Tasha S. Philpot and Hanes Walton Jr.
This chapter describes the evolution of African-American political participation. Beginning with early findings in Black political participation, it discusses the major paradigm shifts in this research and their catalysts. The chapter concludes by providing a roadmap for future research in the field.
America’s New Racial/Ethnic Diversity: Immigration, Intermarriage, and Multicultural Identification in the Twenty-first Century
Jennifer Lee and Frank D. Bean
The United States is more racially/ethnically diverse than at any point in the country’s history as a result of immigration, intermarriage, and multiracial identification. The Latino and Asian populations have more than tripled in size since 1970; Latinos are now the largest racial/ethnic minority group, and Asians, the fastest growing group in the country. Also contributing to America’s new diversity is increasing intermarriage and a growing multiracial population. Intermarriage soared more than twenty-fold between 1960 and 2000, and the multiracial population is poised to account for one in five Americans by 2050, and one in three by 2100. However, this new diversity is not evenly apparent across the country. Some states—like California—reflect the new diversity, which is also evident at the metropolitan level. In other states, the new diversity is nearly invisible. The pattern of high and low diversity in the United States reflects the country’s vast heterogeneity.
Kimberley S. Johnson
This article examines the ways in which scholars of American political development (APD) have encountered the color line through their research, and the strides they have made in bringing race back into the field of political science in general and the study of the state in particular. Three core questions about race and APD are considered: How is race defined? When does race matter? In what direction does race matter? Two approaches relating to race and American politics are discussed: the race relations approach and the racial politics (or minority politics) approach. It then explores five challenges that must be addressed in order to overcome the persistent connections between APD and the discipline’s racial anomalism. It also analyzes the role of race in the establishment of the early American welfare state and concludes by reflecting on the persistence of racial inequality and prospects for APD in the twenty-first century.
Gabriel R. Sanchez, F. Chris Garcia, and Melina Juárez
Latinos are playing a growing role in public policy debates not only surrounding immigration, but across several domestic policy domains. This has led to an increased interest in the attitudes of the Latino population toward public policy. This chapter focuses on four specific aspects related to Latino public opinion. First, we briefly discuss the vital role that public opinion plays in American politics today. We then examine Latino attitudes toward important policy areas. Next, we discuss issues involved in the accurate measuring of Latino public opinion. And finally, we suggest some future directions in the study of Latino public opinion.
Anna O. Law and Daniel Tichenor
From the earliest days of U.S. nationhood, race and ethnicity have profoundly influenced the politics and governance of immigration. To be sure, this policy arena has been shaped by a variety of economic, social, cultural, and political forces. Yet it is impossible to explain the arc of American immigration policy over time save for recurrent battles over racial and ethnic criteria. This chapter reviews an impressive body of scholarship that chronicles the prominence of race and ethnicity as grounds for immigrant inclusion or exclusion as well as the myriad of ways race and ethnicity have affected the integration and acceptance of immigrants for generations. Additionally, much of the scholarship reviewed in this essay underscores the evolving meaning of racial and ethnic categories even as ascriptive hierarchies have proven durable.
M. David Forrest and Dara Z. Strolovitch
Advocacy organizations have long been a crucial conduit for the construction, articulation, and representation of the interests and identities of African Americans, Latin@s, American Indians, Asian Pacific Americans, and other racialized groups in the United States. These organizations promise to provide a measure of “insider” political access to racialized “outsider” groups by opening up the policy making process and offering them an institutionalized and compensatory source of representation. The extent to which this promise has been fulfilled, however, has been the subject of much debate. This chapter argues that while advocacy organizations have substantially improved the political representation and position of racialized groups, they continue to face many challenges in attempting to fulfill their potential. Suggestions are made about how scholars and activists might clarify these challenges and better confront and dismantle the many inequalities and forms of white privilege that continue to mark American politics, economics, and society.
David T. Canon
For most of our nation’s history, redistricting produced a partisan struggle as the two major parties tried to gain electoral advantage. In the past several decades, however, racial representation emerged as an important element of the redistricting process. The scholarly literature on this topic has examined three related questions: what role should racial redistricting play in the representation of racial interests, how may racial redistricting be used, and what is the connection between descriptive representation and the substantive representation of racial interests? The normative questions concerning how racial interests should be represented and empirical questions concerning how they are represented are discussed by other scholars in this volume. This essay will instead focus on the empirical and legal questions concerning the use of redistricting to produce descriptive representation.
Charles S. Bullock III and Charles M. Lamb
This chapter surveys the literature on racial discrimination and segregation in education and housing in the United States. It indicates that federal governmental institutions ultimately led the way in outlawing school segregation and some of the practices that created or maintained racially separate neighborhoods. Yet research also shows that much more progress has been made at enforcing federal legal standards during particular periods of time than others, as the political system has vacillated between the need to ensure equal opportunity and the desire to maintain aspects of past segregation. Recent studies demonstrate that school and housing segregation have declined, depending on the school district or housing market being examined. However, because segregated schools and housing patterns are still widespread in much of the country, both subjects continue to be fruitful areas for research.
Rogers M. Smith
In 1955, Louis Hartz argued that the United States had been founded as a “liberal society” which unconsciously embraced the precepts of John Locke, in ways that dominated all other political perspectives throughout American history. Recent analysts of that thesis have focused on the relationship of this “liberal tradition” to American racial inequalities. How and why have both liberalism and racism grown so abundantly in the American political garden? This chapter reviews five types of responses: racism as an anomaly in American liberal society; the unity of American racism and liberalism; the existence of multiple liberalisms, some racist, some not; views seeing liberalism and racism as strongly symbiotic; and more contingent symbiotic accounts. None of these positions dominates modern scholarship. Together they define a vital research agenda.