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Social Trends in American LifeFindings from the General Social Survey since 1972$
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Peter V. Marsden

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691133317

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691133317.001.0001

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date: 14 December 2017

The Real Record on Racial Attitudes

The Real Record on Racial Attitudes

Chapter:
(p.38) 3 The Real Record on Racial Attitudes
Source:
Social Trends in American Life
Author(s):

Lawrence D. Bobo

Camille Z. Charles

Maria Krysan

Alicia D. Simmons

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691133317.003.0003

This chapter depicts “the real record on racial attitudes” using a wide lens. Recounting results of mid-20th-century surveys as well as trends in the General Social Survey, it shows that formal principles of equal treatment (e.g., in schools and employment) came to be widely endorsed. However, it cautions against concluding that U.S. society became “postracial.” For example, in the 2000s white Americans remain more apt to attribute negative traits to blacks than to whites, reluctant to support interventions to redress persistent black–white inequality, and highly resistant to “special favors” for blacks. The chapter documents rising egalitarianism and dramatic change in some basic assumptions governing black–white relationships, together with little or no growth in reformist and interventionist orientations about racial matters. It highlights numerous “enduring frictions and conflicts that continue to make race such a fraught terrain.”

Keywords:   racial attitudes, equal treatment, white Americans, blacks, egalitarianism, race

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