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The Race Card: Campaign Strategy, Implicit Messages, and the Norm of Equality (Princeton Paperbacks)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Did George Bush's use of the Willie Horton story during the1988 presidential campaign communicate most effectively when no one noticed its racial meaning? Do politicians routinely evoke racial stereotypes, fears, and resentments without voters' awareness? This controversial, rigorously researched book argues that they do. Tali Mendelberg examines how and when politicians play the race card and then manage to plausibly deny doing so.

In the age of equality, politicians cannot prime race with impunity due to a norm of racial equality that prohibits racist speech. Yet incentives to appeal to white voters remain strong. As a result, politicians often resort to more subtle uses of race to win elections. Mendelberg documents the development of this implicit communication across time and measures its impact on society. Drawing on a wide variety of research--including simulated television news experiments, national surveys, a comprehensive content analysis of campaign coverage, and historical inquiry--she analyzes the causes, dynamics, and consequences of racially loaded political communication. She also identifies similarities and differences among communication about race, gender, and sexual orientation in the United States and between communication about race in the United States and ethnicity in Europe, thereby contributing to a more general theory of politics.

Mendelberg's conclusion is that politicians--including many current state governors--continue to play the race card, using terms like "welfare" and "crime" to manipulate white voters' sentiments without overtly violating egalitarian norms. But she offers some good news: implicitly racial messages lose their appeal, even among their target audience, when their content is exposed.

Synopsis:

"The author uses a wonderful variety of empirical data to track the evolution of political rhetoric about race from the Civil War to the present. This book has the potential to be a pioneering volume, moving beyond other accounts of how race influences mass politics in the contemporary era."--David O. Sears, University of California, Los Angeles

"This is an absolutely wonderful book--a fascinating, well-written account of the author's path-breaking research. It is controversial but convincing and will be of interest to a wide audience. . . . The book will surely make an important mark in political science, communications, and African-American studies. By all rights it should also shape the way the news media cover politics and--as a consequence--the way political campaigns are conducted. The work is both deeply rooted in well-developed research traditions and thoroughly new in what is has to offer."--Martin Gilens, Yale University

Synopsis:

Did George Bush's use of the Willie Horton story during the1988 presidential campaign communicate most effectively when no one noticed its racial meaning? Do politicians routinely evoke racial stereotypes, fears, and resentments without voters' awareness? This controversial, rigorously researched book argues that they do. Tali Mendelberg examines how and when politicians play the race card and then manage to plausibly deny doing so.

In the age of equality, politicians cannot prime race with impunity due to a norm of racial equality that prohibits racist speech. Yet incentives to appeal to white voters remain strong. As a result, politicians often resort to more subtle uses of race to win elections. Mendelberg documents the development of this implicit communication across time and measures its impact on society. Drawing on a wide variety of research--including simulated television news experiments, national surveys, a comprehensive content analysis of campaign coverage, and historical inquiry--she analyzes the causes, dynamics, and consequences of racially loaded political communication. She also identifies similarities and differences among communication about race, gender, and sexual orientation in the United States and between communication about race in the United States and ethnicity in Europe, thereby contributing to a more general theory of politics.

Mendelberg's conclusion is that politicians--including many current state governors--continue to play the race card, using terms like "welfare" and "crime" to manipulate white voters' sentiments without overtly violating egalitarian norms. But she offers some good news: implicitly racial messages lose their appeal, even among their target audience, when their content is exposed.

About the Author

Tali Mendelberg is Associate Professor of Politics at Princeton University.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

List of Tables ix

Preface xi

PART ONE: THE ORIGIN OF IMPLICIT RACIAL APPEALS 1

Chapter 1. A Theory of Racial Appeals 3

Chapter 2. The Norm of Racial Inequality Electoral Strategy and Explicit Appeals 28

Chapter 3. The Norm of Racial Equality Electoral Strategy and Implicit Appeals 67

PART TWO: THE IMPACT OF IMPLICIT RACIAL APPEALS 109

Chapter 4. The Political Psychology of Implicit Communication 111

Chapter 5. Crafting Conveying and Challenging Implicit Racial Appeals: Campaign Strategy and News Coverage 134

Chapter 6. The Impact of Implicit Messages 169

Chapter 7. Implicit Explicit and Counter-Stereotypical Messages: The Welfare Experiment 191

Chapter 8. Psychological Mechanisms: The Norms Experiment 209

PART THREE: IMPLICATIONS OF IMPLICIT RACIAL APPEALS 237

Chapter 9. Implicit Communication beyond Race: Gender Sexual Orientation and Ethnicity 239

Chapter 10. Political Communication and Equality 268

References 277

Index 299

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691070711
Author:
Mendelberg, Tali
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton, N.J.
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
History & Theory
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Elections
Subject:
Race relations
Subject:
Minority Studies - Race Relations
Subject:
Race awareness
Subject:
Racism
Subject:
Equality before the law
Subject:
Communication in politics
Subject:
Race relations and the press.
Subject:
Racism in mass media.
Subject:
Racism in popular culture
Subject:
Political campaigns
Subject:
History & Theory - General
Subject:
Political Process - Elections
Subject:
Political Science and International Relations
Subject:
Political campaigns - United States - History
Subject:
Elections -- United States -- History.
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Princeton Paperbacks
Series Volume:
#06
Publication Date:
March 2001
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
17 line illus., 16 tables
Pages:
328
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 16 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Immigration
History and Social Science » Journalism » General
History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Politics » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Track and Field

The Race Card: Campaign Strategy, Implicit Messages, and the Norm of Equality (Princeton Paperbacks) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$42.95 In Stock
Product details 328 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691070711 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "The author uses a wonderful variety of empirical data to track the evolution of political rhetoric about race from the Civil War to the present. This book has the potential to be a pioneering volume, moving beyond other accounts of how race influences mass politics in the contemporary era."--David O. Sears, University of California, Los Angeles

"This is an absolutely wonderful book--a fascinating, well-written account of the author's path-breaking research. It is controversial but convincing and will be of interest to a wide audience. . . . The book will surely make an important mark in political science, communications, and African-American studies. By all rights it should also shape the way the news media cover politics and--as a consequence--the way political campaigns are conducted. The work is both deeply rooted in well-developed research traditions and thoroughly new in what is has to offer."--Martin Gilens, Yale University

"Synopsis" by , Did George Bush's use of the Willie Horton story during the1988 presidential campaign communicate most effectively when no one noticed its racial meaning? Do politicians routinely evoke racial stereotypes, fears, and resentments without voters' awareness? This controversial, rigorously researched book argues that they do. Tali Mendelberg examines how and when politicians play the race card and then manage to plausibly deny doing so.

In the age of equality, politicians cannot prime race with impunity due to a norm of racial equality that prohibits racist speech. Yet incentives to appeal to white voters remain strong. As a result, politicians often resort to more subtle uses of race to win elections. Mendelberg documents the development of this implicit communication across time and measures its impact on society. Drawing on a wide variety of research--including simulated television news experiments, national surveys, a comprehensive content analysis of campaign coverage, and historical inquiry--she analyzes the causes, dynamics, and consequences of racially loaded political communication. She also identifies similarities and differences among communication about race, gender, and sexual orientation in the United States and between communication about race in the United States and ethnicity in Europe, thereby contributing to a more general theory of politics.

Mendelberg's conclusion is that politicians--including many current state governors--continue to play the race card, using terms like "welfare" and "crime" to manipulate white voters' sentiments without overtly violating egalitarian norms. But she offers some good news: implicitly racial messages lose their appeal, even among their target audience, when their content is exposed.

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