Americans, but also how these changes involve and affect other racial groups, particularly Asian and Hispanic Americans. This inquiry looks at some of these complexities by examining how social construction differentials in the minds of white Americans affect their attitudes toward the issues of equal opportunity and multiculturalism. The analysis shows that differences in the cognitive images whites hold of minority groups in comparison to their own race have a significant impact in determining white attitudes toward group-based issues. In effect, negative constructions of racial groups lower one's support for policies aimed at these groups.
Published in Journal of Politics, Volume 58, Issue 1, 1996, pages 149-168.
© 1996 by Cambridge University Press