Synopses & Reviews
This book traces changes in American attitudes toward racial issues that have taken place between the 1940s and the 1980s--a crucial period that encompasses the civil rights revolution, the growth of black militancy and white resistance, and the enactment of affirmative-action legislation.
The authors are the first to compare data about black and white attitudes collected by three major survey organizations: Gallup, the National Opinion Research Center, and the Institute for Social Research. They make careful distinctions between attitudes toward principles of racial equality and attitudes toward government action to implement those principles. The wide research base and methodological sophistication of their analysis yield conclusions quite different from those of earlier, more narrowly drawn studies. For example, they find that while there has been a striking increase in support for principles of equality and fairness, support for some kinds of implementation of these ideals lags far behind or has even declined among both blacks and whites. The implementation measures considered range from busing to achieve integration of schools to laws requiring equal opportunity in employment. In addition to reanalyzing survey data, the authors have also performed several innovative experiments on the wording and context of survey questions to help them interpret the data more accurately.
A welcome arrival...Informative and reflective, Racial Attitudes in America will be immensely useful to anyone interested in contemporary social history, as well as race relations specifically. David J. Garrow - Journal of American Ethnic History
A welcome arrival...Informative and reflective, Racial Attitudes in Americawill be immensely useful to anyone interested in contemporary social history, as well as race relationsspecifically.
Schuman, Steeh, and Bobo have performed a singular service. Social scientists, and citizens at large, interested in the American dilemma are in their debt: for the completeness of the record they have compiled of American racial attitudes over the past four decades, for the care and clarity with which they have presented that record, and for the objectivity and sophistication with which they have interpreted it. Their analysis of American racial attitudes is, of course, not complete; it is merely indispensable. Paul M. Sniderman
For anyone seeking to examine the evolution of American racial attitudes since the 1940s, this painstakingly precise book is the place to begin. American Journal of Sociology
A significant study, easily the best in its field, underpinning its statistical analysis with a strong sense of history. Abigail M. Thernstrom - The Public Interest
About the Author
Howard Schumanis Professor of Sociology and Research Scientist, emeritus, at the <>University of Michigans Survey Research Center.Charlotte Steehis Researcher in Survey Methodology at the <>University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.Lawrence Bobois Martin Luther King Jr. Centennial Professor of Sociology and Director of the <>Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and Program in African and African American Studies at Stanford University.
Table of Contents
Perspectives and Historical Background
Problems in Studying Changes in Racial Attitudes
Trends in White Racial Attitudes
Sources of Change in White Racial Attitudes
Trends in Black Racial Attitudes
Theoretical Interpretations of White Trends
Appendix A: Locating and Selecting Trend Questions
Appendix B: Statistical Testing Procedures
Index of Survey Questions